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The 10s: Kinect Games You Want to Show Your Friends

Posted on June 27, 2012 AT 05:44pm

So your skeptical friends are coming over for a night of gaming, and you have your shiny new Kinect plugged in to your Xbox 360. You’ve moved your couch around, and your coffee table, in order to get the optimal experience. So which games do you get? Look no further than this article! In no particular order…

The Gunstringer

Developer Twisted Pixel is well-known for the charming and hilarious games they’ve created for the Xbox 360. The Maw, ‘Splosion Man, and Comic Jumper are some highlights, and The Gunstringer is their first foray into the Kinect world. Controlling the marionette with one hand and shooting with the other (either while standing, or sitting), and with just enough adult humor, the Gunstringer is one of the highest-rated Kinect games out there, and perfect to show off to someone who has never seen a Kinect in action.

Dance Central 2

When the Kinect launched in November 2010, Harmonix’s Dance Central was considered the “killer app” for the peripheral. Using your entire body, gamers performed dance routines in their living rooms without a controller, for the first time. Dance Central 2 built onto the successful formula of the predecessor, adding dance battles and a great song library. Dance Central 2 has become a staple at house parties around the world. Just search it on Youtube for proof.

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

Released alongside the Kinect, Ubisoft’s Your Shape: Fitness Evolved was a revelation. No longer was a cumbersome and confining step-platform needed in order to get a good workout in your living room (I’m looking at you, Wii Fit). The fitness game/sim showed off the Kinect in a perfect way: it scanned your entire body right into the game, and used it to analyze your weight and tailored a fitness regimen to your particular needs and goals. Ubisoft added a few fitness games in there, too, to further exploit the Kinect’s diverse abilities.


A must-have for families with children, and…let’s be honest…adults can dig it too! You’re the proud owner of a wild animal. Now, you have to clean it, pet it, play fetch with it, talk it through obstacle courses, and teach it tricks. Everyone remembers that cute little girl on stage at E3 2010, with Skittles, her kitty on the screen. Well, that concept is bang-on and it’s available in your living room! Kids love it!

Child of Eden

Created by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, this is the spiritual successor to Rez. The game opened Ubisoft’s E3 2010 press conference and it was one of the first to be shown using the Kinect peripheral. The game highlights the use of motion and music, and blends them perfectly using the Kinect technology, lending itself to a completely unique gaming experience. Players shoot various objects with the motion of their hands, stringing together musical destruction. Visually, it’s stunning, and it is the most immersive Kinect title on the market.

Rise of Nightmares

Panned by critics everywhere, Rise of Nightmares is still considered the first “hardcore” Kinect title. Despite having some lag issues with the sensor, Sega’s title is the first to use axes, pipes, hammers, and any other blunt object to kill baddies. Swinging motions to mimic those used in real life are required, and it’s worth showing the game to your friends just for that. Plus, it’s a little scary. This was Kinect’s first M-rated title.

Double Fine Happy Action Theater

The ultimate Kinect game for mindless family fun. The geniuses at Double Fine have created a wacky, innovative title. Mostly aimed at kids, DFHAT projects the gamer (or gamers, up to eight!) onto the screen in real time, and surrounds them with boiling lava, colorful balloons, and skyscrapers that make you the Godzilla! Not so much a game, per se, as it is a showcase.

Fruit Ninja Kinect

A rarity, in that Fruit Ninja Kinect is a successful mobile-to-console port. Instead of sitting down and swiping your fingertips across a tiny phone screen, Microsoft brought Fruit Ninja into our living rooms with the magic of Kinect. Using your arms and feet to slice through hundreds of fruits, Fruit Ninja Kinect is a perfect co-op title…as long as you give yourself plenty of room in between you and your partner!

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster

Another fantastic Double Fine production, Microsoft geared the promotion heavily towards the families with small children, and wisely so. This is a Kinect title that can be played with two players simultaneously, and cooperatively, taking the players on a journey of discovery and learning that only Sesame Street can provide. The Kinect controls are simplified to make sure that children of all ages can enjoy all that the game has to offer. For adults, Once Upon a Monster has a tendency to take us back to when we were kids, too.

PowerUp Heroes

Speaking of taking us back to when we were kids… who among us didn’t dream of one day being a superhero? Once again, the magic of Kinect allows that possibility. Ubisoft’s PowerUp Heroes puts you (literally) in the body of a superhero in his/her infancy, with the intention of defeating a bad guy who wants to destroy the Earth. As you defeat progressively powerful enemies, you gain their powers. Each superpower has its own gesture with which to activate it, in a turn-based third-person manner. Two-player simultaneous co-op makes it a family-friendly affair for the preteens in the room.

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