Kinect Sports Rivals

The latest in the hands-free gaming franchise is a major disappointment


The controversial (and compulsory) Xbox One hands-free controller finally gets a flagship release. To paraphrase Star Trek, it’s not good, Jim. Like previous Kinect Sports, it has events that you can play alone or against opponents (either locally or online). The effectiveness of these events varies wildly: Tennis is decent; football is unplayable; bowling is good; shooting is okay (when it works) and in fairness, wake racing is a blast. Rock climbing is disastrous, because it frequently asks you to raise your hand out of the Kinect’s line of vision to ascend. Sometimes the Kinect wouldn’t register my movements and I lagged behind, while the virtual coach yelled at me to do better. Other times, Kinect didn’t acknowledge finger movements, which are essential for bowling and shooting - at one stage the shooting wouldn’t begin because it wouldn’t let me pick up a gun. The menu is buggy and user-unfriendly, and the voice controlling is erratic, leading to demeaning, ignored screams from at least one gamer.