Kinect might not be the must have accessory Microsoft hoped for on the Xbox One, however many people love to use it for the fantastic voice commands, thanks to a pretty limited range of quality games on the Xbox 360, there’s little surprise that Kinect 2.0 isn’t seen as a must have for the gaming side.
Boom Ball rocks onto the scene promising to mix things up a little, a fun, active and energetic game, that looks fun to watch and is even more fun to play.
Starting off, you find yourself on a map, with only the initial level open, after selecting to start, you are looking down a court which has various blocks down the far end, by slapping your ball, Volleyball style, you’ll hopefully break up a few blocks, and as the ball bounces back towards you, it’s your job to block it while continuing to target any remaining blocks.
While a very simple game of 3D Arkanoid, you’ll soon find yourself comparing Boom Ball to various different areas, Sports with Squash and Volleyball aspects, gaming with a whole host of games based on the old Arkanoid engine of knocking away blocks by rebounding a ball back and forth which is also a nod to pinball tables, and finally the most important of all, entertainment.
Now don’t get me wrong, we all hope every game is in some way entertaining, but Boom certainly ticks a few boxes.
Kinect does a great job of reading where your arms are, regardless of the size of your room my Kinect camera was positioned off center, angled, and quite low and it still seemed to work perfectly. and thankfully it’s your own hand to eye co-ordination which is more likely to let you down.
Your quest is to continue moving through the mao, collecting stars which will in turn unlock further levels. One star is awarded for completing the level, a second for hitting a very generous Silver time, a 3rd for a much more challenging gold time, and finally a 4th star for completing the entire level without.
Due to the low requirements for the silver, you’ll easily unlock 2 stars on each level which will carry you through the majority of the 50+ levels, but the clever gold time placements will regularly fall just outside of your grasp, meaning ‘just one more try’ is a common excuse before you move on.
Graphically everything is colorful and sharp if a little basic, no matter how many balls your trying to keep on screen at once, everything moves fluently without hitches, and the sound while not an integral part of the game, certainly isn’t annoying.
In fact the entire game is very inviting, It’s great fun to watch and even more fun to play, and rather than making onlookers feel tired just watching you participate, Boom Ball will make you want to get up and have a go yourself.
Best of all is the variation, some levels see you aiming at stacks of blocks, others have moving targets and obstacles, while another might be a stage filled with alive blocks trying to hide from your Boom Ball.
Boom Ball costs £7.99 and is also available as a bundle with Squid Hero, or better still the amazing BeatSplosion.