When it comes to the Xbox One, there is definitely no shortage of games being released. Whether you’re after full on AAA titles or obscure indie games, you will usually be able to find something to suit you. One thing the store is certainly short of though is Kinect games, and Virtual Air Guitar Company are helping to try and rectify this with their offering, Squid Hero For Kinect. Whether you are looking for a game for yourself, or something for the whole family, Squid Hero will appeal to everyone.
The game sees you take control of bright and loveable squid, as he makes his way through various rivers, lakes and sewers across the world. Throughout these journeys, you’ll be picking up and throwing broken up chunks of ice into, primarily, other chunks of ice. This is the basic premise for the whole game, so is simple enough just easily jump in and out of whenever you feel like playing it. Each level is broken up into different sections of ice objectives, including matching colours of ice, breaking up bigger icebergs, turbo areas and giant obstacles you must break up to get past. For each of the ice areas, you have a rating bar at the side which will increase the better you perform, with a spectacular score being your aim for both the colour match and mayham sections. This adds a higher difficulty aspect to the game for those that feel like they need more of a challenge, but the section can be completed with any score, so the game isn’t reliant on you being perfect to progress.
There is a total of five world for you to adventure through, with a total of five levels in each of these. The levels themselves are fairly short, with the fifth in each world simply being a boss fight of sorts, so the game can be played through quite quickly. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t offer you much replayability after these levels have been finished, as there is no free play, specific multiplayer levels or much reason to play through everything again, apart from for the achievements. Whilst the environments in the levels may change quite a bit, the actual layouts don’t alter particularly much, and if you stay on the game quite a while, you’d be forgiven for feeling the game gets a little repetitive.
What the game lacks in content it makes up for in its look. The bright and colourful nature of the game draws you in straight away, with lots of blues, oranges and yellows connoting the happy and simple premise the game portrays. The cartoon styled animation fits the game really well, and makes it look very inviting and attractive to play, especially to a younger audience. To add to that fun factor, you can collect coins throughout the levels, and save these up in order to buy some silly hats for your squid to wear. With everything from a top hat, to a knight’s helm, and even a crown, you’ll be wanting to grab every last coin so you can make your squid look as dashing as possible. As a boost to your coin bonus, there is a hidden treasure chest in some of the levels, giving you that incentive to fully pay attention and search every last corner whilst you glide through the levels.
You can play through all the main levels in 2 player if you so wish, but you will need a big room in order to stagger yourselves how the kinect wants you to stand. On top of that you will also still need the room to both be able to stretch your arms out and lean to either side without bumping into each other. Having an extra squid with you definitely makes the game more enjoyable, and makes you feel a little less silly than waving your arms about by yourself. The only problem is with two squids on the screen, a lot of the ice blocks you throw can get caught by the other rather than hitting the ice, or you often end up hitting your ice blocks into each other and getting in each others way.
The Kinect registering for the game itself is ok for the most part when simply grabbing the ice, but personally for me didn’t always seem to pick up my bigger movements accurately. When trying to throw the ice, it didn’t always seem to come out of my hand, and in the turbo sections it seemed hard to get the game to register my movements as quick as I wanted the squid to dodge the obstacles. Apart from these problems, the Kinect seems to recognise your arm movements ok and in single player you can just about manage to play the game in a fairly small space, as you don’t have to move your feet about very much.
Whilst Squid Hero may not be the longest or most in depth game, it achieves its goal of being a simple but fun Kinect game on a console where we are greatly short of these interactive games. With quick but enjoyable levels, customation and 2 player on top, you will definitely have a lot of fun with these adorable squids. The game’s achievements will provide an additional challenge for those that want a little more out of the game, but it’s simple and fun nature will keep you coming back for more. If you are looking for a new addition to your Kinect collection, then definitely consider Squid Hero and be prepared to make some new inky friends.