The Average Gamer

Kinect Sesame St and Nat Geo TV get Second Seasons

Kinect Sesame Street TV - Tully Cookie Monster and TreeKinect has always been great for families with children. For a start, the thing can actually see them in our tiny European living rooms but kids also have far more patience with the response rates and type of games that do well. Kinect Star Wars was a huge hit with Nick’s nephew and where Kinect Adventures has me gasping for breath within minutes, it’s great for burning off his energy and getting him to bed on time.

Late last year they released two new titles that are tied in with TV show – Kinect Sesame Street TV and a rather more family-oriented National Geographic-based series, Kinect Nat Geo TV. A second season for each show has just been released and both are available for purchase now through Xbox Live.

Kinect Sesame Street TV

Sesame Street is absolutely brilliant. You fire the thing up and Elmo looks out of the TV, speaking directly to your kid. Thanks to the magic of a handily-placed mirror in the virtual backround, your child can see him or herself reflected right there in the room. Better yet, when someone like Cookie Monster asks your child to jump up and down, the on-screen action will respond directly. Vigorous jumping in a forest will stir up leaves, or not jumping at all will result in Tully coming out to help instead.

The episodes even comes with episode summaries for parents, so you can talk to your son or daughter about their day even if you weren’t there to see all the action.

In keeping with the Sesame Street ethos, the interactive show will never scold your child for not responding, so they’ll not be made to feel bad if watching on their own.

Season 2 adds new segments and expands the app by adding SmartGlass features to let you create playlists of your child’s favourite interactive segments.

Kinect Nat Geo TV

Kinect Nat Geo TV is more of a group activity. The first season was called America The Wild and each episode followed the story of a different American species – grizzly bears, mountain lions, owls and more. Sections of the filmed TV series are interspersed with interactive parts and quiz the viewers on what they’ve just learned.

Kinect Nat Geo TV - Mountain GoatsFor example, a section about identifying animal tracks would be followed by a picture of a new pawprint. The show would then ask you to vote on what animal they think it is by raising your hands and the Kinect can track up to four viewers at once.

In perhaps the best implementation of Kinect I’ve seen, Nat Geo TV also uses augmented reality to plop animal head and paws onto the heads and hands of participants.

Season 2 is based on Nat Geo WILD’s Dangerous Encounters and is hosted by reptile expert and presenter Brady Barr.

You can download the apps for free through your Xbox dashboard where you’ll find them under Apps > Video. Each one comes with a free trial epsiode per season and the rest can be purchased online for 400 MSP each or less through a season pass.