Originally set to be a free Xbox Live Arcade title supported by micro-transactions in 2009, Joy Ride now uses Microsoft’s Kinect as players race their avatars against opponents.
Joy Ride is a kart racer in which players control their vehicles by pretending to hold a steering wheel with their hands. The Kinect then detects which direction players are turning, and the game reacts accordingly. With no direct control over acceleration, all the player has to worry about is steering and boosting, which is activated when their hands are thrust forward. The boost bar replenishes by drifting (the player twists their body) and doing tricks (such as doing a 360-degree turn in real life which causes the vehicle to do the same). Along with racing, coins can be collected along the tracks, and similar to other Kinect games, the camera will take photographs of the player as they race and show it to them later. The game also includes power-ups which can be managed by a second player. An example of this is while the first player is driving, the second player can enter and fire missiles to assist.
The power ups are controlled by the player pulling a box with their weapon across from the side of their car to use it. The power up stays with the player until it is used.
The game has different modes with one being a regular race and another a “trick challenge”, where the goal is to collect items and do as many tricks as possible. Both of these modes are available online and off.
Gameplay in Kinect Joy Ride often brings comparison to games like Mario Kart due to the arcade nature and cartoon visuals on offer. You can drive a variety of cars from jeeps to sports cars each with your avatar in view.
- Race event – standard racing for position
- Race Battle – same as a race event but with wepon pick ups in the style of Mario Kart.
- Drift event
- Point collection/trick events – where you gather points and a combo system for picking up coins and combining tricks to gain further multiplyer.
- Drag race – use boost to get to the finish line before your rival.
MultiplayerThe above modes can be played in single player or two player with a friend on the same console.
Xbox Live multiplayer is also offered in Kinect Joy Ride.
During gameplay in these modes you earn fans, similar to that of Blur, where you unlock new cars and tracks based on how well and consistent you perform in the game. This is shared interestingly in multiplayer thus an emphasis on sharing play to get unlocks quicker may be in use.
The game also features these five avatar awards.
- Marathon Racer Suit – Play for 10 hours.
- Boss Hoodie – Play on all tracks.
- Raven Leather Jacket – Drive every vehicle.
- Aviator Ranch Goggles – Play each activity once in solo play.
- Smashing Helmet – Play each activity 10 times in offline play.