EyeToy: Kinetic Review

Developers of dance games like to point to their games as a way to get a little exercise while playing. EyeToy: Kinetic is just the opposite; it is a way to get a little play time in while exercising. Kinetic is first and foremost an exercise program – and by “program” I don’t mean “computer program”. This is a full customize your routine, track your progress, three or more time a week commitment to health.

It's important to stretch before your workout.
So how does it accomplish this? Sony enlisted the help of Nike Motionworks to create a collection of four different workout styles and a series of warm-up and cool-down stretches. You begin your program by answering a few questions about your health and vital statistics and selecting from one of the game’s two virtual trainers. Your choice of trainers really boils down to whether you prefer a man or a woman giving you your exercise instructions. The game will then create a three times a week, 12 week exercise program for you and you can launch into your first day’s workout right from the start.

Each session will begin with stretching exercises in which you’re to mimic the actions of your onscreen trainer. These stretches are serious and designed to get you limber for the workout, so there’s no real game component here. The EyeToy will show your picture on the lower right corner of the screen to guide you as you try and mimic the movements of your trainer.

Once stretched you will move into the workout itself which will consist of a series of games drawn from one of four areas: cardio, combat, toning, and mind and body. The cardio games involve touching blue orbs that drop or bounce around the screen while avoiding red orbs. These and the other games are not random sequences but instead have been designed to work your body in all the ways it needs to be worked. In the cardio games for example, some orbs can only be reached by kicking your foot into the air, or two sequential orbs may appear on opposite corners of the screen to make you stretch and reach. As you are doing this you will see a ghost image of the instructor in the middle of the screen which serves as a guide to the way that you should be moving your body. He or she will also provide you with encouragement or suggest ways to reach the current orb. Your workout will be rated on how well you hit the blue orbs while avoiding the red ones and you can use this rating to track your progress throughout the program.