Microsoft in collaboration with NASA have released a free new Kinect game by Smoking Gun Interactive via Kinect Fun Labs called Mars Rover Landing. The game is a simulation of the upcoming mission of NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity. Here’s more info from NASA:
In collaboration with Microsoft, Corp., NASA has a number of forthcoming experiences geared for inspiration and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). With Xbox, NASA is unveiling “Mars Rover Landing,” an immersive experience for the Xbox 360 home entertainment console. The experience allows users to take control of their own spacecraft using Kinect and face the extreme challenges of landing a rover on Mars. The game will be hosted in the Xbox Live Marketplace and in a special destination on the Xbox Live dashboard dedicated to the Curiosity rover. The dashboard will also include pictures, video and more information about the mission.
And here’s some more info from the game’s Xbox Live Marketplace page:
How hard is it to land on Mars? Test your skills! Your mission: guide NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity to its landing site safely and on target. Use your body to direct the craft and control thrusters as you descend. Gain avatar gear and achievements for a safe landing. The rover’s success depends on you! The Games on Demand version supports English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese. This game requires a Kinect™ Sensor.
There is also a “Mars Experience” available for the Xbox 360’s Kodu Game Lab game creation software (Kodu is available for 400msp in the Indie Games section) although unfortunately Kodu doesn’t support Kinect so you can’t make Kinect games with it. (Come on Microsoft, add Kinect support to Kodu and allow developers making Indie Games in general to use Kinect too!) Here’s info from NASA about that:
Additionally, a new Mars experience in Kodu, which allows children to learn computational thinking by creating their own video games, is designed to help students learn about commanding a rover on a quest to make discoveries about whether Mars was ever a habitat, a place that supports life. Standards-aligned curricula for teachers will also bring these 21st-century computer skills directly into the classroom and into afterschool organizations supporting academic success and college readiness.
Here’s some more info about the “Mars Experience” for Kodu from the Kodu Game Lab website:
Kodu Game Lab is proud to announce a new update to Kodu which highlights NASA’s mission to Mars, exploration of new terrain, and programming autonomous robots.
Kodu: Mars Edition
Kodu Game Lab has been updated with a new Rover character, 3 professionally developed levels, and 3 new curriculum pieces. Designed to engage students through game development, Kodu: Mars Edition will show what it will be like to explore the surface of Mars, how to program an autonomous vehicle to scan and inspect unique features in the terrain, and allowing students to recreate and simulate their experiences after researching a Mars landscape.
Partnering with leading educational experts in many fields, along with professionally developed game levels and features from Smoking Gun Interactive, we can’t wait to bring the next level of Kodu to our community. We are excited to see teachers experience Mars in new ways, as well as see what our community creates on Mars.
Check back often for sneak peeks, in-game video action, and the latest news. In the meantime, check out what the landing will be like by visiting NASA’s video. If you want to experience the landing first hand, try the Kinect game,“Mars Rover Landing”, available free today on Xbox LIVE.