Have Game, Will Play: Freefall Racers
Racing is a genre that the Kinect demoed(Burnout Paradise) early and ultimately launched(Kinect JoyRide) with. There have not been a multitude of developers to tackle this type of game on Kinect since. And with good reason, they typically don’t work very well. Freefall Racers is a Kinect racer with flying squirrels. Yup, flying rodents. To be fair the game’s controls are fairly simple. By holding both of your arms out at a 45 degree angles you can guide your rodent of choice through the winding albeit brief levels. Putting your hands at your side enables you to dive to build up speed. This is crucial to almost win races. Tilting your arms up applies an air brake(get it?) while a kick with either foot to the side unleashes one of the powerups. The controls usually work but the boost, which required that I lean forward, was hard to trigger.
Boost is built up by collecting bright purple-pinkish acorns while powerups are reserved for bright yellow acorns. Have I mentioned that these acorns are ridiculously small and difficult to pick up while trying to not crash into rocks and trees? I played a good number of races and could not try out at least every powerup once due to my inability to acquire these precious nuts. While playing I began to wonder if my depth perception was lacking or that the acorns are a risk/reward situation with a heavy emphasis on risk.
Freefall Racers has just a few modes: single race, circuit, time trials and a coop(2 players) mode. No online play for the tens of people who would even want to. There is fun to be had with this game for about 5-10 minutes, at a time, assuming your arms don’t give up earlier. Clearly Freefall Racers is aimed at kids but that just means that the tight turns and awkwardly placed acorns are just being cruel.
Developer: Smoking Gun
Publisher: Deep Silver
Price: $10.00 But it at $5 if you enjoyed the trial
Platform(s): Xbox360 Kinect