Deepak Chopra's Leela for Kinect pictures and hands-on
Deepak Chopra's Leela is an interesting proposition. Not exactly a game as such (although "Leela" roughly means "play" in Hindu), nor is it strictly fitness or educational software. It is, quite simply, unique and could well be the most inventive consumer-ready use of the Kinect so far.
Yes, Forza Motorsport 4 allows you use the Xbox 360 motion tracker to look around the cockpit of a car as you drive, but Leela uses the Kinect in all manner of ways, including the precise tracking of what part of your body you breathe from, or if you're fidgeting while attempting to meditate. In short, it sits in a category of its own, and is a welcome diversion from punching a virtual bad guy in the goolies.
The point of the "experience" is to, essentially heal and tend to your mind, body and spirit through tasks designed to balance the Seven Chakras, the energy centres in every human being. Each Chakra is positioned in and around the body, so each task in the "game" focuses on that body part.
In addition, each Chakra challenge is split into seven levels, so there's 49 different tasks to complete in total. Plus, there are extra sections in Leela that help teach you how to breathe properly, meditate (to the dulcet tones of Deepak Chopra, the mind-body expert himself), and more.
And, the best bit, is that there is no winning or losing involved, it's not meant to be competitive, just help you attain harmony with the world. Although, as certain tasks have a time counter, you can't help but wonder if you can do each section that little bit quicker.
Pocket-lint got to try out the red Chakra section, where you have to revolve a planet in order to pollinate it by waving our hips left and right. It was only afterwards that we found out that that's the Chakra for fertility. Needless to say, it was all over in the blink of an eye.
We also had a go at meditating, with the in-game Chopra taking us through a five minute session, and it was certainly relaxing. Or, as relaxing as it could have been in an office room with a glass panel in the door where passers by could gawp. This is definitely a section we'd like to try at home. Unlike many Kinect games or applications, it even allows you to sit down. Refreshing in more ways than one.
Even from our brief play (or Leela) with the not-a-game, we can tell that it could well be the ideal remedy to a long day at work. And, for that alone, it's got to be worth the cover price.
Deepak Chopra's Leela is available now for Xbox 360 (the one we tested) and Wii for around £40 and £25 respectively.