There’s a new pet game on the Kinect block, as THQ today shipped Fantastic Pets to give Microsoft’s Kinectimals a run for its gesture-controlled money. Fantastic Pets gives players the chance to interact with their would-be pet animals in a unique new way: through “augmented reality.”
Although it sounds gimmicky at first, THQ’s augmented reality technology could very well bust through the ceiling that many Kinect games have hit in terms of not really pushing the gesture-sensing hardware. Using augmented reality, the game lets players see themselves in real-time on the TV screen interacting with a pet they created. The user-created pets can be as ordinary as a puppy or as whimsical as a dragon, yet each of them will respond to the player’s gestures and voice commands, much like a real-life pet would respond to interactions with its owner.
As the first augmented reality game on Kinect for Xbox 360, Fantastic Pets provides an entirely different gaming experience for the family. Players start with four animals, a dog, a cat, a horse and a lizard. Each of these animals can be morphed into imaginative creations that range from unicorns to dragons.
Once players have created their fantasy pet, they enter a world in which they can play with those pets through several mini-games that range from fetching, grooming and feeding to a series of mini-games that include popping piñatas and partaking in talent shows.