Review: Twister Mania for Kinect

Twister has a new spin.

Dec. 20, 2011— -- Forget left-foot-blue and right-hand-yellow. "Twister Mania" for Xbox Kinect ditches the plastic mat and spinner that made Twister famous and opts for a motion-sensor camera.

Players won't find themselves tangled up on the floor. Instead, they'll be dodging walls, fitting into crevices and attempting to mimic human and animal silhouettes.

The outcome is extremely unique. Perhaps the best mode of game play has you serving as a human Tetris piece; taking a cue from similar challenges in Japanese and U.S. game shows, you'll face an oncoming facade with an oddly shaped hole in it.

Match your body to the shape of the hole before the wall reaches you and you'll pass through to the next wall. Fail to match the shape and prepare to get hit by a virtual wall.

These are the sort of mini-games that the Xbox Kinect was designed for, party pleasers that work best with friends who can help you meet the challenges on screen or switch off with you when your arms get sore. Playing in an environment with plenty of friends will make this game a sure hit. Your pals will laugh as you and a friend try to shape your bodies to become a human centaur before the time limit is up.

In a way, this harkens perfectly back to what the original Twister did best, before video games took over as party favorites. Twister Mania translates the spirit of classic Twister's fun to 2011, channeling the tangled arms of yore and injecting the collaborative body play of today.

The game isn't perfect. I found the course selection controls less than stellar. You must step into a specific area of the screen and hold your hand just right to select your game mode with success.

You'll spend a fair amount of time looking at your own silhouette on screen, often with its legs cut short or glitchy bits missing around the sides. The music and visuals are bare bones, but the game wouldn't gain much by adding anything in addition to the shadows and obstacles already on screen.

Twister Mania for Kinect is a great addition to the Kinect library that nicely pairs with Kinect Adventures. If you've been waiting for more games that put you into the action and pit you against your friends, without dancing to Lady Gaga, this game is for you.

It's especially good for kids, as many dance games feature less-than-family-friendly songs and dance moves. Twister Mania for Xbox Kinect is available now for $49.99 .