The Xbox 360 exclusive video game 'Freefall Racers' requires the Kinect add-on. (Image: Official XBOX Magazine)
The Xbox 360 exclusive video game 'Freefall Racers' requires the Kinect add-on.
After releasing some big time games over the last few months such as Saints Row IV and Metro: Last Light, publisher Deep Silver switches gears and puts out a family friendly racing title in Freefall Racers.
While it doesn't have any sort of story or career mode (not that it really needs one), this Kinect-required Xbox 360 exclusive finds players taking control of one of several flying squirrels as they race one another in a form of controlled freefall through one of three play modes (circuit, single race, and time trial). It's a simple twist on the casual racing sub-genre and it's quite entertaining to play.
Taking cues from the popular kart racing style of game, players will find some power-ups to assist them on the racetrack. This includes a homing missile to temporarily take out a member of the competition and a cyclone to disorient other racers. Of course, the opposition has these at their disposal as well. Players could probably expect to be on the receiving end far more often than not because these power ups are kind of tricky to obtain.
Racers also have an adrenalin meter that builds up when making a risky maneuver or collecting one of the purple floating orbs. Once full, it acts as a speed boost - almost like NOS in a race car - that propels the squirrel at great speed. Of course, control becomes an issue.
Then again, controlling this game is part of the fun. Players will find themselves spreading their arms out as if playing 'airplane' and leaning from side to side to steer - something sometimes easier said than done. All-in-all, it leaves the player feeling kind of foolish in a childish sort of way. Unlike many other Kinect games where the execution of motion controls are either lackluster or they simply get in the way of actually playing the game, they work very well in this one.
But as fun as this game winds up being to play, it's not perfect. A little rough around the edges, players will mostly notice that it is not exactly the best looking game on the console. The squirrels come off as a little flat and uninteresting despite their individual stylings. Tracks are well designed but, like the squirrels, lack that bit of pop. They are, however, very well marked and players shouldn't need worry about making a wrong turn.
Freefall Racers is not one of those titles that will turn Kinect doubters into Kinect believers, but it is one of those that will be fun to break out from time to time and have a go at a few races. This will be especially true if there are kids in the house.
Version tested: Xbox 360
(Deep Silver supplied a copy of this game for review.)
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