If you are like me and you still love and have your Kinect plugged in for family fun and games then there is a good chance you have heard of Finnish developer team: Virtual Air Guitar, the team behind titles such as Beatsplosion, Kung-fu and Air Guitar Warrior. Well, the good news is that they are back with the latest game in the Boom Ball series: Boom Ball 3 for Kinect.
You begin by simply stepping in front of the sensor and away you go, no complicated setups to worry about here. After selecting your first game, the aim is to simply swipe your paddle bats in a Tennis racket like motion against the on-screen ball to smash as many cubes as you can in a quick of a time as possible. The gameplay arena is set up just like a squash court with a roof, side and back walls which you can use to manipulate the direction you are aiming for the ball to get behind some pesky at time obstructions.
You have fifty mini-games of two or three sets to play through spread out over five family-friendly environments including a farm, alien planets and more. As you would expect, the games get progressively harder as you advance. Early on you simply destroy standard cubes, but as you play through you are then faced with tougher and sometimes unbreakable cubes that need special upgrades to your ball which you find as you play.
As you continue clearing missions you collect stars which are used purely for unlocking more skins for your paddles and beating times trying to claim gold medals for faster clearances, but if that isn’t good enough for you, get a picture of anything you want using your sensor and use that instead. You speed up and slow down the pace of the game by selecting the difficulty which grants three stars for the faster-paced turbo setting and only one for the more family-friendly normal mode which is the ideal setting for young kids or family members who still call your Xbox a Playstation.
What Boom Ball three does really well is present the game in a great family-friendly way. The farm levels are full of blocky animals, the desert has scorpions and old western caravans etc… and they all come with a groovy soundtrack which just fits the scenes perfectly, although I did come across an issue which might just be a bit of an oversite from the dev team.
The missions are displayed as a continuous snaking path with one level showing alongside the next which is fine, but as the later missions were starting to get a little bit on the tougher side for my nearly four-year-old son, at the time of writing I was unable to find a way using the Kinect gestures to scroll back to the easier early missions for him to play again. With all but the most basic controller support to enter some of the menus, this was the only real issue I came across as the is no tutorial in game to tell you how to do this, although I did manage to scroll once by accident, I have not been able to replicate this since.