Kinectimals isn't just a cute game. Oh no, the developers weren't going to stop at just making it cute. No this game is so damn cute that it almost goes entirely back on itself to become almost horrific. Sure having a Black Panther cub purring and rolling around in the dirt might seem adorable at first until you realize that the flying idiot bee thing implies that these animals have been kittens for the past 200 years. That's right folks immortal, unaging furry companions. Still think they're cute? Yeah me too.
With that horrifying revelation out of the way let's talk a little bit about the game itself. It doesn't work. Well that's not entirely true. The game turns on, the motion controls work to navigate the menus and it works adequately enough for playing with the kittens when they're just out in the field. It's when the game tries to make you compete in the events or perform tricks out in the playing field that it all falls apart.
Upon starting up Kinectimals you're introduced to Bumble, the annoying little git that serves as your guide for this game. After he shows you the island and lets you pick your first pet you can get right into playing. At first it all seems rather simple and fun as the game gives you toys with which to play with your kitten and then cuts you loose. But then it introduces games you can play such as throwing balls at totem poles to knock them over (or making your kitten play fetch, bowling the poles over). Some of these are fun but most of them don't work. At all.
The problem here is that the Kinect has issues with certain movements, most of them being the ones that this game asks of you. For example, throw a Frisbee. Now try throwing it to the left or the right. It doesn't work so well and the only way to counter it is by changing where you're standing, causing your viewpoint to rotate a bit, and then throwing it. But if you extend your hand to much the next Frisbee will be thrown prematurely or at bizarre angles. This stuff happens when throwing balls as well.
But the worst of it is any of the events or tricks that require you to jump or when you must "drive" a toy truck. Jumping is, to put it lightly, almost totally unresponsive. It's almost impossible to tell if the reasons you failed to jump over an obstacle is because you jumped too early, jumped too late or due to the delay before the kitty follows your example. This makes any of the timed events that require you to jump almost impossibly aggravating until you've played enough to actually get the timing down. Some of this seems to be due to the fact that the Kinect itself doesn't register you as having jumped until your body moves a certain amount so it may be easier for some to get the Kinect to respond than others.
Much like Kinect Joy Ride the driving in this game basically asks you to hold your hands like you have a steering wheel and pretend to move it like you're driving. This is about as silly as it sounds and works as poorly as you might think. Luckily the driving events are still more responsive than the on-foot races so that minimizes frustration.
There is a lot of content in this game and it does a lot to really make this experience more enjoyable. Even though you pick a single pet to start with other kittens will become available over time. But you're still rewarded by going back to your previous pets as the kitten will bond with you the more you use it to the point of actually responding to its own name. You also earn money by winning events that can be used to buy more toys or even decorations for your home.
While there is a lot to like about Kinectimals how much you can enjoy it depends on how much difficulty you have with the motion controls. The game looks fantastic, to the point where you can see the fur on your cat getting dirtier as it rolls around, and it runs smooth as can be. But it doesn't play solidly enough to the point that it's easy to recommend to adults. It's a fantastic game for kids though and so long as they aren't put off by the freakishly cute kittens then they'll find a lot to like about this game.