Event-Worthy Game Review: Kinect Sports

This is the first installment of an ongoing series we plan to write in which we highlight the very best, most event-friendly games and give a detailed review with an event planner in mind.

Ease of Play: 10
Event-Friendliness: 9
Overall Fun Factor: 9

event-friendly” aspect of the games. The action moves quickly and the point systems lend themselves nicely to contests.

Bump Bash (Beach Volleyball): In this game, various pieces of sports equipment are hurled at you and you must dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge out of the way to avoid getting hit. A very entertaining game both to play or watch others play.

Body Ball (Beach Volleyball): This game is similar to the bump bash game, except that instead of getting out of the way of the incoming volleyballs, you use your head, hands, and feet to knock them back.

Rally Tally (Table Tennis): This table tennis mini-game just involves seeing how many times you can hit the ball back and forth with the computer without letting it hit the ground. The game goes a little too quickly, especially for first-time players and isn’t particularly fun. I’d pass on this one for your event.

Panic Paddle (Table Tennis): In this game, you are bombarded by ping pong balls and must hit as many of them back in an allotted time as possible using the paddles in either of your hands. For event purposes, this is the table tennis game that you want to be using for any sort of contest.

One Bowl Roll (Bowling): The objective of this game is to pick up as many spares as you can in a row before you run out of smiley faces (you lose one smiley face each time you fail to pick up the spare). The gameplay moves quickly, which makes it a great alternative to bowling a full game if you are trying to keep things moving a little quicker.

Pin Rush (Bowling): This game is all about speed. You have about a minute to knock down as many pins as you can. The pins are arranged in their original 10-pin configuration, and once you knock all of them down, they are instantly reset. This is another good option for contests or fast-moving events.

Super Saver (Soccer): The gameplay here is nearly identical to that of body ball, only a little less fun. Unless you have a soccer theme you are trying to stick to, I’d recommend leaving this one out.

Target Kick (Soccer): This game involves kicking at different targets within a soccer goal. The gameplay is pretty entertaining and more accurate than I would have guessed. If you are going for a soccer theme, this is a great option.

Track and Field Mini Games

With the exception of the discus, all of the track and field games are pretty fun. They are also very quick to play, which makes them good for larger events when lots of people are waiting for a turn. They do require a lot of physical activity, so they are not well suited for those with limited mobility.

Discus: The discus event is probably the least fun or well-polished part of the whole game. All you do is basically make an underhand throwing motion across your body. The results seem to be rather random as well. Overall, I’d avoid this game if possible.

Javelin: If you were disappointed with the discus and are still looking to throw something, this is your game. The gameplay is fun and intuitive while still being challenging to master. Just be mindful of low hanging objects from the ceiling as you will be throwing your arm into the air with all your might.

Sprint: As far as simplicity goes, this is about as easy as it gets. If you can run in place, you can play this game. It still manages to be more fun than you would expect though when competing against a friend.

Hurdles: This is actually a pretty fun little game. You will have to mix in a few well-timed jumps while running in place to make it over the hurdles. Both the sprint and the hurdles races allow for 2 players at once, which add to the fun with a crowd around.

Long Jump: The long jump is well done as well. It picks up your running and jump timing very well, and is easy to get started.

Party Mode

This is a great option for including a big group of people all at once. First, you will pick two teams with up to six people each (or more if you have people that just want to cheer). You will pick a team mascot and then the game will randomly choose six different mini games for you to compete in. Assuming you have 6 people per team, each team member will compete in a single event. After all six events are complete, the team with the most points wins. This works well for team-building events, as it provides some healthy competition and camaraderie among teammates.

Event Themes Integration:

There are many different possibilities for event themes that Kinect Sports would work well with. Below are just a few ideas for themes and the mini-games that would best work for them.

General Sports Theme: All Games
Tropical/Beach Theme: Beach Volleyball/Body Ball and Bump Bash
Olympics Theme: All Track and Field, Table Tennis, and Boxing
World Cup/Soccer Theme: Soccer/Super Saver and Target Kick
Boxing Theme: Boxing
Casino Night Theme: Any of the games. Just have the guests gamble on the outcome of the matchups. Boxing would probably be the best choice though.

In any case, no matter what the crowd or theme, Kinect Sports is bound to make a great impression on your guests.

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