Monday, September 12, 2011

Leedmees (XBLA)

Leed on mee, when you're not strong, etc.
One of few XBLA titles to feature Kinect controls, Leedmees had me immediately interested for that reason, being as it is that Microsoft's motion-capture hardware has suffered and been criticised for a lack of quality software with which to use it. Konami's new puzzle game features impressively accurate Kinect control wrapped in an enjoyable puzzle game.

Few puzzle games would bother with a backstory, but Leedmees opens with a quick summary of who you are and (even if vaguely) what you are doing. Players take on the role of a giant in a strange land, one day encountering the much smaller Leedmees and deciding to help them as best they can to get to where they need to go.

The feeling of passing Leedmees over
to your partner is intensely emotional.
The game works as simply as the story tells it. There are two portals, blue and red, from which the eponymous Leedmees will spawn and exist respectively. Your role is to use your superior height and ever so long arms to pick up your smaller friends and carry them safely to their exit point. If your cargo can be made to touch the stars scattered across each level, they will score you more points. Of course, this can often be easier said than done.

If it sounds similar to Lemmings, then it is without a doubt because it is, minus the assignation of roles to specific Leedmees. Being similar to one of the most popular puzzle games in history isn't such a bad thing, however, and the excellent implementation of the Kinect software into this title is enough to mark it out as something worth investigating should you happen to be one of the many Kinect early-adopters feelings a little passed-over in terms of quality releases. Priced at a reasonable 800 points, you might just surprise yourself. This year's Summer of Arcade should have focused on Kinect, and Leedmees should have been included.

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