Another unknown title makes it to Kinect, this time it’s Motion Explosion! More than likely you haven’t heard of this title unless you have been paying attention to 123Kinect.com, otherwise here’s what it’s about:

Make the most of your Xbox Kinect with this game designed to push Kinect’s motion-sensing capabilities to the max – assuming you can keep up! Motion Explosion is a collection of 12 games that are quick to learn but hard to master. See how many blocks you can catch and balance while dodging bombs in Heavily Armed. Juggle with every limb at once in Hack Sack. Each game features ten levels and is designed to test balance, reflexes, and coordination. Challenge friends in turn-based play for two to four players. And, for the record: Motion Explosion Dodge Ball – not what you played in gym class. Much trickier when you’re up against robot opponents who never wear down!

Overview

Honestly, I had my doubts with this game as it didn’t have much of it shown and no real details were revealed, so I automatically assumed for it to go to the garbage bin. Fortunately, it’s actually a decent game. What it really is, is 12 puzzles to master all within a time limit. I thought maybe it was a kids game because it uses avatars, but its far from it. Kids might master the first few levels, but as you progress, forget about it. If you or someone in your family are very coordinated, can be precise and able to strategize on the fly, then this may be a title for you or your family.

The Menu

The menu is the normal hover and lock method. Works fine, it is kind of strange though, it’s like warped like you are looking at some curved TV screen or something, so items to choose are particularly skinny and it is quite easy to select what you don’t want. As long as you use slow movements, you can choose what you want. The menu is simplified, there are only 4 items to choose from which include, Motion Mix, Freeplay, Statistics and Extras.

Motion Mix

Motion Mix is just an automated random selection of 3 of the games and depending on how well you do, it accumulates points for you. You can level up, which I believe the max level is 20. There’s a few achievements to this mode but that’s all that’s really to it.

Freeplay

Freeplay allows you to play each game individually and gain stars. The way the games are setup is there are 12 to choose from. I went through the task of providing you details on all 12 games. How it works is each game first provides you with instructions. If you jump to freeplay right away, you are required to view the instructions demonstration before you are allowed to play any levels, kind of a nice feature so you can understand how to play each game. Once you view the instructions, you can then play the “easy” levels. Easy levels consist of Level 1 and Level 2. Both levels are somewhat easy to do, except a couple of games I had some issues with as they aren’t as easy as the rest but they are passable. Your basic objective in each level is to obtain stars. A maximum of 3 stars can be acquired for each level.

Once you gain stars, you unlock the next set of levels which are medium. Medium levels consist of Level 3 through Level 6. Gain more stars and you unlock the hard levels which consist of Level 7 through Level 10. Each level in sequential order will add a little bit more of a challenge to each level. I will be honest here, hard is an understatement. Some of these games are ridiculous, which is why I mentioned if you are VERY coordinated, you may be able to get 3 stars on them, but I wish you good luck. I believe the developers came up with the title because in all of the games, you use motion. In half of the games, there are bombs that cause the explosions that really mess you up, hence the Motion Explosion. Also every game has some type of multiplier that you can increase up to 5. I made a list of the games and detailed each so you can understand what each one as this may be a game for some, but not all. Alright, onto the games!

Balance Beam
Balance Beam reminds me of the one side game from Your Shape which has the beam that you have to balance blocks on and drop them into the hatch. This is sort of the same idea, except you have to get as many blocks as you can on the bar without dropping any. To make matters more fun, you are on a type of conveyor belt and stars will scroll by, so you have to either stretch your legs, or move over to the section with the stars to collect them with your feet. There are also 3 buckets on each side, but you don’t want to dump your blocks in the buckets until the end. As you increase levels, it gets more difficult as it gets faster and bombs start dropping and coming at your feet. You also want to stack as many blocks as possible on your beam, as this increases your multiplier. Yes, this becomes one of the ridiculous games. I don’t know if its even possible to get 3 stars on this one in the later levels, it’s really difficult. When 5 seconds are left on the timer, you want to dump your blocks. The 3 buckets offer a score of 10, 20 and 30 points. Obviously you want to get as many as you can in the 30 point bucket, but you can overfill it and your blocks will either fall on the floor, scoring 0 or going into one of the other buckets. Stay away from the bombs as well, they will just ruin your game. Bombs that fall down will blow away all of your bricks on your beam. Hitting a bomb on the floor will shake you and your beam really good so you don’t lose as many and either way, each bomb blast decreases your multiplier by 1. It really is a challenging one.

