Just like the recently released Kinect Sesame Street TV, Kinect Nat Geo TV does a fantastic job of bringing interactive TV into the modern age. No more strange pauses by the characters on screen, no more bizarre responses to your incorrect answers, no, this is genuinely interactive stuff in which the game?…..TV show?…….reacts to both your physical actions and your voice…..ohhhh, isn’t technology clever!
As with the case of its Sesame Street equivalent, this isn’t what you would call a videogame in the traditional sense. In fact, if you so choose, you could actually treat each of the 8 episodes on disc and the additional downloadable Season 1 episodes (accessed via the redemption code in the box) as standard TV shows due to the optional nature of the activities, but, as you can imagine, that would be to miss the point. Even with a host of additional TV shows unlocked via the online Nat Geo app, the real draw here are definitely the interactive elements that the core episodes encourage.
The idea here is to have all the best bits of a highly entertaining and subtly educational TV show and to combine them with moments of smartly implemented interactions that will keep youngsters entertained and immersed in the experience – Kinect Nat Geo does a great job of this.
Not only are the production values sky high, but the interactions, quizzes and bear-based shenanigans are all perfectly pitched and paced throughout. None of the ‘mini-games’ outstay their welcome (even if they do get a tad repetitive after a while), and the quizzes are rather smartly followed by entertaining responses that explain in positive terms why the child in question (I’m going to assume it would be a child who would be playing this) got the answer right or wrong. Just like Sesame Street, this is an experience all about positive reinforcement and making learning fun – and on both counts, is a resounding success.
For a budget priced package (expect to pay in the region of £20), you’re getting a fair bit of content to keep the little ones entertained and educated in equal measures. Of course, all the episodes wouldn’t be worth a damn if the show itself wasn’t up to scratch, but thanks to the always charming Casey Anderson and his best friend, Brutus the bear (his best friend really is a freakin’ bear), simply watching the show, which is based very closely on the American TV show, ‘America, the Wild’, is actually highly entertaining and almost worth the entry fee alone. Thanks to Casey’s easy charm and genuine affection for the source material, it’s easy to get on board with Kinect Nat Geo TV, and once the mini-games and quizzes start rolling around, don’t be surprised to find parents as enthralled as their kids……did I mention that his best friend is a bear?
With fantastic production values throughout, a genuinely outstanding combination of Kinect-based fun (everyone wants to be a bear at some point in the day), educational quizzes and a host (and his bear), that do a stellar job of presenting the material in an enjoyable and friendly manner, Kinect Nat Geo TV, like Kinect Sesame Street TV, successfully showcases what can be achieved with the Kinect tech and, perhaps more importantly, that education and fun don’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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