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Jul 30, 2012

Wreckateer Review

Lights Off
4 Awesome
Retails for: $9.99
We Recommend: $9.99
  • Developer: Iron Galaxy
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios
  • Genre: Action & Adventure, Kinect
  • Released: Jul 25, 2012
  • Platform: Xbox 360
  • Reviewed: Xbox 360

Wreckateer is an excellent example of a game that is fun to play without a steep learning curve; the execution is simple creating something everyone can enjoy. You’ll hear it everywhere and I’ll mention it here, but this game is similar to Angry Birds. Unlike those birds, you’re looking through the point of view of the slingshot.  The game uses Kinect and the tracking works wonderfully, but watch yourself, Wreckateer is a great game but just drops off right before you get that itch to play again; that is if you overdo it.

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There isn’t much of a story in Wreckateer, but you’re the new guy working under two veteran wreckateers. You’re learning their methods to the art of Wreckateering; aka ridding castles of goblin infestation by the most effective means, destruction. The end, that’s it; your back story into why you’re using this funny looking catapult. What I found the most enjoyable out of this game is the control over your shot. Even after you aim, you still get to nudge the shot into a better position.  Doing so gives you control right up until the last minute.  You’ll also be able to, detonate bombs, split a rock into four with  full control over them, and launch flying mechanical shots that you steer. Just imagine as if you were an airplane or like you were running around the yard as a wee lad pretending you were a fighter jet.   If you still don’t get what I mean, stand up and hold your arms out. Now make propeller sounds and run around your living room.  Don’t blame me if your family thinks your nuts after that, I gave you a pretty good description before hand.

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Moving on; there’s a satisfaction to watching the castle you hit get demolished and seeing those points rack up. You’re thinking, will I or wont I be able to pass the bar onto gold? Will it be enough to beat my friend’s high score? Then BAM they hit you with that point multiplier. It was a feeling that made me want to play a stage again over and over if I didn’t pass a high score, like Scott’s high scores. Beware though, you can easily get burned out on a stage if you just can’t pass a score.  I suggest leaving the game before you get to that point and come back to it later. It’s too fun a game to just stop playing on that first day. By the way, I did end up smashing Scott’s scores and now I can dance circles around him teasing “nanny nanny boo boo”. I tell you, sometimes the power of leader boards does work and keep you coming back for more.

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Like other launch and destroy style games you don’t get your choice of shots, they are predetermined for each stage.  This leads you to decide the best plan of attack and to use the shot in the best possible way.  Don’t get careless or you’ll end up with a sad looking score that your friends will laugh at.  Well maybe they won’t but you want to be able to gloat to them right? RIGHT? Don’t make me the only one here.

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Also included is the new Avatar Famestar objectives that will eventually be rolled out into other games.  Basically it’s like a sub achievement system that adds points to your Avatar’s Fame score.  The score is universal and adds up game by game. By doing these goals though, you end up unlocking items for your avatars to wear or use, which to me sounds like a pretty swanky idea.  So now on top of getting achievement points, you have goals to accomplish to actually reward you with items.  I can’t wait to see how Avatar Famestar plays out in other games as well.

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There are 60 levels in Wreckateer and you’ll want to play this game in short sessions to get through them.  Unless you’re a youngling, or my nephew, it’ll be easy to burn yourself out on this game, making you not want to come back.  I suggest a few stages in a level then put your left hand down to the side and return to the dashboard. Force yourself to quit and you’ll want to come back later.