Take your wrecking elsewhere!
Pros: Mindless time-pass.
Cons: Shameless rip-off of Angry Birds; Controlling with gestures is tacky; Gets boring real fast.
Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platforms: X360 (XBLA)
I've seen YouTube videos of people doing the most incredible things with Kinect and I understand that Microsoft's baby is more than just a webcam, so I find it preposterous that the best that videogame developers can do with Kinect is get it to respond to goofy gestures. Wreckateer typifies that lack of innovation. It's a simplistic, childish product that might have passed as a decent title in a world that didn't already have Angry Birds. It's unoriginal, has woefully annoying Scottish accents and the gesticulation is downright embarrassing if you have other people sitting in your living room.
Cut, Copy, Paste
Wreckateer is what you get when you combine Angry Birds¸ with the birds replaced with rocks and pigs with goblins, port it to Warcraft 3's graphic engine, and tack on some motion sensing to give it a USP. That's essentially all it is. I would end this review here, but since I get paid by the word...The game is essentially a series of around 60 levels in which your sole aim is to launch a variety of stones at castles with the hope of destroying them and all the goblins hiding within. Points are awarded for the cartoonish destruction you wreak, and not dissimilar to a certain handheld title with birds, you get a rating out of three for each level, which serves to unlock new levels and worlds.
The game is entirely reliant on Kinect, and requires a fair amount of space to play, so spare yourself the trouble if you lived in a cramped apartment. I found my modest living room too small and often had to clamber awkwardly over chairs and sofas that got in the way. Wreckateer is played from a first-person perspective in which you fire stones at castles and then redirect them in mid-air to do maximum damage. The motion controls essentially mimic a dysfunctional relationship with an imaginary partner. You'll first find yourself having to step forward and then back (just like doing salsa) to load the catapult and launch stones, before hurriedly directing said stones left and right with aggressive slapping actions.
There are a number of different stones available as you aim to destroy these castles. These include a bird-like (ahem, ahem) flying stone that disinterested me too much to bother remembering its name. Its path can be controlled after launch by spreading your arms stupidly and pretending you're gliding. Maybe it's because I'm over six feet tall, but the control mechanic didn't work too well, and I found myself bending my back far too often to enjoy it. There are around four other stone types, which are more or less identical to Rovio's blue and black birds.Review: Wreckateer (X360)
Quite a Wreck
Unless you're particularly excited about the prospect of throwing rocks at castles, Wreckateer is not likely to provide you with any meaningful entertainment. I know it's just an arcade title, but it's far too juvenile and unoriginal to be appealing, and does a complete disservice to the potential of Kinect. The cumbersome control gestures don't do much to help either.
Gameplay And Design: 1/5
Overall Rating: 2/5