Don't forget to dump them in the bucket!

Crank It Up
On this one, you really need major coordination. It’s like rub my belly and pat my head at the same time coordination. With your left hand, you have to turn this crank forward or backward and in a regular rhythm method. If you go to fast or to slow, it doesn’t work. What this crank does is drop blocks from the tubes above your head. In the beginning levels, it’s fairly easy, there’s just one or two shapes (square/circle/rectangle). When the shape drops, there’s a target that’s straight ahead of you. What you have to do is time it right, and hit it towards the target. It does measure power so you have to hit it hard, hit it too soft and it won’t reach the target. When you progress to the later levels, there are 3 targets and you have to hit left, center and right all while cranking, then the targets change on you. I found hitting underhand worked the best. There are no bombs in this one thankfully, but missing a shape or hitting the wrong target will lower your multiplier. The more you get in a row, the higher your multiplier goes. It’s really a challenging game.

Dodge Ball
I was hoping this was a normal dodge ball game, but being its a puzzle game, it’s not. It is kind of cool though except it’s tricky as are all these games. There are 3 robo cannons that shoot dodgeballs at you (really they are soccer balls) and you have a huge boxing glove on each hand. You have to either dodge the balls or hit them back into the robo cannons. This one requires a little strategy. The first levels are kind of easy as there is only 1 robo cannon to play with. It will shoot balls at you, but the problem is that you can’t get your multiplier high enough. If you punch the ball back into the robot, you increase your multiplier by 1, but you really want it at 5. Being this is a timed event as all events are timed, and for the robo cannon to right itself up and shoot another ball, it takes about 5-8 seconds and time is very precious in this game. In the beginning levels, I found that robo cannon will sometimes shoot 2 balls at you, do this all in the beginning and get your multiplier up to 5 and then dodge the rest. As you progress, it gets ridiculously hard again especially on Level 10. There are 3 robo cannons shooting really fast and moving all over the place and they shoot bombs as well. It’s also kind of not fair as it’s hard to judge the angle the balls are coming at you, some are low and some are high. To hit the low ones, you do have to crouch but I found it was easier to sidestep it and swing from the side and low. It is fun, but really difficult.

Heavily Armed
This one is kind of like the Balance Beam game, except you have only half of a beam on your left arm. Your objective is to match a puzzle sequence that is shown on the right (such as 3 squares in a row horizontally or 3 squares vertically), to get your multiplier by 5. Once you match the puzzle, you have to open a floor hatch and dump the blocks in. Here’s the catch, the hatch is on your right side the screen, the beam is on the left arm. First, you have to open the hatch. There a yellow gong type symbol you have to hit. Sometimes you have to hit it with your other hand, sometimes it takes a hand and a foot to open. You have to do this while balancing your left arm, it’s really hard to not drop any blocks as they are really flimsy. To get the blocks into the hatch, you have to toss them over your head and duck and all kinds of fun stuff. Blocks will drop down in a normal manner, the first levels are easier, just square blocks. Match the pattern then toss them over your head. As you get through the later levels, it starts throwing in squares, triangles and balls. It’s another challenging one. I also found you can use your head to help knock blocks in and make sure the balls don’t roll out. Luckily, there’s no bombs in this one either, but it is hard.

