At the Microsoft booth at the Disney D23 Expo booth last week, I had the opportunity to get some time in with the new Disneyland Adventures game for Microsoft Xbox Kinect by Frontier Developments. After seeing the E3 announcements and follow-up gameplay, I had high expectations for this home-away-from-home title and I am pleased to say I did not walk away disappointed.
Jen served as my guide as she pointed out the fundamentals of the game, which you can see in the eight-minute video below.
As we met several in-game characters, and passed by even more, Jen pointed out some the basic interactions with the Disney icons and how the same gesture (e.g., hugging and high-fiving) elicits different responses from specific characters to keep them true to their nature, such as Peter Pan opting to shake hands over a hug and Snow White preference for patty-cake. Jen also demonstrated the magic wand mode which allows the player to interact with the Disneyland park in a whole new way that doesn’t exist in the real world, by bending the laws of physics.
Navigation throughout the eight lands, with 20 or so attractions represented, is performed by either voice or body motion, which is as simple as pointing to where one wishes to go inside the park (as a child might do). The attractions themselves offer the actual gameplay, spread across multiple levels which need to be unlocked in order to progress through them. The game also keeps track of the main player’s progress, so the individual game skill levels will increase alongside the player. In addition to increasing their skill, players collect coins which can be used in the games’ virtual giftshops for items such as new clothing.
To keep the game more family-friendly, it features a jump-in, jump-out option in which a second player can simply jump in and play along with the main player, as seen in the above demo with the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Along the way, the game automatically takes pictures of the gameplay which can later be shared and downloaded.
Lastly I was given the opportunity to see (and play) a newly released level from the Jungle Cruise, the Native Village, in which we alternated between aping the apes by posing the way they did and banana wars, where we had to throw bananas at the apes while ducking at the return fire. Jen also shared a brief look at one of the Matterhorn games, in which ski instructor Goofy led her down the slopes of the E-ticket mountain. For those that are wondering, although it had not yet been ready to be shown yet, Jen confided in me that one of the levels of Jungle Cruise does actually take place aboard the boats.
Although the gameplay itself does seem to get repetitive, be it faux-tossing items, making silly poses or using your body to move your avatar through the virtual space, I really did enjoy playing it and have no problem seeing how it could easily entertain a group of people and quickly become a family favorite. Kinect Disneyland Adventures is slated to be released November 15, 2011 and is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com.
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Stitch Kingdom’s coverage of Disney D23 Expo was provided by Red Lion Anaheim