Boom Ball for Kinect was developed and published by Virtual Air Guitar Company on Xbox One. It was released on November 28, 2014 for $9.99. A copy was provided by Virtual Air Guitar Company for review purposes.
Raise your hand if your favorite Kinect-based experience was the “Rally Ball” game in the original Kinect Adventures on Xbox 360. Me too! Well, good news — now we’ve got that same idea expanded into a full ID@Xbox game in the form of Boom Ball for Kinect.
If you’re like me, the idea of a first-person, 3D, motion-controlled Brick Breaker sounds like an absolute blast. Indie studio Virtual Air Guitar Company seems to agree and created 55 levels of brick breaking to satisfy that craving. The only question: is it any good?
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions was developed by Lucid Games and published by Sierra. It was released on November 26, 2014 for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is a punishing experience. It will destroy what faith you have left in yourself as a gamer. It will force you to try over and over in vain as you continue to fail. But just like Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (and its sequel) on Xbox Live Arcade, Geo Wars 3 will keep you coming back for more.
True story: I bought my first HDTV and an Xbox 360 after seeing Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved for the first time. So obviously, I’m a fan. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions improves just about everything in the original and adds a ton of new content. This is the third game in the series (not counting Geometry Wars: Galaxies on 3DS/Wii U, since most people don’t seem to count that game for whatever reason), and the first by new developer Lucid (and published by the recently resurrected Sierra). It is both a trip back in time and a look forward. What has stayed the same? Your little ship-like shape moves around in the now familiar twin-stick shooter style game, as you blast away other brightly colored ships and shapes on a stark black background filled with psychedelic effects and particle explosions. It’s only sort of retro, as nothing even remotely close to it could have been made back in the days of quarter-munching arcade machines. It’s addictive, and it’s hard. Very hard. So, what has changed? Quite a bit.
Kalimba is one of those games that you will refuse to put down until you’ve finished the current level. “Come on…I have to be able to beat this!” you’ll say as you restart again and again. It’s also a lot of fun.
Eight levels and a boss battle were available in the pre-release beta, and already the challenge and fun on display has proven this is going to be a game to watch for. Originally known as Project Totem, this puzzle-platformer from Press Play features both single-player and co-op modes in which you guide two (or four in co-op) differently colored totem pieces through psychedelic worlds. The graphics are all made out of stark, thick lines and bright colors and are mostly made up of triangles. The “trixelated” art style almost made me wish I was still in school so I could draw these characters in the corners of my notebooks.
Beginning puzzles range from the challenge of having to move both characters simultaneously to avoid two sets of obstacles at once to making sure the right-colored character moves through the right-colored barriers. There are all kinds of other challenges that are introduced as you move through the colorful worlds, as well as mini-game rooms where you can try to improve your skills. In the eight levels available, more kinds of challenges and obstacles continued to build at a nice pace, with seemingly new gameplay additions coming in on almost every level.
The first boss battle was a real wild ride too. While still using the same gameplay mechanics, it throws everything on its head to make the platformer’s more laid-back puzzle vibe turn into almost a SHMUP-style action game.