Kinect Sesame Street TV review
"Won't you tell me how to get, how to get" my kid to stop asking me to play the Sesame Street game. Seriously, you know you've done something right when you have three-year-olds telling their parents, "This game is so fun!" And that's exactly what happened when I brought home Kinect Sesame Street TV, a 2-way TV experience for the Xbox 360 with Kinect.
Make no mistake, Kinect Sesame Street TV is for kids. I'd say from the age your child starts watching Sesame Street (my son started around two/two-and-a-half), your child will get something from this game. If you're an adult without children and thinking of purchasing this game, you'll probably be disappointed — unless you really love cookies or need to learn how to count.
Kinect Sesame Street TV isn't so much a game as it is an experience. Using content from actual episodes of the 42nd season of Sesame Street, you and your child will watch the episode and interact with it way more than just watching it on TV. When Grover asks for you to throw coconuts into the basket he's holding, you'll actually see the coconuts be tossed towards him. Cookie Monster asks you to jump? You jump and he responds to it. Want to play catch with Elmo, simply make a throwing motion and VOILA! You're playing catch with Elmo. It's all things that your child is encouraged to do watching an episode of Sesame Street anyways, except now the game is specifically responding to them instead of just having a short pause. So, in short, you're advancing the episode.
Each episode follows pretty much the same pattern, with counting numbers and having the Letter of the Day. You'll see a celebrity or have a song by Bruno Mars. You meet Cooper, who explains the game to you and introduces you to Flash and Mirror. Flash will aid you in capturing pictures of objects you need to find, and Mirror will show your reflection on TV. Cooper even matched the color clothes I was wearing, thanks to Mirror. You will have to find a certain object throughout a scene, like a ruler, for example. It's not always easy to spot it, but just yelling out "picture" will collect it for you. You'll go to Elmo's World, which is exactly like the show — and the kids go nuts at this part. The Kinect will put you inside Elmo's World. Think of it as an augmented reality where you can move and dance around and see yourself on TV. And of course, there's the interacting with Elmo. And if your child gets tired, feel free to sit down and just watch the episode like normal. I know my son gets in the comatose state when he's sees Elmo and zones out.
The episodes are divided into chapters, so your child won't have to play the entire 45-minute episode in one sitting. The episodes that come on the two discs are:
- Baby Bear's Baby Doll
- Goodbye Pacifier
- Humpty's Big Break
- Failure to Launch
- Rocco's Boat
It's hard to imagine that they won't release more episodes for purchase, but this is a good amount of content for the price. You also get a 1-year Season Pass with the game that gives you access to thousands of Sesame Street clips, music and videos; your own personalized playlist; and complete seasons of Abby's Flying Fairy School and Bert & Ernie's Great Adventures.
Kinect Sesame Street TV isn't perfect. I noticed that you don't really have to be that accurate with your motions or what you are saying to it, but since it's a game for kids, it's hard to hold that against it. I guess anything that makes it easier for kids is better. There is a cap at what age I think this is enjoyable, though. I can't see a seven or eight-year-old enjoying it as much as a three or four-year-old. The reason being that it isn't as much a game as it is a 2-way TV experience, like they say it is. If it's more of a game you want, then Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster would be better.
Kinect Sesame Street TV is everything it says it is. It's a great educational tool for kids that will get them interacting with their favorite Sesame Street characters like never before. It might be the future of TV. All I know is, I've never had a bigger smile on my face than when I was watching my son enjoy this game more than anything else. And it was difficult to refuse him a cookie whenever Cookie Monster came on screen. I have to highly recommend this for purchase if you have children, as it'll be difficult to find a more appropriate and fun experience for them.
You can follow Movies and Culture Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