Of the Xbox 360 Kinect's 17 hands-free launch games, four are aimed squarely at families, as the brand new Kinectimals and Kinect Adventures join franchise offerings Game Party: In Motion and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows - Part 1.

The Kinect Sensor itself launches in North America on November 4 for $149 and in European regions on November 10 for €149, and comes bundled with Kinect Adventures. Microsoft has been steadily revealing new aspects to the game as its launch approaches.

The River Rush adventure has been the most widely demonstrated. One or two players lean left and right to steer a dinghy through white-water rapids, jumping to reach bonus areas and collect icons along the way.

There's also Reflex Ridge, a cross between a mountain-top obstacle course and a rollercoaster ride; Rally Ball, in which players bash beach balls against bricks and targets; 20,000 Leaks, featuring a leaking underwater observation deck. The final game is expected to include about 20 such adventures.

Kinectimals is a pets game rivalling the PlayStation 3's EyePet (which works with Sony's new Move controls) and Nintendo's Nintendogs brand. Players choose a wild cub to make friends with, play with, and lead around obstacle courses.

As if that wasn't enough, there's a limited edition that comes with a plush toy tiger or cheetah for $10 extra.

The creators of Game Party: In Motion are known for the Game Party series on Wii, and the contents of those previous titles are included in a hands-free form here: darts, hoops, table hockey, horseshoes, puck bowling, and rootbeer tapper all make re-appearances among other fare.

Harry Potter is likely to be the most well-known franchise among all Kinect games for some time to come. Unlike the others, it's available for the Wii, PlayStation 3, DS and PC, and the Xbox 360 version doesn't require a Kinect Sensor in order to work - but it does add a little extra.

Using Kinect means that players can use hand and arm gestures to cast spells, and there is also a special co-op mode available on Kinect, setting budding magicians up against the Death Eaters.

Kinectimals is due for release on November 4 in North America, November 10 in Europe for $49 / €49. Game Party: In Motion is set for November 18 & 25, $39 / €39. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows - Part 1, due November 16 & 18, is priced at $59 / €69 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, less on other systems.

 

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