Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Monday 26 March 2012
What’s it about? Turns out someone finally played Angry Birds, thought ‘Hey, you know what, that’s fun’ and set about working out how to make it for Kinect – can we be the first to say ‘Ouch’ on behalf of Angry Birds developer Rovio Studios?
Wreckateer is the result, it’s raison d’être the rather long-winded premise that goblins have taken over the king’s castles and, rather than send in the soldiers, he’s decided to have each occupied fort demolished.
As one of said wreckateers, it falls to you to do the wrecking, though thankfully you’ve not only got a catapult to assist, but a whole repertoire of exploding munitions to launch at the unsuspecting pigs (oops, we mean goblins).
You’ve got your detonate on impact bombs, detonate when you put your arms up bombs, guided bombs – which sprout wings when deployed – and even bombs which split up (à la the little blue birds of Angry Birds) into numerous smaller pieces of shrapnel.
What makes Wreckateer distinct is its clever use of Kinect, the level of integration more than you might expect of a game with such a simple premise. You start by approaching the sensor, next you put your hands together – so prompting your onscreen avatar to grab on to the catapult. A step back pulls the elastic taught, while pitch and aim are controlled by your body’s own angle.
Once happy with your aim it’s simply a matter of opening your hands, the rigged bomb sent flying towards its destination. The various bomb types then come into play, flying bombs are controlled by putting your arms out in mock airplane fashion for example, while the distance cluster bombs move apart is governed by how far apart your arms are – subtle and intelligent touches which have a huge impact on those high scores.
Worth the wait? Well, it’s not going to set the world alight, but if Wreckateer can carry on it’s combination of fun and imagination throughout its 60 levels we could be looking at a Kinect title which delivers variation as well as innovation; not a bad investment if Microsoft pitch it at the right price.
For: Xbox 360 Kinect via XBLA
Developer: Iron Galaxy
When? Summer 2012
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