Adrenalin Misfits is the most kiddy game out of all of the Kinect launch titles. Sure, most of them are kid and family friendly, but this is kiddy to a higher power. Not that that is a bad thing, though. In fact, it is good because it identifies the target audience pretty early on. Kids will like this game. It has responsive Kinect controls that actually work, bright colorful graphics, goofy characters, and isn't too difficult. Older players might find it a bit slow and boring, but it is just right for younger kids under 12 or so.
- Kinect Sensor Required
- Publisher: Konami
- Developer: Konami
- ESRB Rating: “E" for Everyone
- Genre: Snow/Hoverboarding
- Pros: Decent controls; lots of stuff to unlock
- Cons: Slow and boring; so-so presentation
Adrenalin Misfits stars a bunch of "Xtreme" animals that like to snowboard / hoverboard. They talk and act like X-Games athletes circa 1999, which is pretty goofy these days. You can also use your avatar, and for me nothing is cooler than a Crackdown 2 Agent suit-wearing, Optimus Prime-helmeted avatar tearing down the mountain (yeah, that's my avatar). That's extreme.
The game offers a great feeling of progression and unlocks. Just doing the tutorial stages earns you achievements, and from there on each event you complete opens up new stages, boards, and more. You are constantly rewarded, which is fantastic, and there is a decent variety to the tracks you open up so there is decent motivation to keep you moving forward.
The gameplay uses the same basic motion controls as the rest of the handful of other boarding games / mini-games for Kinect. You stand perpendicular to the screen and lean towards your front foot to go faster, lean backward or forward to turn, and jump to make your character jump. Unique to this game is that you can raise your front foot and then put it down to use items (that shoot out colored energy to knock the other racers down), raise your arms up at your sides to glide while you're in the air, or do tricks by twisting your body or lifting your foot while your character is in the air.
Unlike the other Kinect boarding games so far, though, the controls in Adrenalin Misfits actually work quite well. I didn't ever have any problems with the game not recognizing my movements and making me feel like I wasn't in control. Everything was very responsive and worked surprisingly well.
There is a tiny problem, though. It is all a bit too simple - you only have a handful of tricks to pull off and your other inputs are limited. And a bit too slow - seriously, you feel like you are crawling down these mountains even while you're winning. It isn't going to hold older gamers' attention for very long.
But I do think younger kids will enjoy it. It doesn't ever ask too much, or move too quickly, and can be fun if you don't expect too much out of it. Perfect for kids.
Graphics & Sound
Graphically, Adrenalin Misfits is sort of mixed. The characters are all over the top and kind of goofy and ugly. The tracks are generally quite nice looking, though.
The sound doesn't fare as well. The voice acting is awful, and the music is generic and boring.
In the end, Adrenalin Misfits isn't going to hold older gamers' attention for long, but kids will like it. The Kinect controls work quite well, and there is a ton of stuff to unlock that keep you motivated. It struggles a bit because it is way too simple and easy, however, which is why adults and teens won't think much of it but it should be at just about the right pace for kids. I can't recommend gamers rush out and buy it, but it is a solid kid game that you might pick up, or at least rent, if you've got younger kids running around.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy