Connecting with Kinect via Kinect Fun Labs

Connecting with Kinect via Kinect Fun Labs

  • By: CM Boots-Faubert
  • Posted 30th Mar 2012

Kinect Fun Labs

Kinect Fun Labs

Now that you know what the Kinect is and have a better idea of how it works, let's take a look at the different programs that Microsoft and its partners have created as part of the Kinect Team -- to help showcase both its capabilities and, to a limited extent, its technology -- which they have named Kinect Fun Labs, and which were introduced to the world at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles.

Kinect Fun Labs takes the familiar form of an Arcade offering on the LIVE system; in fact it is similar to the structure of the previously released app "Game Room" that offers gamers the simulation of a traditional game arcade with a selection of rooms that can be decorated with objects that are unlocked during game play, into which the gamer can place representations of retro stand-up arcade game machines that each contain the specific game with which they are branded.

Using the app, the gamer can decorate each room in its virtual space using themes or the logos of the specific game companies as well as the objects and images that they have unlocked through game play within the app, and then place their games in each room in the form of stand-up arcade machines, and move from room to room and game to game, playing them by selecting the appropriate machine.

Kinect Fun Labs is similar in that the player must download the app client -- which is not itself a game but is an accessible app that has some of its own content and functions in the form of Avatar Utilities, as well as serving as the framework through which the add-ins are accessed via The Kinect Fun Labs Main Menu -- and once you have downloaded and installed the various add-ins, most of which are free, you can play them through this app.

It may interest you to know that these add-ins include a selection of in-game Achievements with associated Gamerscore that you can unlock and add to your current totals -- so if you happen to be a gamer who likes unlocking Achievements and adding to their Gamerscore, Kinect Fun Labs not only provides a showcase for the different game play capabilities for Kinect, but also offers you a bunch of free Achievements and Gamerscore as part of the rewards for exploring the capabilities of the Xbox Kinect!

Let's take a look at the add-ins and what they offer Kinect gamers:

-- Junk Fu: 240 Microsoft Points --
The first Kinect Fun-Labs add-on, Junk Fu asks the question can you master Junk Fu, or will Junk Fu master you? Created by developer Wahoo Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios in February 2012, Junk Fu supports HDTV at 720p with in-game Dolby digital audio, as a single-player title (there is no co-op play for this add-on).

This add-on has gamers chopping, kicking, and smashing junk as it flies off of the junkyard conveyor belt, challenging players to turn junk into junk food by cranking up the rate by which they burn calories. The more that the player moves, the more calories that they burn, and the more that they burn, the more goodies that they can earn in the game.

The game has a total of 8 Achievements which are worth 50 points, and include:

-- 5000 Score (5 G) Reach a score of 5,000
-- Break Away (10 G) Reach a score of 20,000
-- Chop-O-Matic (5 G) Blast through 40 screens of objects without missing
-- Cupcakes (5 G) Burn 18 calories in a single game
-- Dinner Mint (5 G) Burn 3 Calories in a single game
-- Learn To Share (5 G) Share an epic victory picture with your friends
-- Pizza Party (10 G) Burn 35 calories in a single game
-- The Image of Victory (5 G) Share 10 epic victory pictures

-- Battle Stuff: FREE --
The second Kinect Fun Labs add-on, Battle Stuff brings the battle to your Xbox and Kinect, as you watch your favorite household items step into the ring for bare-knuckled brawls. Gamers scan their stuff into the game to see what kind of fighters they become, and then coach them on to victory!

Developer by Smoking Gun Interactive and published by Microsoft Game Studios in November 2011, Battle Stuff supports HDTV in 720p and includes in-game Dolby digital audio, as a single player game (there is no co-op in this title). There are a total of 8 achievements in Battle Stuff, worth 50 Gamerscore points including:

-- All Pro (10 G) Created 25 fighters
-- And the Winner IsÂ… (5 G) Won a match against an AI opponent
-- Bring It On (5 G) Got 4 wins with 1 fighter
-- Keepsake (5 G) Shared with
-- Last Man Standing (5 G) Defeated an opponent using a super move
-- Meet the Challenger (5 G) Shared with friends
-- Ready to Tumble (5 G) Scanned an object
-- Rock, Paper, Scissors. (10 G) Blocked all 3 moves in 1 match