Double Fine Happy Action Theater Review


First things first, Double Fine Happy Action Theater is not a game. It's really a collection of eighteen interactive Kinect demos, each a freeform exercise in goofing around without much of a point. You can select one of the modes or just let it sequence from one to the next, making it something that you can leave on the screen during a party and let people interact with it when it catches their eyes. One sequence has balloons falling from the sky and piling on the ground for you to kick around or pop and another lets you direct exploding fireworks. There's one which fills the room with snow and lets players toss snowballs at each other, and one which has pigeons landing on the people and the furniture in the room. The couple of modes that are game-like, like the one which has you performing the role of the paddle in a Breakout style game, don't really work well as games, and in fact don't really seem to be keeping score or tracking your success in any way. The motion tracking works about on par with other Kinect titles - some modes are spot on and others seem to go about doing what they do with little notice of what you're doing.

Happy Action Theater is the kind of thing that you'll play around with a little bit, but not really feel compelled to return to once you've seen everything that it has to offer. Younger kids will be happier spending more time goofing around with it since it puts them on the TV, and as mentioned before it can make for a party novelty. If you won't be using it for one of those last two uses, you should probably pass on it as you'll only get about an hour out of experimenting with all of its modes.

Final Rating: 69%. More of an interactive demo than a game, it will hold your attention for about the same amount of time as a short demo will.