Launch games for Kinect - all you need to know

Microsoft's hotly anticipated Kinect for the Xbox 360 will finally be landing in November, and is set to take on the mighty Nintendo Wii as well as Sony's recently launched PlayStation Move. Only time will tell which one will be the victor of the motion-based gaming battle, but history teaches that the final result will be largely influenced by the games that are available. So, to coincide with the launch of the Kinect, Microsoft has announced a line-up of 19 games that will be available from the start or very soon afterwards. Read on for a full run-down.


Sports

Kinect Sports

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Rare/Microsoft Game Studios

Price:
£33.91

According to Microsoft, this is "the first full-body controller-free sports game that lets you physically compete with your friends over Xbox LIVE" and features a selection of six sports including ping-pong, boxing and volleyball. You can either go in for some solitary sporting action or use the multiplayer modes to compete against your friends. Here at Pocket-lint, we're particularly looking forward to the football mode, where you play with two players either working together or against each other.

 

MotionSports

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Ubisoft

Price:
£32.99

 

If you're into your sports, then you'll love this one, as it offers over 40 sporting challenges from zipping down the slopes of a Super G slalom to brushing up on your penalty kicking skills. You can even try your hand (or should that be fist) at boxing, or shoulder-barge your way to a touchdown. And for an added touch of authenticity, the live in-game commentary will follow your every move, whether they're good, bad or just downright ugly.

 

Sports Island Freedom

Due:
26 November

Developer:
Konami/Hudson Soft

Price:
£32.42

Another one for sports junkies, this game from Hudson Soft boasts a whopping ten new sporting events designed especially for the motion-control system.  Players can compete in a selection of games including the familiar choices of tennis, boxing, archery, beach volleyball, skiing and snowboarding. However, the beauty of this game is that it offers a number of sports for those that are after something a little bit different. If you fancy yourself as a graceful pro skater then you can try your luck at figure skating or if you want something a bit more rugged then you can opt for dodge ball or paint ball. Or if you just want to batter someone with a stick, try the Kendo.


Racing

Kinect Joy Ride

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Big Park/Microsoft Game Studios

Price:
£34.99

Designed to combine the fun of classic karting with controller-free gaming, Kinect Joy Ride boasts five different game modes that will see you navigating obstacles, and flying off jumps to perform some impromptu mid-air acrobatics. You can also earn boosts, power-ups and other goodies to rev up the competition, either against the computer or against up to seven opponents on Xbox LIVE.

 

Sonic Free Riders

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Sega

Price:
£35.91

Sega legend Sonic - the most famous hedgehog in the world (after Miss Tiggywinkle) - is set to make his Kinect debut in this adrenaline-fuelled racing game. After choosing your favourite Sonic character or using your own Avatar, you can use your customisable hover board or bike to negotiate the action-packed courses by twisting and turning your body. You can bag yourself a load of pickups along the way and swing your arms to launch your items and gain the edge over your racing rivals.

 

Crossboard 7

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Konami

Price:
£29.85

If you've ever fancied boarding, then Crossboard 7 might be right up your street. This high-speed racing game enables you to control the board using your own movements and even perform cool tricks along the way to impress your mates. You can either play solo or go head-to-head with a friend in a two-player battle and there are seven game modes and seven worlds to race across.


Dance and fitness

Dance Central

Due:
10 November

Developer:
MTV Games/Harmonix

Price:
£33.91

From the creators of Rock Band, this controller-free dancing game features a staggering selection of over 90 routines and 650 dance moves for you to join in with. Whether you see yourself as a bit of dance pro or if you've got two left feet, the game has been designed to cover a wide range of abilities from beginners to experts. The whole thing is set to a body-popping soundtrack of pop, hip-hop and R&B.

 

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Ubisoft

Price:
£32.70

This no-nonsense fitness "game" enables you to control the technology with your voice and body to build a personalised fitness experience. If you can't afford a real personal trainer then fear not, as Your Shape lets you choose a virtual one who will then take you through your paces. You can set fitness goals, take a yoga or martial arts class or play family-friendly mini games. What's more, thanks to the game's real-time tracking system, you'll get feedback on your every move as you go along.

 

The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout

Due:
10 November

Developer:
THQ

Price:
£33.18

Based on the TV programme The Biggest Loser, this workout experience for the Kinect is designed to whip you into shape using real-time feedback. You can track your progress as you shed the pounds thanks to the personalised training and workouts that will help you to reach your fitness goals. There's a selection of 50 healthy recipes to choose from and you can make a video diary to keep a record of your achievements. You can also invest in a range of optional extras, such as free weights, to help things along.

