Even though Kinectimals isn’t the first app that Microsoft has released out into the App Store, it is the first one that really turned my head! Until now the only iPad games released by the tech giant were more like gaming-companions and less something that stands alone. Kinectimals has changed all of that with an iOS game that is nothing short of amazing.
The concept behind the game is simple and something we have all seen before from other development shops: adopt an animal and care for it like you would a pet. The reality is a complete delight and an app that you will enjoy playing with for quite some time.
Choose from 5 different cubs (with more to come it looks like!) to name and love while being responsible for their every need. Nurture your new pet by bathing and giving him affection, feed him when he is hungry, teach him tricks like sitting and rolling over and play with him by teaching him to skip or catch a ball. Each of these things will earn you achievements which display as a score on an in-game certificate.
An in-game currency system allows you to earn money for tasks which then allows you access to the store, where you can find collars (with optional pendants), new balls, food, drink and other care items. My favorite feature is the addition of a little augmented reality. Using the camera on your iPad or iPhone you can take a photograph of your environment (for instance your living room couch) and insert your lion cub into the scene (while posing him appropriately). The result is a picture that looks as if your lion cub is really there with you (well, sort of)! It is these kinds of added features that keep you coming back to this game time and again to visit your virtual pet.
The animation is impressive and the interface is reactive and very easy to maneuver. These things all combine to create a game that can easily be played by children while being enjoyed just as much by adults.
The side-benefit is that if you are already playing Kinectimals on your xBox 360 console, purchasing this app will unlock 5 new cubs for you to enjoy!
Kinectimals is currently available from the App Store for US $2.99.