Smoking Gun Interactive Inc.’s Home Run Stars for Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect for Xbox 360 is a decent motion-based download game with single or versus online multiplayer for an arcade slugfest.
Home Run Stars modes include Home Run Derby to bat against computer opponents, Local Derby for local two-player versus, and Xbox Live for online head-to-head multiplayer. In addition, users can play the Xbox Smartglass Duel in which one user bats from the Kinect and another uses an Xbox SmartGlass device to pitch by selecting a pitch style and tapping circles in sequence to toss a successful pitch.
The title is straight-forward and allows users to bat incoming pitches to several field obstacles or an array of carnival attractions in the home run section. Home run hitters can hit a giant clown, ferris wheel, donut, and skee ball lane to ignite a barrage of fireworks and earn extra points. Players in competitive modes can set how many points each player must earn before the game ends.
Motion-sensing can be a hit or miss. With adult users the Kinect camera can gauge hand position and swings more accurately. However, the title could not recognize children at all times and detection would vary.
The graphics engine is vibrant at 30 frames-per-second. Each home run hit generates a multitude of sparkly effects and celebratory calls. Music is upbeat and match the colorful stadium. In addition, the title utilizes Avatar Fame Star to auto-generate the user avatar in the game.
Home Run Stars is a decent motion-based download title for Kinect. While the title could use better motion detection, the game offers a quick and easy arcade-style batting cage for virtual bat bouts.