I’ve personally always been on board with Kinect, immediately adopting the original peripheral and accruing a sizeable portion of its catalogue. The - mostly - good times that followed meant I took no issue with the second generation initially being a compulsory part of the Xbox One package. I did, however, grow to take issue with the fact that it received excruciatingly little software support thereafter.
If that sounds a tad complex (in the least patronising way possible), FRU is very accommodating and might be able to help. Pass the controller off and designate a person to each operation, use objects to extend your reach, even tactically dress to more easily fit into small spaces or cover larger areas. Perhaps most useful is the ability to pause gameplay whilst repositioning yourself, which opens the experience up to those less able and to those with small play spaces.
Whichever tactic you choose to employ, whoever’s in front of Kinect will naturally look the fool. Embrace this and there’s a great party game that’ll see your friends and family takings pins, lunging, sitting on the floor, standing on one leg and more. The silhouette’s pretty unflattering and seemingly adds a few pounds if you’re self conscious, but if that’s the case you probably aren’t going to be up for crab walking around the room with your arms in the air...
A few personal examples.
Unfortunately, there isn't much substance to justify busting it out more than once. There are four short chapters, each one introducing a new mechanic to keep things fresh, in which you’ll easily acquire all of the collectibles. You’re rewarded for doing so with access to FRU’s prototype phase, which is drastically different aesthetically, whilst maintaining the same core mechanics in a less polished form. It’s interesting to see how the game developed over the course of a few levels, but nothing more.
The undoubtedly front-and-centre gameplay mechanics are complemented by a serene soundtrack that effectively develops to be quite urgent in the final, challenging stages. Meanwhile, the simple art carries a warm and charming glow that’s impossible not to be taken with, mirroring the touching connection made in quite literally guiding a character by hand. Naive storybook framing furthers the effect, as if you were helping them off to sleep with a whimsical bedtime story the whole time. In an odd way, it’s the closest I’ve come to parenthood, because I was essentially playing that role in what was evocative of nostalgic childhood memories.
Perhaps the final hurrah for Microsoft’s Kinect, FRU sends it off with a bang. A sweet, innovative and tight platformer that’ll work your mind and body, the game unfortunately comes to an end all too quickly.