 

EA Sports Active 2

Due:
19 November

Developer:
EA Sports

Price:
£64.99

Also being launched for the Wii and the PlayStation Move, this is one for serious keep fit fanatics and not those that are liable to do a couple of days' worth of aerobics and then give up in favour of a trip to the pub. As well as motion tracking, EA Sports Active 2 will keep tabs on you through the supplied wireless heart rate monitor which provides constant on-screen monitoring. You'll be able to track and share your fitness data online using your personalised profile.

 

Zumba Fitness

Due:
26 November

Developer:
Majesco

Price:
£32.16

If you fancy injecting a bit of fiery Latino spirit into your workout routine, then look no further than Zumba Fitness. This unique exercise program combines Latin rhythms with high-energy dance routines for a calorie-busting workout.  Instructors, Gina Grant and Tanya Beardsley and Zumba creator Beto, will guide you through 30 fun routines that are sure to make you forget that what you're doing is exercise. The game will enable you to become an expert in nine different dance styles: Reggaeton, Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia, Hip-Hop, Mambo, Rumba, Flamenco and Calypso.

 

Get Fit With Mel B

Due:
26 November

Developer:
Black Bean Games/Lightning Fish

Price:
£39.99

No prizes for guessing that this game sees ex-Spice Girl Mel B in the starring role as your very own personal trainer. Yep, that's right, you'll effectively be letting the gobby one from history's most successful girl band into your living room to bellow keep fit instructions at you. It features 199 exercises, along with a nutritional programme with 140 recipes tailored to your needs. This one has the potential to be excruciatingly annoying.

 

Dance Evolution

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Konami

Price:
£36.47

Details for this one are rather thin on the ground, but Microsoft describes it as "a brand new way to experience music and rhythm". Designed to give you the ultimate dance club experience in the comfort of your own living room, you can strut your funky stuff to your chosen tune and also select from a number of different dance modes. And if you wanna dance with somebody, you can challenge up to four of your friends to an online dance-off.

 

Dance Paradise

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Mindscape/Smackdown Productions

Price:
£39.99

Along with the chance for you to get your groove on, this game promises to offer up an eclectic mix of musical styles for you dance along to, including pop, rock and hip-hop. With confirmed artists including Daft Punk, Snoop Dogg and Gwen Stefani, this is set to be a good one for music fans, no matter what kind of musical flavours they prefer.

 

Family fun

Kinect Adventures

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Good Science Studio/Microsoft Game Studios

Price:
£33.93

For the adventurers among you, this game lets you live out a choice of epic activities without even having to set foot outside of the living room. Whether it's floating in space, taking a ride in some roaring rapids or diving into the ocean, Kinect Adventures has got it covered. Set in a variety of exotic locations, the game will have you jumping, dodging and kicking your way through a range of exciting adventures. This one will be available with every Kinect sensor and Kinect bundle sold.

 

Kinectimals

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Frontier Developments Ltd./Microsoft Game Studios

Price:
£34.99

One for the younger members of the family, or the young at heart, this cute game lets you choose from from one of five exotic animals and make friends with your very own cub. Your new pal will come running when it hears your voice and you can teach it to jump, roll over or play dead. The cuddly critters will even purr if you scratch them behind the ears. You can also invest in a limited collector's edition, including a cuddly toy that can be scanned into the game to unlock a new collectible cub.

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 The Videogame

Due:
19 November

Developer:
Electronic Arts/EA Bright Light

Price:
£38.91


Released to coincide with the cinema release of the next instalment from the Harry Potter saga, this game sees you playing the role of the famous boy wizard. Straight away, the opening sequence sees Harry on the run and fighting for his survival as he begins a quest to locate and destroy the evil Voldemort's Horcruxes. The latest in a long line of Harry Potter games, this one lets you cast spells with a flourish of the hands, just like Harry and his magical pals.

 

Game Party

Due:
26 November

Developer:
Warner Bros. Interactive

Price:
£32.99

There should be something in this game for everyone, with its wide variety of activities to choose from. You can pit your skills against each other in a selection of familiar games including darts, table hockey and shuffleboard. Or if you prefer something a bit more cerebral, then you can opt for the trivia game.


Combat

Fighters Uncaged

Due:
10 November

Developer:
Ubisoft

Price:
£35.52

A Kinect exclusive, this fighting game is probably not one for the younger kids "prepare for an all-out brawl". Set in the vicious world of illegal fighting, you can take part in tournaments where you must compete against the world's toughest fighters in a series of locations such as rooftops and dark alleys. You can combine your punches and kicks together to form devastating moves as well using your voice to taunt your opponent.

What do think of the lineup? Is it enough to stand up to the Wii and the PlayStation Move? What games would you like to see on the Kinect?