Kinect makes things more complicated even for gods

, | Games

Babel Rising, an upgraded version of a tower defense game for the iPhone, is about using god powers to kill little dudes trying to build a tower of Babel. It was a pretty simple game on the iPhone that involved a lot of jabbing and swiping, so naturally this upgraded version features support for Move on the Playstation 3 and Kinect on the Xbox 360. I’ve been playing on the 360 with a gamepad, since I don’t live in a Kinect enabled household.

After the jump, what I’m missing

Before a round of Babel Rising, you pick two elements. Each element gives you a local power which attacks the spot directly under your cursor, a trail power that affects a line you draw, and an ultimate power that you charge up for massive widespread damage. The first two powers involve pressing a button. It’s pretty simple. The ultimate power involves rapidly mashing one of the triggers. It’s also pretty simple. With two analog sticks, it’s easy to scroll your view around the 3D tower (left stick) while moving the cursor precisely where you want it (right stick).

Now let’s consider how this works if you’re using Kinect. Your right hand controls the cursor. However, to scroll the view around, you have to move the cursor to the edge of the screen. Okay, so that could get a little ungainly, but it’s not the end of the world. But wait, there’s more.

As I mentioned, you have two elements that determine your local, trail, and ultimate god powers. When you’re playing on the gamepad, you just press one of the buttons to use a power. You never have to switch between elements since there are enough buttons at your fingertips. But on the Kinect, which eschews buttons, you only have one element active at a time. So how do you change your active element? From the “How to play” section of the game:

Clap your hands or say the sentence aloud to switch elements

Okay. And how do you actually fire off a power?

Make a quick vertical slap with your seconary hand to launch a local power
Raise and hold your secondary hand in front of you to launch a trail power

I see. Especially since these are all accompanied by drawings of a figure chopping at the air or thrusting his arm skyward.

Okay, how then do you use your ultimate power, which is a simple matter of mashing a trigger button when you’re playing with a gamepad?

Raise your secondary hand in the air or say the sentence aloud to lock an ultimate power
Once locked, launch the ultimate power with both hands
Move a lot after launching the power to increase its strength

That’s right, “move a lot”. I wish I could show you the image Babel Rising presents for move a lot. Imagine a drawing of someone having a seizure. That’s move a lot.

I’m sure the Kinect has its uses. But based on how it seems to work with Babel Rising, it doesn’t seem like it makes a god’s life any easier.