Wreckateer: Hands-on destruction

Wreckateer is smashing fun for the whole family.
Wreckateer is smashing fun for the whole family.

Wanton destruction is fun. One billion Angry Birds players can't be wrong.

But rather than flicking a tiny catapult on a touch screen, Wreckateer uses the Kinect full body sensor to let you get hands-on with the demolition duties.

You control a huge ballista with your body and fire projectiles to attempt to topple towers and entire medieval castles, ridding them of pesky goblins.

Unlike many Kinect titles, the controls work flawlessly and precision control of your shots is possible. But you do need plenty of space to play, which may limit the game's potential audience.

The best part of Wreckateer is that it isn't just aiming your shot and hoping for the best.

Standard shots can be guided in mid-air by (amusingly frantic) swipes to curve the shot before it hits the target.

There are also guided missiles you control with outstretched arms, split shots that are guided in unison, bombs that can be triggered to explode at your command, lift shots that can gain a height boost and speed shots that hurtle away in a straight line when activated.

Badge-shaped icons littered around the castles grant special abilities and bonus points, and choosing when to utilise them is always an interesting quandary.

Dynamite is also worth targeting if you want maximum destruction and the highest possible score.

Unfortunately, as you progress through the 60 levels there suddenly becomes no room for strategy and creativity. Instead, you must follow a precise, prescribed path to proceed.

It can get frustrating, especially when the physics are far from convincing and consistent.

Buildings sometimes remain standing even when all their supports are knocked out, and chain reactions are unpredictable. For a game with a central premise of destruction, it's a significant flaw.

But it's hard to grumble too much - you will have got your money's worth by the time the frustration becomes unbearable.

Wreckateer is a bargain-priced game that is wonderfully accessible and plenty of fun for the whole family.

What have you been playing lately?

twitter Jason Hill is on Twitter: @thatjason

This story Wreckateer: Hands-on destruction first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.