6:00 pm EDT, June 9, 2012

Early review of ‘Harry Potter Kinect’ holds concerns over game being undeveloped

CinemaBlend previewed Harry Potter Kinect at E3 earlier this week, and they’ve shared some thoughts on the general gameplay.

On paper, the game sounds cool: You play alongside Harry, Ron, and Hermione as yourself (the game scans your face) as you all go through 30 of the memorable scenes in the books and films.

But CinemaBlend finds the game to be underdeveloped:

Like using the force in Star Wars, using spells in Harry Potter through the Kinect has been a hope of mine since the technology was announced. I pretend to hold a wand and cast spells most of the time anyway. Unfortunately, also like Star Wars for Kinect, this game too generally seems underdeveloped and generic.

There are 30-something levels in the game, all recreations of the most exciting scenes from the eight Harry Potter films. You also play as a new character using a facescan feature that even sorts you into a house, so you play alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione as yourself. This part, I dig. The players’ interactions range from swatting away pixies to casting spells to chasing the golden snitch. You’ll use all the basic Kinect moves – leaning, ducking, jumping, pointing, etc.

Where the game has potential to be special is with voice commands, allowing you to call out your spell with your voice before you cast it, just like in the Potter universe. Here, it signals the game to change your spell to whatever you want to use. Even though I was rather unimpressed with the endless leaning left and right of Quiddith and the poor aim of casting spells on Death Eaters as I ran away from them, I’m still excited to see how the voice commands play out.

The writer goes on to note that the game is intended for 6 to 10 year olds, and therefore he speculates that kids may much more appreciate the simple technology than he does.

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Will you give Harry Potter Kinect a try when it hits shelves in the fall? The game was announced May 25.

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