Kinectimals iPad Review

Kinectimals was one of the few bright spots of the 2010 Kinect launch for Xbox 360. Clearly aimed at kids, this charming title let players care for and play with an adorable cub (lion, tiger, cheetah, among others), feeding their newfound friends, petting them and enjoying a wide array of activities without using a plastic controller.

Surprisingly, Microsoft chose to bring this experience (albeit limited) to iPhone and iPad. Through Kinectimals, Frontier Developments achieves a strong bond between the virtual cat and player, making it a great addition to a child's growing library of games.

Just like the original (sorry, no bears), Kinectimals gives users a chance to interact with a furry critter desperate for attention. This means scratching the cat behind its ears, giving it a bath when dirty and tossing a ball or jumping rope.

To that end, the designers included a small variety of touch screen mini games that include the aforementioned jumping rope exercise and, well, more jumping rope exercises.

Succeed, and you'll earn money used to purchase toys and supplies, from fishy kibble to a cricket ball and whistle.

Later, you can select different areas to visit along the island of Lemuria while teaching your cat of choice a limited set of tricks, including sit and jump.

All told, Not a bad way to pass the time, and there's no denying how cute each animal truly is.

On the downside, the game doesn't have significant meat on its bones. We can only take so much jump rope, and the mostly static backgrounds pale in comparison to the lush tropical paradise from the Xbox 360 edition; you don't explore much at all.

As for throwing the ball around, you can't drag said ball anywhere around the screen, nor does the cat track it when thrown. Instead, you must toss it in the animal's exact direction.

Bottom line, a lot of attention (perhaps too much) went into making the cats look impressive, and thankfully, they are. You can see a personality in their eyes that most virtual pet games lack, and before long, you may even begin to think about the animal throughout the day as if it were real.

To that end, Kinectimals is worth $2.99, especially for youngsters that could learn a thing or two about caring for a real animal, or sparing their mom and dad the expense. Besides, we'll go out on a proverbial limb and bet you'll never get to own an exotic cat, one that'll eventually eat you, any time soon.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Download Kinectimals

What's Hot: Super cute baby animals, relaxing music, unlock five new cubs in the Xbox 360 version, provides the basic Kinectimals experience, universal.

What's Not: Not enough activities, little exploration.