Let’s face facts: selling games for Microsoft Kinect isn’t easy. When trying to target the more mature, adult gamers of the world, the task is even more challenging. It looks like the developers at Double Fine may have finally cracked the mystery, turning to what else? Dubstep.
Along with announcing the sequel to this year’s Kinect collection of mini-games in Happy Action Theater, a lengthy video of the various modes still in production was released. We won’t do Double Fine’s job for them, but skip ahead to the 32:00 mark to see why the Kinect might have finally found its killer app…in Dubstep. Party planning is likely to commence shortly after.
Obviously the kinds of experiences being pursued here are more for recreation than immersive ‘gameplay,’ but the results can’t be argued with. The original Happy Action Theater found much praise and success among families and younger children, but the developers have obviously set their sights much wider this time around.
Not that destroying an imaginary city as a fire-breathing dragon isn’t fun at any age, but those capable of playing M-rated games suddenly have another gameplay option that’s just as cool. Sure, shooting up alien warriors and modern terrorists is all well and good, but how many games allow players to star in their very own wub-wub-tastic Dubstep video? Exactly. None.
Frankly, the fact that this type of gameplay hasn’t been popularized already is a bit disappointing. While some developer spent their time trying to develop gripping narratives or half-assed attempts at shoehorning Kinect functionality into existing games, Double Fine seems to have spent their time using the Kinect to do what games are supposed to – offer some fun.
It’s hard to imagine that any group of friends wouldn’t enjoy the action just as much as those featured in the video – namely Double Fine’s Greg Rice, Drew Skillman and Chris Remo. The gaming community has shown that they are willing to put up serious money for any Double Fine product based on premise alone, so this sequel is likely to bring the same amount of confidence.
We won’t be convinced that the entire game will be as impressive or blatantly designed to make any party a bit more absurdly ridiculous until we play it, but this is a good start. Rock Band may have re-shaped party gaming, with Dance Central carrying the trend over to the Kinect. Could Happy Action Theater‘s sequel be the next successor?
The sequel to Happy Action Theater will likely be released later this year on Xbox Live. We’d recommend getting the word out.
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