Week in Arcade: Happy Action Theater, Rhythm Party

It's always a happy moment when your kids are being burned alive, isn't it?

Two $10 XBLA entries this week, both of them Kinect exclusives.

Happy Action Theater

Double Fine’s fluffy Arcade Kinect effort is a menagerie of activities, 18 total. that vary from being set on fire (!) to knocking down a miniature city as the Kinect realizes your body as a giant monster. There’s some Space Invaders-like shooting galleries and other “game” like events, but they’re minimal in scope. What this is a grand way to keep the kids busy and let any adult join in with them. Kids will love popping balloons on the TV, making a virtual mess, and drowning to death in lava.

Seriously, who thought that was a good image to insert into a three-year olds mind?

Rhythm Party

Konami enters the dancing fray on XBLA with this timed dancing title. If you can imagine a Rock Band without the guitar, the core gameplay is already understood. Players are required to move their hands and feet to specific circles on screen as they time themselves to the beat. It works, the Kinect responsive and toying with the player by turning them into a number of kooky characters. Whether this will pull dance players from the likes of a Just Dance is debatable; it doesn’t share the same kinetic pace. Then again, it’s also significantly cheaper and undoubtedly will be fed fresh music in the form of DLC.