Wreckateer Review: An Addictive Kinect Experience
Wreckateer is one the most addicting Kinect experiences available on the Xbox 360.
It has been a long time since I have picked up a Kinect title. I love the features that Kinect offers, but there haven’t been many titles, in my opinion, that have used the peripheral correctly. When Microsoft showed off Wreckateer at E3 2012, I was genuinely interested.
The whole idea behind Wreckateer is destroying large castles infested with Goblins, and achieve a high score to obtain a gold medal. Essentially Wreckateer is very similar to an insanely popular game most people have played, Angry Birds. I usually hate to compare titles during a review, but the similarities are uncanny. Luckily, Iron Galaxy has created an experience that is just as addictive, but changes enough of the Angry Birds formula so Wreckateer doesn’t feel like a cheap cash in.
There is a big difference between Angry Birds and Wreckateer. The goal of Wreckateer is to cause as much destruction as possible. The more destruction players cause, the higher their score will climb. Sure there are goblins in the castles you are trying to destroy, but hitting them will only give you a score bonus. Along the way there are ways to achieve bonuses to assist the player. Sometimes there will be big shield icons with point values, and other times there will be goblins that are floating in the sky begging you to hit them with your shot.
Controlling Wreckateer is relatively simple. Players simply “step up” to the cannon; place their hands together to grab the cannon, step back, aim and fire. The real strategy of Wreckateer is manipulating the shots after takeoff. There are a variety of different shots that range from a spread shot to make a single boulder into 4, a flying shot that can be controlled with precision in the air, as well as a few others to help penetrate castle walls. Level design is based around what shots the player receives, and most levels feature a set up of different collection of shots to use.
Kinect is a perfect fit for Wreckateer, and if it was controlled with just a regular controller it wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining. Precision has always been something Kinect games couldn’t seem to accomplish, but Wreckateer nails the motion controls perfectly. After the shot has fired, and depending on what type of shot you fired, players can manipulate the shot by swinging their arms in a certain direction, or by pretending you are flying the shot with their body. In other Kinect titles I have had issues with the device not picking up my hands, but I never had that problem in Wreckateer. The experience is addicting and a ton of fun.
Trying to achieve the high scores that Wreckatter sets for you will take multiple attempts of the 60 plus levels. Even if players manage to achieve the platinum scores, there is a good chance someone on your friends list has achieved a score higher that you will want to beat. Wreckateer also loves to remind you what your friend’s scores are in the top right corner of your screen.
Local multiplayer allows for a turn based game for two people, but sadly they are the only multiplayer options. Wreckateer begs to have something more creative than simple turn based options. Something like a sabotage mode where getting a certain score allows for players to manipulate their opponents shots would of enhanced the multiplayer quite a bit. It’s just a shame to see the multiplayer options to be so shallow.
Wreckateer is one of the best Kinect titles to date. It has great motion controls, addicting game play and a lot of variety which will keep you coming back. Even though the idea behind the title isn’t original, the difference it makes to the formula changes the experience entirely. If you have a Kinect give Wreckateer a shot.