OXCGN’s Wreckateer Kinect Review

OXCGN’s Wreckateer Kinect Review

Does it catapult to great heights or sink like a cannonball?

by Chris Fox

© 2012 Chris Fox

It was no surprise that Kinect would make its presence felt with the 2012 Summer of Arcade line up and that presence is extended in the form of Wreckateer.

One of the most enjoyable activities in the video game space is destruction and destruction is the order of the day in this enjoyable little arcade title.

Goblin infested towers stretch arrogantly skyward and need to be literally knocked down a peg or two.

Step forward your avatar. It’s your job to take down these structures with a variety of airborne wrecking balls.

Ye Olde Wreckateer

The game is presented in a great medieval cartoonish aesthetic, which will surely please the Shrek fans out there.

This is yet another Kinect game that kids especially will love and the fun visual presentation along with the straight forward controls and premise will keep even the littlest young ‘uns occupied for hours.

There are huge towering structures on the horizon and they need to be destroyed. What else do you need to know?

Wreckateer brings us the pure thrill of destroying stuff in this latest Kinect party game. Once the projectile is loaded into the trebuchet, all the player needs to do is grab the air in front of them, pull back to build the tension, aim to the left or right, tilt up or down and finally release to fire.

What a beautifully simple principle.

The trajectory of the standard ball can be altered whilst in flight by swiping it either left or right, Fred Flintstone style.

A selection of airborne wrecking balls are available in your arsenal, each with its own abilities. The splitter ball can break apart into four fragments for wide-spread damage and the explosive ball detonates on command to level those bigger structures.

Stay On Target

The inarguably greatest weapon available in Wreckateer is the flying shot. This item takes the game to its pinnacle of enjoyment.

As with every item, it can be activated by thrusting both hands to the heavens (which will make you look stupid but not any more than any other Kinect pose) and can then be flown with your body to the desired destination.

The flying shot controls really well despite Kinect’s limitations (more on that later). It also changes the game into a mini Pilotwings of sorts, as collecting as many point rings as possible on the way to the shot’s final resting place is mandatory to reach those high scores.

Wreckateer has already been referred to by many as an Angry Birds clone, but it actually has more in common with the excellent Wii title Boom Blox.

Dave Lang from Iron Galaxy Studios even said so himself. The truth is that Wreckateer borrows from a number of inspirations, but all to good effect.

Fans of both those games will have fun with this little title, but unfortunately Wreckateer never soars as high as Birds or Blox.

That’s It?

The sense of destruction just isn’t as grand or as exciting as it should be.

After hitting a tower, it falls down with more of whimper than a fanfare. Since destruction is this game’s selling point, you would have thought Iron Galaxy would have done all they could to make the wrecking as much of a spectacle as possible.

The game is fun in single player and multiplayer, but I would still personally recommend Boom Blox over this.

Luck plays a big part in this game at times.

On one occasion, one of my fellow Wreckateer actually fired her shot by turning around and bending over to pick something up. She scored a bronze medal with one shot… that she launched with her behind.

That said, this is more of a problem with the genre and the nature of Kinect than the game itself, so it doesn’t matter all that much and certainly doesn’t hamper the enjoyment of the game.

We meet again…

As I am forcibly reminded during every Kinect game that I review, Kinect is still way too unresponsive a lot of the time and is not as accurate as a “hardcore” gamer like myself needs.

On several occasions, splitter balls didn’t split when myself or my friends threw up our hands. This is incredibly frustrating, especially when you’re on your last ball and you’re going for that high score.

As I mentioned in my Mini Ninjas review though, this is not the fault of the developer.

Iron Galaxy are doing the best they can with the tools that Microsoft has given them and should not be penalised for it. The annoying moments cannot be overlooked, however, when reflecting on the overall game experience.

To Wreck or not to Wreck…

Bottom line: Wreckateer is fun and you could do a lot worse with your Microsoft Points.

If you’re looking for a new multiplayer motion controlled party game, then Iron Galaxy Studio’s offering does serve that purpose.

It’s just a shame that Wreckateer doesn’t surpass what came before it.


© 2012 Chris Fox

Published by


Co-owner and EIC of oxcgn.com

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