Kameo: Elements of Power is the second of two launch titles for the Xbox 360. But can the developer - Rare - have two must have games on the launch list? We take a look and find out.

According to the box, Kameo is a magical, epic adventure full of magnificent exploration and intense combat. The future of the world depends on Kameo, who must capture, grow and unleash a wide assortment of incredible monsters to combat ever-present evil, and rescue her three Elemental Ancestors from the Dark Troll King who threatens the planet and its wildlife.

Sounds magical, and the scenery and graphics are certainly in keeping with the storyline. Castles, enchanted forests and icy landscapes all make for a good backdrop as you battle against Trolls and other mythical creatures.

As for the gameplay, this is squarely aimed at the younger audience and the feel of the game shows this.

The game follows Kameo and her ability to shape change into anyone of 18 different monsters all with their own strengths and weaknesses. To make things even more interesting they come from the Six Elements of Power: Plant, Water, Rock, Ice, Wind and Fire.

The selection is pretty large and characters range from armadillo types that can spin to knock the bad guys out of the way to plants that have a killer right hook.

You can morph from one monster to another at anytime in the game and it makes for some interesting fight scenes when you quickly change between monsters to create a killer set of combo moves.

This breaks the game away from being just another platform yarn however can get frustrating when you don't know which character is best suited for the situation.

Levels are fairly straight-forward and normally require you to complete a set tasks to continue however rather than be mentally challenging, the tasks are more a case of make a certain jump or spin in a certain direction. At times this can become very frustrating when you come to a part where every time you fail you die, so expect to get used to seeing the continue screen.

Xbox Live interaction is through co-operative gaming and Kameo allows two players to work as a team to carve their way through the levels.

Verdict

The graphics are cute, the scenery enchanting and the gameplay good, but not brilliant. If you’ve gone out and bought the Xbox360 for your 10 to 12-year-old and worried that all the gaming options are for adults - see Condemned, Quake 4, Call of Duty 2, etc. - or sports fans - see virtually all the titles from EA and PGR3 from Microsoft - this will certainly give them hours of fun.

Older gamers may find it a little quaint, and our advice would be to stick to something a little more blood thirsty.