Juggle Struggle
What else is new, another challenging mini game! Really, overall, Motion Explosion may be the hardest Kinect game yet. This one has you juggling balls, in the beginning. The first level starts you out with 3 balls, easy enough. As you progress, it starts with these floor panels. You are in a circle and the panels light in 1/8 sections. That means you have to step in 1 of 8 directions. The catch is the panels only light up once you have all 3 balls juggling. More balls appear as you progress in the later levels, like 4 and 5 balls. Now the game is actually really accurate. If you have a floor panel light up in front of you, you have to use one foot to step forward on it. Doing this will probably mess up one of your arms as in angle I believe, maybe distance. The balls will be bouncing at whatever angle/direction you left them in. When you move, the balls don’t, so you have to adjust. In my example, you would need to kind of keep that arm behind your body to accommodate you moving. Now if that doesn’t sound hard enough, later levels will start throwing bombs at you or the balls you are juggling may randomly turn into a bomb and you have to avoid it by letting it drop. Talk about really screwing up your juggling skills. It’s really difficult. Honestly, I didn’t find any of these games easy. The Level 1 and Level 2’s of each game are kind of easy, but after that it gets difficult.

Off The Grid
This one is kind of interesting, but again it’s really hard. You really need to be able to tell where shapes line up on a 3 x 3 grid. The shapes come at you in all kinds of formations, such as 3 stacked horizontally/vertically, or 2 horizontal, 1 across (forcing you to duck). As you make it through the level, you just have to dodge these shapes and collect stars on the floor while doing it. I am just not good judging the angles these things are on so it messed me up a lot. The later levels have you jumping and ducking with tons of shapes coming at you really fast. It’s insane. I couldn’t get enough stars to unlock the hard levels but I’m pretty sure there are no bombs on it. They seemed to go in a pattern with every other game would have bombs.

You're really "on the grid" but you get the idea...

Robo Control
This is one of the first non-leg games. It just uses your two arms. Your left arm/hand, you have to pump. Your right one controls a steering wheel. The objective is to control a radio controlled robot and direct him to target areas…in the beginning. Basically, by pumping you accelerate your robot. Turning your wheel will change his direction. The robot is on like a table and there are shape obstacles that he has to go around. The beginning isn’t too bad. Later on, it gets rough. Level 10 had the robot only being able to go in reverse, so your steering is backwards. Then you have bombs as well that are stacked on shapes. Hitting one of the towers the bomb is on will make the bomb fall on you. When it falls, it short circuits your robot for a few seconds. Your target area to reach can also be covered by obstacles and you have to ram them out-of-the-way. This is probably one of the easier games, but it doesn’t sound easy and it really isn’t.

One of the "easier" games...

Sack Hack
This is probably one of my favorites. It’s basically hacky sack but it adds in some arm and hand movements. The beginning is nice, you start with one sack. You just have to keep it going, simple enough. The later levels increase speed and then add in more, on Level 10 you have to juggle with 3 sacks, honestly it’s ridiculous to me. This was the only game I kind of had some detection issues with, when I was crossing my legs, it didn’t detect it all of time, more like 90% of the time, but it still did work. I am just not that coordinated and you can see from my videos below.

This is Level 1 – Nice and simple:

This is Level 10 – A nightmare:

Shape Dodge
Shape dodge is another interesting one, you are on another conveyor belt. This time shapes come at you, more or less tetris type shapes. You just have to move out-of-the-way, to build your multiplier you have to use your hands and collect stars. Stars are on a grid section and you can move your hands to determine what grid section you are on so you can line it up to collect your stars. The later levels get ridiculous where there’s a wall and breaks down into a shape at the last-minute, so you have to guess where it is safe to pass. Stars are also coordinated using your right or left hand or sometimes both. It indicates this with colors and arrows, so you can’t pick up a “right star” with your left hand. To make it more fun, bombs are random in here as well and you have to jump around and everything.

Star Hop
Another conveyor belt game, this time you have to step on all of the stars and just avoid bombs. This one is easier than the Shape Dodge game, but it’s still challenging. You have to avoid bombs by sidestepping or jumping over them, standing on one foot, etc. They do actually have jumping more 1:1 than any other game I have played, so timing is everything, you really do want to wait until the last-minute to jump.

