The first board game that’s fully dedicated to Kinect arrives and it’s another one of those you aren’t sure what to expect titles. If you haven’t heard about Twister Mania here’s the synopsis:

Left foot blue! Right hand…Kinect? The classic game ties you up in knots without using a mat with this new take on Twister play powered by Xbox Kinect. Turn yourself in every possible direction and bend in ways you never thought possible in 16 different Twister challenges. Try to mimic the movements you see on screen, move fast to clear shapes, try and squeeze through cutouts, and more. You can even dare your friends to match your movements in a game of Twister H-O-R-S-E. Up to eight players can join in four-on-four party play. You can relive your most hilarious moments thanks to pictures the game snaps during every round.

Overview

The developers, Naked Sky, are brilliant, I will give them that, however the game itself is quite dull which is why I’m not blaming the dullness on the developers. They did the best they could and this may be a “different” type of party game to bring out when the friends and family are visiting, but you can be the judge.

The Menu

The menu navigation is done a little differently. It reminded me of the first Your Shape Fitness Evolved title. There are vertical cylinders that you have to stand inside of. Once you are inside, the menu appears and you choose an option and you hover your hand over to choose it. The main screen starts you off with 4 of these cylinders which offer, Party Play, Play It All, Free Play and Options which includes your music and effects volume and the credits.

Party Play

Party Play is defined by the game as a multi-round party with friends. This will probably be the most played section of the game to be honest. When you start this mode, you are asked to choose a short, medium or long session. You then are asked to choose between head to head or teams for your players. Head to head offers play for 2-4 players and teams offer 2-4 teams.

This is the only game mode where I seen an original Twister item, the spinner unless you count the circles. You take turns spinning and whatever color it lands on, decides the type of challenge to play. Each person/team is represented by a color and from what I could tell, it randomly chooses who goes first as all of the versus challenges are played via single player turns. You are graded on how well you do with each challenge and whomever has the most points wins that challenge. Your main objective is to win a race to the finish by winning the most challenges. That’s basically it for party mode, it’s more of a random mode than anything.

Play It All

This section is defined simply as play through 90 levels. 90 levels sounds like a lot, but it’s not a lot when levels last only seconds and minutes. I look at this mode more or less as the campaign mode. Once you are in this mode, you can choose to play either solo or co-op which does offer simultaneous play. After deciding, you start with the beginner challenges. Intermediate and advanced are displayed although they are locked and you have to complete this whole section in order to unlock the rest. I counted 30 challenges per difficulty, which gives you your 90 levels.

Challenges are scored with points and stars. Depending on your score, you earn stars. Each challenge has 3 stars max, if I recall, you must have a certain number of stars to keep unlocking the sets of challenges. Each set of challenges offers 4 challenges, sometimes they are the same with just different shapes, sometimes they are completely different. That’s really all there is to the actual mode, but I’ll break down the different types of challenges you will encounter.

Challenges

Shape Frenzy
Fit your body into shapes – this is somewhat different. There are shapes in the air, and you have to cover as much as much of the shape as you can. Each shape also has bonus stars for you to collect to give it a little strategy factor. On the beginner mode, it’s fairly simple, 10 shapes per challenge. I did happen to make a video of both the beginner level and the advanced level, the only difference is advanced requires you to cover a lot more of the shape making it much more challenging. Check it out for yourself:

Beginner

Advanced

Break It Down
Bring down the wall piece by piece – this one is like a puzzle game, I did actually like this one the most out of them all. There are colored blocks of all different shapes and sizes, and you have cover the majority of only one color in order to break it out of the wall. Your objective is get rid of all of the blocks. Some blocks have bombs in them that are timed so you have to be quick to blow it up so it helps you out. Here’s a video of it on beginner:

Twist & Fit
Fit through the holes – this is basically Hole In The Wall, but I will give credit, this is a nicer version of it and much more enjoyable. There are stars in this one as well, and you can use your hands to grab the stars to not knock down any blocks. 10 different holes to fit through and you will be all over the place in this one. Here’s a video of it on beginner:

Slalom
Dodge the shapes – this is another unique one. We seen something similar in Motion Explosion however this one seems more enjoyable and challenging to me. It has the star deal again, but you will be running all over the place as it makes you run from one side to the other and jumping as well with turning sideways. It can be chaotic. Here’s a video of it on beginner:

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In the head to head and team modes, there is one additional challenge called Spot On. You get to challenge your opponents with your own poses which is more or less like PIG or HORSE. I did try it, but didn’t see a point to it playing by myself (didn’t have extra bodies available) so I didn’t bother recording it. It may be a fun challenge at a party though.

Those are the main challenge types you will keep recycling. Even though the concept is the same throughout the entire game, there are different groups of objects such as the Shape Frenzy had fish for one group, ABC’s for another and so on. I played through them quite a few times and never had any repeat, and as we know, repetition is not very welcomed.

Free Play

Free play mode is basically your practice mode I would call it. You can choose anything you like and play anything you like, more or less so you can practice. It gives you all of the options the other modes give you, such as choosing head to head or teams, solo or co-op. The intermediate and advanced levels are not locked in this mode so feel free to try them out before you are scored for them affecting your progress.

Graphics/Sound/Controls

The graphics are pretty generic, so don’t look for anything amazing with this one. They are colorful though which makes for a happy game I suppose. The music is more upbeat, almost dance style, so it shouldn’t annoy you or your friends during gameplay. Luckily, they implemented your full body image so there is little to no problems controlling this game with Kinect. I did end up finding you need to utilize your full playspace though for this title.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s a decent game, but like I stated, probably only a party favorite, if it’s a favorite at all in your household. Out of all of the board games available, I’m not sure why this one was chosen and the developers probably don’t either. They did what they had to and actually nailed the concept of Twister down, which is why I referenced them as being brilliant. Instead of twisting up your body with friends on a mat like we all did back in the day, you still get to twist up your body but in new ways which is much welcomed. Twister never let you work together before, and this new co-op mode does so it is a cool concept on an old favorite, so overall, a job well done by the developers, the idea of using Twister, not so much.


This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Twister Mania
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