Good news for Xbox One owners with a Kinect system – you’re getting the chance to play a brand new game this Christmas! We’re reviewing Boom Ball 3 by Virtual Air Guitar, previously responsible for numerous other titles for Microsoft’s motion sensor.
These days, when you think about motion controlled gaming most people will think about games like Ubisoft’s Just Dance series or a variety of VR games. If you’re not into dancing, however, there are very few family-friendly games out there these days – though I have to mention that I have no experience with Nintendo’s Switch so far. Boom Ball 3 is a welcome change within that landscape, because it provides no-nonsense and accessible arcade-like fun using a Kinect sensor.
Essentially the famous classic Arkanoid but in 3D, Boom Ball 3 follows the familiar brick breaking formula we’ve often seen over the past thirty five or so years. Formerly a big hit in the arcades, you’ll now mostly find these types of games in an app store near you as a way to waste some time. Boom Ball reinvented the genre when it came out, by replacing the little paddle at the bottom of the screen with a first person perspective where your hands are basically transparent oven mits that you use to bounce the ball into a collection of bricks.
Boom Ball 3 doesn’t change that formula, and as such could be classified as “more of same”. Luckily, it’s also more of a good thing in that it’s instantly playable and something that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. As with the Arkanoid games of the past, Boom Ball features all the powerups you’re used to that help you – including a giant all-destroying ball of a flaming ball that will fly through and destroy everything while it lasts.
Content-wise Boom Ball 3 features no less than fifty new levels to play, though except for the brick layouts – which can be very creative and take on the shapes of animals or plants – they’re fairly similar in how they play. Offering some diversity are the backdrops and game worlds you play in, but it’s not the type of game where you start it up to spend a few hours ploughing through the campaign mode. Instead, the fun is best enjoyed in short bursts or by alternating between players – or playing in co-op mode instead, as the Kinect sensor can track you and a buddy at the same time.
Although especially fun with younger children, those looking for a bigger challenge can also engage the turbo mode, which is new in Boom Ball 3. Those not too interested in a hardcore challenge can choose to customize their paddles now – which can be done with unlockable skins as well as pictures that you take using Kinect which can subsequently be wrapped around your little oven mits. It’s a neat touch, though I personally prefer the transparent look of the paddles myself.
Boom Ball 3 is far from a brilliant and innovative game, but it’s a ton of fun and it gives Kinect owners something new to play at a budget price point. If you have the hardware, then definitely consider grabbing this if you’re having a few young players over during the holidays.