One of the crazy higher levels...looks challenging?

Star Stream
This is another ridiculous one that you have to be really coordinated at. The beginning is more or an introduction. You use both of your arms to collect a stream of stars, they change direction in probably a 90 degree angle, you just follow the stream by moving your arm up and down. It’s really like the roller coaster levels in Carnival Games Monkey See Monkey Do. Later levels add the floor panel gig again, so now you are trying to step in 8 different directions and trying to collect streaming stars in a degree path of 180 degrees. It’s challenging.

Tilt Board
This is my other favorite. Remember the wooden maze ball game where you would tilt it in order to get the ball onto the other side and into the whole? That’s what this game is, except the difficulty has been increased. You basically have a life-size maze ball game and you use your left arm/hand to raise and lower it frontward/backward and your right hand raises/lower it sideways. Your objective is the same, get the ball in the hole in the beginning, but you have to run around the maze and collect stars. Later levels throw in bombs and more balls. This one also doesn’t require leg motion, so it’s a little easier on you in the activity area. I decided to make a video of this one as well as it’s a pretty well-known game so you can see how it converted into a Kinect version:

Nice and Easy:

Crazy challenging again:

So those are the games in it. They are really challenging. Like I said, this is probably the hardest Kinect game I have ever played, even with practice, I don’t know if you can get 3 stars on all of the levels. That’s the overall objective, get 3 stars on each level. There’s 10 levels for each event, so you have a total of 120 levels. That’s 360 stars if you do the math, sounds crazy because it is. I thought Kinect Sports had some challenging games especially in the mini games section, but I really feel this game tops it.

Statistics and Extras

The other 2 options aren’t really menu options, statistics just gives you your stats on every single game, it is nice and detailed but I’m not sure how it would help you. The extras just consist of a redeem code option and the credits. I am not sure what the redeem code is for as I didn’t see anything for online or future expansion. The game may come with some avatar item(s) or something.

The Controls

Luckily, the developers were aware that this kind of game needed precise controls and they are there. It detects both of your hands crossing in front of each other and it even detects if you turn sideways – your avatar follows your exact motions. The only issue as I mentioned was with the hacky sack game, when I was crossing my feet it would sometimes throw it off, not frequently, but enough to mess up my multiplier. That was really the only control issue I experienced, everything else worked great. I failed more or less due to my lack of coordination and response time to be honest. Again, we have another oddball title with very good controls, I wish all games were automatically this accurate.

Multiplayer

Every game does offer multiplayer for up to 4 players, but they are all take turn games. There are no simultaneous games in this one at all. There is also no online multiplayer so it is local only.

Conclusion

Honestly, it’s not a bad game but it does lack any online interaction – it could have at least had online leaderboards to compete with your friends since everything is score based – nor does it offer any type of future expansion. I’m sure you won’t get through this entire game with getting 3 stars on every level in one day and making it to level 20 in Motion Mix, so it does have the potential for some longevity but after that, there really isn’t anything to it, once you master something you are basically satisfied with it and done. I really don’t see any future DLC with this title but you never know, if it does well, it’s possible they could throw some in. One side note, the announcer girl, she becomes very annoying. What’s worse is there no option to turn her off. She has a few phrases that she repeats over and over and over. If you don’t do good on a game, she will insult you so be prepared.

If you are a person who really loves extremely challenging puzzle games and are very coordinated you will probably love this game. It’s not super active so it won’t put a strain on you and you can probably play it daily, it’s just really challenging. I am glad this didn’t turn out to be a flop, but Majesco needs to advertise this game more if they want to get the word out about it, otherwise it will become a dust collector at retail stores. More than likely the 12 games on it won’t suffice everyone for long, so they really need to make some kind of announcement if they are planning DLC for it or not, otherwise this is one of those titles that they develop, release and never touch it again.


This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Motion Explosion!
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