Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bringing Home the Magic: Kinect Disneyland Adventures

In Bringing Home the Magic, I'll be telling you about different ways that you can continue to explore the Disney Parks after you come home from your trip.  In this installment, we're going to take a virtual trip to Disneyland with Kinect Disneyland Adventures.

Kinect Disneyland Adventures is based on the idea that you have taken a trip out to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.  However, this is not going to be an ordinary trip.  The characters are all going to need your help.  From finding items to photo scavenger hunts to trips through classic Disneyland attractions, you'll help make magic happen at the Happiest Place on Earth.

The Haunted Mansion in Kinect Disneyland Adventure (photo credit to

The Disneyland you visit in this game is an incredibly faithful recreation of the real thing.  While going through the game, I've occasionally stopped and fondly recalled getting photos taken in the exact spots I'm standing at in the game.  With the notable exception of certain liscensed properties (Star Tours, Indiana Jones, and Roger Rabbit), everything you can see in the park is present in the game.  Never been to Disneyland?  Don't worry.  The game's park map will help you find everything in the game, and will even transport you to certain rides and lands.  Walt Disney World fanatic?  Many of the playable rides also exist in Walt Disney World, such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and the Jungle Cruise.

Many of the park's classic rides, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, it's a small world, and The Haunted Mansion, are included in the game as playable mini-games.  Despite the fact that they are not virtual ride-thrus, I have found that for the most part, the games stay faithful to the original ride, with many of the games taking place in original ride scenes. such as the spooky bayou at the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.  These games will have you up and dancing, running in place, throwing bananas, and all kinds of other actions.

Another vital piece of the game is character interactions.  The game features a huge cast of Disney characters, all of whom are voiced by their original voice actors.  Just like in the parks, you can get character autographs and photos.  However, many of the characters will aslo ask you to complete tasks for them, such as finding Cinderella's glass slippers.  These tasks are simple, and an "Adventure Trail" leads the way to all the objects, but they can unlock special prizes, such as pins and special costumes for your in-game character.  Some characters will also give you special magic objects, such as a camera or a magic wand, that you can use to find extra magic around the parks (my personal favorite is taking pictures of the many Hidden Mickeys found in the game).

On the surface, this game may seem like it is only for small children, however, I genuinely believe that the whole family can enjoy at least some aspect of it.  The game features hours and hours of game play.  I've been playing for at least 15 hours, and I'm still not even 25% through the game.  Overall, my biggest complaint is that I can't go to Disney's California Adventure and continue the fun.

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