Over the past few years, Kinect games have been few and far between, largely due to Microsoft virtually ditching the notion of supplying one with the Xbox One bundle. I actually thought they’d stopped developing for it some time ago, but nevertheless, here is Boom Ball 2 (for Kinect if you didn’t gather that).
The premise is simple. Break a load of colourful bricks by slapping a ball around within a rectangular play space, eventually clearing the stage. Straight away, Boom Ball 2 for Kinect shows similarities to Kinect Adventures’ very own “Rally Ball” in which players have to do exactly the same thing to clear each stage. Boom Ball 2 for Kinect, despite being colourful and entertaining, is certainly not original in design. Everything worked as it should and the menus were simple enough to navigate once I remembered how to operate the Kinect. I asked my 6-year-old son if he wanted to play but he was more interested in YouTube, so I gave it a go by myself.
Unsurprisingly, everything responded as it should. When you slap the ball, it generally travels in the desired direction and satisfyingly cracks those pesky bricks, however, the levels show a lack of variety and soon become quite dull with gameplay soon wearing thin, relying heavily on the same mechanics over and over again. Multiplayer gets a few giggles but, as my 6-year-old did, children and adults alike soon get bored.
Sadly, Boom Ball 2 for Kinect tries to jump on a hype that died out a long time ago. In a vicious and niche market, where even large licenses like Star Wars failed to survive (see the tragic Kinect Star Wars for reference), there’s simply no interest for an aged title like Boom Ball 2, especially considering this game doesn’t bring anything new with it. Had Boom Ball 2 for Kinect come out five or six years ago, during the heat of the great Kinect boom, then perhaps it would be a different case, but my expectations have certainly been met with this failed attempt at a rehash of a ship that has long since sailed.
It plays well, looks good, but all in all is a game that, since launch, already felt as though it had had its heydey many, many moons ago.