Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Kinect Rush: A Disney*Pixar Adventure

Kinect Rush: A Disney*Pixar Adventure

Fall 2012 Video Games
Ages: 6 & Up
Price: $49.99
Gaming System: Xbox 360

Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure lets players dive directly into five of Disney Pixar's most popular feature-length animated films-The Incredibles, Toy Story, Up!, Ratatouille and Cars. While the depth of gaming inside each movie's game isn't what it would be if the video game drew from a single film, younger kids will appreciate the huge, high quality variety of play from this disc.

At the beginning of the game, Kinect scans players' faces to create avatar characters who can play solo or cooperatively with another player. Then, players enter Pixar's lush multigame park environment and choose to start playing games based on any of the five movies.

All of the levels require the familiar physical undertakings that Kinect's motion-detection sensor reads and translates on the screen as your avatar's movements. Your body is the game controller, so players should expect to run in place, bend down and leap upward, swing their arms, and turn their shoulders. Play enough missions, and you will get a good workout.

While a lot of the game play is intuitive, there are simple and easy-to-understand visual prompts to remind you how to move your body to make your avatar move, in case you forget. In The Incredibles, for instance, when your super hero avatar doesn't jump when he's supposed to, a prompt shows you what to do. In Cars, driving is the challenge, and Kinect tracks your arms as you turn an invisible steering wheel.

The action adventures vary enough to keep Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure challenging and interesting. Go to the Rooftop Run level in Ratatouille (where you play as a rat) and bound across Parisian rooftops, spray away flocks of pigeons with a water hose, and collect endless coins. In Up!, players must save a baby bird and get back Mr. Muntz's fly-away house by kayaking down a whitewater river, jumping through tree branches and swinging on vines. In Cars, players race on a desert test track before proceeding to other levels.

Each game level has its own mission. In the Toy Story Day Care Dash game, Bonnie's favorite toy, Mr. Prinkle Pants, falls out of her backpack as the family leaves for the airport. The objective: Playing as one of the toys, with the help of the other Toy Story toys, get Mr. Prinkle Pants to the airport by the time the family arrives. Figuring out how to overcome over-sized obstacles from a toy's point-of-view, like fences, the day care playground, highway traffic and airport baggage claim is great fun, and so is interacting with your favorite Toy Story toys.

While the environments, graphics and characters are cool, the game levels all are basic platform-style games-run, jump, fly, swing on ropes, travel on zip lines, throw huge objects, avoid obstacles, collect coins, achieve goals, win points or medals. After a couple of hours, a certain redundancy of platform gaming may take some of the sheen off the great graphics, and more experienced video game players may lose interest. Still, for the most part this game is imaginative and fun, and it is a great choice for young Disney Pixar fans.

Don Oldenburg   ©2012 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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