Game Party for Kinect Impressions

Posted November 29th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Game Party: In Motion released two weeks after the wave of launch titles that arrived alongside Kinect for Xbox 360. The game attempts to present an amusement park and arcade atmosphere with mini-games that fit those respective environments.  A total of 16 mini-games have been included, some of which are mildly enjoyable but not terrible compelling, while others are downright awful.

I thought to give Game Party a try due to interest in the sports related mini-games like Pop-A-Shot and QB Challenge as well as some throwbacks like Root Beer Tapper and Skee-Ball. I like the general variety being offered but ultimately felt the potential wasn’t realized. It is clear after trying out several different Kinect-capable games that quality really falls on the developers shoulders as the hardware can really deliver under the right circumstances.

The overall experience of Game Party can be a frustrating one primarily due to a touchy confirmation and navigation system. Unlike some of the other games for Kinect there is no visual cue to see where control is on-screen. The confirmation button on the lower right hand side of the screen, or back button on the lower left, are triggered by putting the arm out slightly and in front of the body. Often this results in the meter starting to fill only to stop as though the arm was moved away, or for having time spent trying to “find” the confirmation area.

This is mainly an annoyance in moving through the menus and getting through the tutorial spots. However there are also games such as Pool where every shot is lined up and then has to be confirmed before the shot is actually taken. That makes that game in particular tedious and lengthy to complete.

Game Party works much better in single player which is unfortunate. These mini-games were designed to be played with family and friends but there seems to be an issue with responsiveness particularly when two players are involved. Making those on-screen confirmations becomes even more difficult, almost as though the game gets confused.

Then there are the actual mini-games where it seems to have trouble tracking both players at once. In Pop-A-Shot for example my brother was able to put up a big score but 90% of the time I couldn’t even shoot. The ball just seemed to stick to my hands no matter the motion I was making.

There is also no online play which is a bummer. I doubt there would be an online community for this game regardless but it is tough to justify not having online play in any game. There are a few mini-games that may have been enjoyable online, though likely they would have just been fun a few times before moving on to something else. It just seems with how poorly Game Party handles multiplayer offline that online could have saved it a bit.


  • Root Beer Tapper
  • Hoop Shoot
  • Skill Ball
  • Smack-A-Troll
  • Table Hockey
  • Tic Tac Toe Face-Off
  • Double Racquets


  • QB in Motion
  • Horseshoe Hysteria
  • Bocce Ball
  • Bag Toss


  • Darts
  • Shoveboard
  • Pool Hall Party
  • Puck Bowling
  • Ping Cup

It is the simple games that work best, with Shuffleboard, Bag Toss, Bocce Ball, and Horseshoes probably standing out as the most properly functioning examples. These mini-games are not exactly exciting and likely wouldn’t do much to motivate anyone to put Game Party into the console. They also still feel results come down to luck more than they are skill based. Rootbeer Tapper has its appeal but again it has to be played by a single person or else trouble occurs.

The mini-games that are the worst require some sort of precision or big motions. The QB Challenge-like throwing at moving targets, Pop-A-Shot, Air Hockey, and Darts are terrible and you never feel in control of what is happening on-screen. Complete wastes of time.

Game Party: In Motion has some good ideas for mini-games that would be fun for Kinect. Unfortunately poor responsiveness ruins many of them, and the ones that work are simple enough that they won’t keep attention for long.