I was an early adopter of Kinect, even though I’ll admit that I had huge doubts about it, but I always hoped it would live up to the big plans it was designed to fulfill. As of yet I have been left in the dark with barely any titles that even worked let alone were fun. Wreckateer however looks to change this, the title created by Iron Monkey Studios aims to be a straight forward physics puzzler whose simple goal is to let players destroy things. Namely big castles! Think Angry Birds set in medieval times with some goblins and dynamite thrown in for good measure!
Thankfully it works and it works well. Within the first few moments of starting Wreckateer up I was immediately made aware of how straight forward it is to pick-up and start-up your game, for once when told to make a movement in order to control something, said movement did indeed work, no need to throttle yourself around looking ridiculous in the process in order to make the game recognise what you are trying to do!
Wreckateer places you in the leather clogs of a new recruit to the Wreck and Tinker Destruction Company, hired to demolish Goblin-infested castles across the Kingdom. Wreck and Tinker act as your mentors and guides throughout your journey to become a fully fledged Wreckateer.Taking control of the Ballista, your weapon of choice, you need to grab your loaded shot, then take a large step back before swinging your arms out to fire with some considerable force. As you move on in the game your selection of shot types will change from a standard shot, which you can then manipulate mid-air by slapping it around (yep that’s right, give it a slap!), to the flying shot which requires you to spread your arms and do your favourite big bird impression in order to guide it to that sweet destruction spot!
All the while through playing with Wreckateer I very rarely had any issues with Kinect recognising my movements, the only issue that seemed to pop up on occasion was in fact the play space. While loading the Ballista you’ll see a small highlighted zone, split in half underneath your avatar’s feet. Once ready you’ll need to step back into the second half of this zone but if the room your playing in isn’t large enough it becomes that much more difficult, but in all honesty this is a very small gripe considering I managed to pull it off in a rather small space myself.
As you progress through the campaign you’ll travel to different regions of the map, ridding each town of goblins and their towers and In each level you’ll have the chance to earn a bronze, silver or gold medal with the aid of bonuses for sending goblins back to the slimy green hell that they came from. You can also increase your score by creating some serious collateral damage from well placed shots, which is always huge amounts of fun, especially later in the game when you start to find dynamite wedged into well placed sections of towers and terrain. Each region has its own look which shows off Wreckateer’s art style, which is a colourful/fun cartoon world reminiscent of the horrible histories books we all know and love, and with some brilliant voice acting (it won’t win Oscars I know) it’s real good fun and clear that the game aims for a family experience (or possibly drunk friends, both would work).
The multiplayer aspect of Wreckateer works as a turn based battle to bring your castle down first and in the most stylish way in order to bag a much bigger score than your opponent, it’s a simple mode but plays well to the games strengths, rather than cramming both you and your friend into a split screen you both instead have all the space you need to plan and pull off your move (chess with less rules and more explosions maybe?) The controls take mere seconds to pick up and work so smoothly you wont hear any grumbles from any body and its this simplicity that makes Wreckateer so addictive, taking inspiration from the Angry Birds franchise, it aims to be the next step in this gaming genres evolution.
Overall Wreckateer is quite a short adventure and possibly suffers due to a lack of multiplayer modes. As fun as one-on-one can be, I feel that adding time attack or even a version of horse, tasking you with matching your opponents shot would add some longevity to the party vibe, but these are minor gripes when considering Wreckateer does exactly what it said it would and besides future DLC could (hopefully) add much more to the mixing pot!
If your interested in a fun party game whether for your lonesome or your whole family, Wreckateer is a good choice which appeals to the little voice inside of us all who just wants to destroy that mountain of cereal boxes in Tesco to the ground!
Review: Wreckateer Results
What we liked:
Kinect controls actually work (no, I'm serious!)
What we disliked:
Could have more multiplayer modes
Awakens the enemy to supermarket cereal box mountains inside me