Wreckateer Review

For most small children, there’s quite a bit of joy in smashing things.  Throwing your toys, smashing a LEGO structure or even obliterating a snowman bring nothing but shear excitement at a young age.

You’ve grown up now, but you still want to smash things.  If only you had a catapult or something similar, right? Well, that’s where Wreckateer comes in.

Releasing as part of the Summer of Arcade collection, Wreckateer is a Kinect title that allows you to launch projectiles at castles and towers.  You start the game being recruited to a wrecking crew by two individuals by the names of Tink and Wreck.

Wreck and Tink basically serve as your guides through various tutorials as you progress through the game.  Don’t expect too much of a story to come in here, but they do a decent job of explaining the majority of the shots.  Certain shots, such as the bomb or flying shot, are explained fairly poorly initially.  However, you’re able to navigate to the menu to view a much more complete tutorial to assist you in your wrecking.

The mechanics of the game are rather simplistic, keeping the experience enjoyable.  To start your shot, you’ll walk forward a few steps and extend your hands together to grab the catapult.  Once you’ve grabbed it, you’ll want to walk a few step backwards to generate more power for your shot.

Once you’ve achieved your desired power for the shot, you can then move left or right, or even adjust the power of your shot by moving forward or backwards if you need to do so.  As you’re aiming your shot, the targets you’re projected to hit will become illuminated.  Once you’re satisfied, you’ll release your shot.

For the basic starter shot, you’ll simply swipe up, down, left, or right to move your projectile to the desired location. Certain shots, like the flying shot, will require you to “activate” it by putting your arms in a certain position.  Once you’ve activated the shot, you’re free to continue moving forward to collect bonuses and ultimately hit your desired location.

Hitting goblins, dynamite, pigs holding on to hot air balloons and more will ultimately lead to you earning a higher score.  The higher your score, the higher the multiplier that you can earn.  You’ll max out at a 4x multiplier, which you’re earning in hopes of achieving a gold medal or the highest score on your friend’s leaderboard.

Based on the level that you’re currently working on, Wreck and Tink will give you a certain amount of objects to use.  It’s very similar to how Angry Birds works by giving you options that you have to use in order to beat a level.  Most of the shots work rather well, but a certain few can feel gimmicky at times.

While Wreckateer is ultimately fun, the difficulty and learning curve can be a bit frustrating at times. You’ll blast through quite a few of the early stages earning “gold”, but you’ll eventually find yourself trying certain levels numerous times and searching through the menu to figure out a few of the controls.

What you can’t ignore, however, is that Wreckateer is just fun.  Coming from someone who doesn’t use Kinect for more than voice commands, I spent quite a few hours on my Saturday afternoon looking like a fool playing Wreckateer.

The game was only announced roughly a month ago and hasn’t had much time to gain a fan base, but it’s a solid arcade title for Kinect fans.  Does it stand out as being worth of a Summer of Arcade release? I’d lean towards saying no, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still check it out.

If you’re in the mood for smashing things and you’re in the market for a Kinect game, then Wreckateer is more than likely up your alley.  While things aren’t explained as fully as they should, it ends up being a fun experience with a ton of levels to make the game worth your $10 purchase.

Wreckateer was developed by Iron Galaxy Studios and published by Microsoft Studios. An Xbox 360 copy was provided for the purpose of review.

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