Can IO Interactive's Mini Ninjas help make Kinect work? Find out in our Mini Ninjas Adventures review.
Published on Jul 12, 2012
Side Kick’s latest game wants to be a fast-paced action game. Unfortunately, it’s been released on Kinect…
Make no mistake there’s actually a fun, if admittedly simple, game lurking beneath Mini Ninjas’ cute and colourful exterior. What a pity then that Kinect just isn’t able to offer the frantic chaotic experience that Side Kick was obviously shooting for.
The aim of Mini Ninjas Adventures couldn’t be simpler: you must negotiate 21 levels, while taking down as many adversaries (along with the occasional boss) as possible.
The action takes place across three distinct planes, and you’ll use three different weapons in order to beat the ninjas found on each. Your bow manages anything in the distance; throwing stars take out any enemies on the middle plane; and your sword will dispatch anyone found in the front row.
It’s a clever system, as new waves of enemies will constantly appear and you’ll have to switch between weapons in order to bring them all down.
The problem though is that Kinect just isn’t fast enough or accurate enough to do this as efficiently as the game requires. We lost count of the times we couldn’t hit ninjas in the back row because our arrow gestures would suddenly go undetected and even recalibrating the controller made no difference.
Kick an enemy to either stun them, or send them to the back of the playing area.
You also need to make slow deliberate gestures to ensure the best possible results (particularly when sword fighting), which goes against the frantic pace that the game wants to be played at.
This in itself is something of a pity, because the core concept of Mini Ninjas Adventures is actually a lot of fun. Yes it gets repetitive, but there’s a lot of charm in the characters you encounter, while Side Kick has done a good job at introducing different types of magic (our favourite being the screen-killing Earthquake move that’s activated by jumping) enemies and power-ups to keep even the youngest gamer entertained.
Side Kick has even added mini-games, but they’re bland and throwaway, asking you to do little more than repeat the base moves ad nauseum.
7.0 / 10
6.5 / 10
5.8 / 10
5.4 / 10
N/A / 10
5.8 / 10
Ultimately Mini Ninjas Adventures would have been far better if it didn’t use Microsoft’s peripheral. And that’s not the sort of thing you want to be admitting this far into Kinect’s lifetime.