5) Happy Action Theater/Kinect Party
Like Dance Central, Happy Action Theater feels like one of those necessary Kinect staples. It isn’t anything amazing, but it’s a creative party game with some of the most memorable minigames out there. Xbox One’s sharper Kinect camera could do wonders for this game, since it relied so heavily on showing people’s own play space. The idea of having your living room submerged in lava was really cool, but the fuzzy image took away some of the wonder.
6) Fable: The Journey
Another case of a good idea that couldn’t survive under flaky Kinect recognition, Fable: The Journey had a ton of potential. It had the Fable series’ brand of charm, an interesting take on horse maintenance, and some enjoyable on-rails sorcery. A simple fix would be to re-release the game on the more accurate Xbox One Kinect. Like Child of Eden, it really only needed a better Kinect to shine.
Leedmees was one of the more unique and overlooked Kinect releases. This puzzle game had two players using their bodies to create bridges for Lemmings-esque creatures to walk across. As the game went on, the paths got more complicated and the traps more complex. It was like a virtual game of Twister for two players. Leedmees, more than most games, was simply a smart use of Kinect that deserves more fans on Xbox One.
8) Rise of Nightmares
Rise of Nightmares was bad, and the game itself isn’t necessarily worthy of a sequel. That said, the idea of freely walking around and fighting in an environment entirely with Kinect had potential. It was awkward to be sure, but some smarter controls and a similar horror setting could make for an intense horror experience.
Have any of your own Kinect favorites you’d like to see on Xbox One? Add them to the list by sharing them in the comments below.
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For a device that’s included in every box, Xbox One’s version of the Kinect hasn’t received a ton of love from anyone, Microsoft included. Sure, it is a major part of the new console’s entertainment side, and the tech is poised to make logging in to Xbox Live easier than ever, but in terms of games there isn’t much. Kinect Sports will make its return, Fantasia seems interesting, and some Xbox One exclusives boast Kinect integration, but it’s far from the console-esque launch the original Kinect had. Considering the device is so deeply married to the platform, it’s a bit odd that it’s getting less love than the original peripheral did.
On the other hand, can we really blame anyone for not jumping to support the new Kinect? The original was notoriously flaky, relegated to the role of glorified Netflix remote. The games, even the best ones, had their fair share of issues, and few took advantage of the hardware in truly smart ways. The Kinect was a challenging device to develop for, and even a more accurate one isn’t necessarily going to solve that.
That said, there were some games that were either great ideas that could use the extra fidelity of Kinect 2.0, or were simply half-baked concepts that need some extra work. Here are ten Kinect games that could use a second chance on Xbox One.
1) Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor
Quite possibly the worst-reviewed game on Kinect, Steel Battalion was a mess of troubled design paired with inaccurate controls. Many reviewers had to give the game their lowest scores because they couldn’t get the game to work at all. As someone who got it working well enough to see the potential, I have to say it would be awesome to see a second attempt on Xbox One. The sensation of scrambling to hold your VT together with an AI crew was evocative, but the controls were too broken to appreciate something so unforgiving.
2) Dance Central
Xbox One should have a Dance Central game on launch day. Even if Harmonix was just assembling a best-of collection of the previous games, they're a staple of the Kinect even more so than Kinect Sports. I mean really, who doesn’t love Dance Central? Fantasia: Music Evolved may be the next great thing in rhythm games, but there’s no harm in having the best of both worlds.
3) Binary Domain
Binary Domain didn’t have Kinect motion controls, and didn’t even require Kinect for voice controls. That said, if Kinect is the future of voice recognition, then a Binary Domain sequel deserves a place alongside it. The voice recognition in Binary Domain was terrible, but the idea of talking with your squadmates — with the ability to compliment them or chew their ears off with insults — hasn’t had the chance to shine.
4) Child of Eden
Child of Eden may have been the only Kinect game that genuinely worked well, and even then it had its ups and downs. The game had to be dumbed down to work well with the Kinect, and I’m just not sure that was the original intent. That said, when Child of Eden was on its game, the experience on Kinect was magical. A better recreation of that on Xbox One would be a welcome addition.