If you've been longing for a more grownup version of Double Dare, ABC has a television show called Wipeout that's probably up your alley. Contestants run through an obstacle course full of physical challenges, but the obstacles usually fight back and hit the contestants in the nether regions before throwing them into a pool of mud or water. That's exactly what Wipeout In the Zone does with Kinect, and it's actually a lot of fun to play.
I'm not in shape and the idea of jumping up and down in my living room does not appeal to me, but Wipeout In the Zone struck a chord and delivered a multiplayer experience that got me sweating and smiling.
Just like the game show, Wipeout In the Zone is broken into episodes that pack three rounds of challenges. The video game is hosted by the same snarky men and sexy sideline reporter, but this time they've been Xboxed (they're avatars). You play as your avatar or one of the ones you've unlocked through the game. Wipeout In the Zone sticks with this bright, cartoony style, and it works. None of the challenges are visually stunning, but they look good.
Still, this is a Kinect game, so who cares about the visuals? The big thing you probably want to know is how it controls. The game is played from a third-person perspective, so as you run in place or jump in your living room, the onscreen character follows suit. This is key to running down the ramps and leaping over leg sweepers. You have to crouch, dive and more if you want to have the best time when the course is said and done.
I dug all that. The controls definitely aren't as responsive as some might be looking for -- I had to jump earlier than I was expecting in order to launch myself over gaps and stopping on a dime is all but impossible -- but that didn't matter in terms of the whole package. My matches in Wipeout In the Zone weren't about winning, they were about beating the course of spinning red padding and laughing at my fails. The game uses the same replay system as the show, so watching my friend get clobbered with a big foam bat over and over again from different angles was fun.