In the past, children have always wondered what it would be like to star in a television show amongst all their favourite characters.
Well skip forward to present day and that dream has finally became a reality with Microsoft’s and Sesame Workshop’s Kinect Sesame Street TV for the Xbox 360.
Utilising the Xbox 360’s Kinect sensor, children can finally be immersed into the wonderful world of Sesame Street alongside the likes of Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Abby, Grover and of course everyone’s favourite Elmo using the Kinect’s motion sensor, camera and voice controls.
This is by no means a game but fully interactive television.
Kinect Sesame Street TV’s menus are very simple to navigate and are easy on the eye with its bright and colourful fonts and backgrounds making even these menus attractive to pre-school children.
As with its wildlife laden sister game Kinect Nat Geo TV, this contains 8 full Sesame Street episodes spanning 2 discs with each episode separated into 9 chapters.
Some chapters are interactive and some just require the player to just sit back and enjoy the show.
The interactive ones require the player to assist a certain Sesame Street character(s) in simple tasks, whether you’re helping Grover count coconuts by throwing them inside a box he happens to be holding, or throwing Paul the talking ball to Elmo, there is certainly fun to be had and each character makes you feel part of the show.
If the player decides not to participate, the characters will impressively react accordingly and even on some occasions calls on another character to help instead.
What impressed me the most was the beginning of every episode which includes a digitized fictional character named Cooper and his pal Mirror, who introduces the show and the letter of the day.
This impressed me as Cooper recognises the player and puts on a shirt with the same colour as the players shirt whilst the player can be seen in Mirrors mirror.
Elmo’s World is also something else that impressed me by displaying the player on screen whilst Elmo’s sketchy dream-like world uses the player for many different features in different situations.
For example, in one scenario, I had a crayon watering can attached to my hand as I was required to water animated plants then afterwards it showed me growing out of 3 plant pots as I move around my front room.
The onslaught of colours onscreen is perfect for younger children and the player is mirrored onscreen and included seamlessly into the onscreen activities which is fantastic for young ones to play along.
Another task that is included in the game which is a lot more fun than the variation featured in Kinect Nat Geo TV was the photography tasks.
These tasks required the player to watch out for certain hidden objects throughout a chapter whilst the characters played it out.
It was easy to either forget about the episode playing out and focusing on looking for the objects or watching the episode fully forgetting about looking for the objects.
When an object is seen, players are then required to point at the screen and shout “Picture!” and at the end of the episode, the objects found are then counted to see how many was found.
The visuals are what you would expect from any Sesame Street episode, loads and loads of colour which is designed to make it easy for preschool children to watch and it does so without a hitch.
The characters look superb in full high definition as well as each fictional, sometimes computer generated locations, whilst not detailed, look inviting even to adults.
These visuals go hand in hand with the games sound, every character I voiced fabulously with the dialogue kept simple and easy to understand.
Certain chapters even include extremely catchy songs specially written for Sesame Street with even a special guest appearance to sing one of these songs from the one and only Bruno Mars, these were a delight to watch and also to sing along to.
Microsoft and Sesame Workshop have successfully created the ultimate children’s television show fully immersing children into the world of Sesame Street. Every character and their personalities are accounted for which act accordingly to whether you assist them in their activities or not. And then there is Elmo’s World which is a full on experience in itself. Kinect Sesame Street TV whilst more focused on preschool children, older kids and even adults will find some fun to be had here.
Kinect sesame Street Tv
Developers: Soho Productions
Publishers: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Children Interactive
Release Date: 18th September 2012
Story – 3/5
Graphics – 4/5
Gameplay – 4/5
Overall – 4/5