Customer Reviews: Minute to Win It (Kinect) - Xbox 360
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on October 21, 2011
There is something magically addicting about watching a game show on television. Tension and excitement build when there are big prizes at stake, and nothing spells tension like having a $1 million prize on the line. Minute to Win It is one of these game shows that feature high stakes, quick thinking, and lots of action. With the abilities of the Kinect for Xbox 360, such a game might be a nice translation.

The game show itself, Minute to Win It, has been on American television since March, 2010. The premise of the show is to have increasingly difficult challenges which contestants must complete to win the big bucks. There are a total of ten increasingly difficult challenges offering the ultimate payout of $1 million. The first, and easiest of the challenges, starts off with a reward of $1,000. Each subsequent challenge increases the payout along with the complexity of the challenge. Contestants are asked if they would like to walk away with their current earnings or to stay and possibly win more. The caveat is the possibility of losing all their winnings if they fail their next challenge. As the title of the show would suggest, each challenge must be completed in a nerve-wracking 60 seconds. Audience enthusiasm and tension is orchestrated by celebrity host, Guy Fieri.

As for the game, Minute to Win It, is available on several different video game platforms, but is made most interesting by the Kinect through full body tracking. For people who have ever played the game 1 vs 100 on Xbox Live, the feeling is very similar here. The audience, host, and players all appear as Xbox Avatars. A word to the wise, how you dressed your Avatar, will be how they show up in the game. My Avatar was donning a tux and pig helmet, which seemed proper for a high-stakes game show. Guy Fieri makes his appearance as the host. Mr. Fieri's voice acting felt natural, but I'm still not totally comfortable with his Avatar. Perhaps I would favor a different look, but admittedly this is just a small personal nitpick. After all, I'm the one showing up with a pig helmet.

The entire game is very straight forward. P ick how many players you want (one, one vs. one, or up to four taking turns) and then pick your mode. There is the game show mode, a time challenge mode, and a practice mode. I found it strange that there is no online mode for leaderboards or competitive play, but I am reviewing an early build of the game and the developers could have added it before retail launch.

The game show mode is really the bread and butter of this game and where you'll be spending a majority of your time. The crowd of cheering Avatars is quite fun and you certainly feel a bit of the game show buzz when your Avatar appears in the spotlight. The challenges are surprisingly varied and as close to realistic as you can get. While I haven't performed all the challenges in real life, I would certainly imagine real life challenges to be more difficult than the Kinect counterparts. For instance, rolling an egg by flapping a pizza box seems like it would take a lot more effort in person versus the arm flapping I did in front of my television set. Some challenges are a bit silly, such as pulling out tissues and having to wipe away stray tissues from my face, but everything is done in fun and meant for a good laugh. Each challenge comes with their own blueprint, just like the television show. The show is broken up by make-believe commercials, which you act out as your Avatar. A video clip is available for laughter and ridicule after each challenge is complete. Sadly, I didn't see a way to share these hilarious videos online.

The Kinect tracking seems very natural and the challenges feel solid enough where they don't seem to cheapen the experience. When a virtual $1 million is on the line, bad controls can totally ruin the enjoyment. Thankfully everything seems to track very well, from rolling ping-pong balls to shaking pedometers. Albeit some tasks seem almost too easy, such as bouncing balls into cups, and some challenges seem pretty difficult, like rolling an orange with a banana between your legs. While the challenges do get tricky, there is a harder difficulty option for those daring enough to try. Overall, you'll have to let your imagination just run away with the show and just have fun.

In reviewing games, I look for the five F's: fitness, fun, functionality, family, and firsts. There are some games, such as Wipeout 2 that are naturally built for fitness; Minute to Win It is not billed as such. You will however be moving your arms and various body parts a lot, but nothing that will work up an incredible sweat. As for fun, the 20 challenges are wacky enough to keep you entertained. Being in the spotlight and watching after-event videos adds some solid enjoyment to the game. Mix in more participants and you'll have a blast. The functionality of the game is fairly solid, despite some of the challenges feeling a little dumbed down compared to their real life counterparts and other challenges being a bit difficult to master. If you are looking for a family friendly game, you've come to the right spot because everything in the game is clean and tasteful fun with just a hint of innuendo. With that said, several of the challenges may be a bit challenging for young kids to try on their own. As for firsts, Minute to Win It doesn't set any records for creating a new or unique experience. What it does, it does well. However, you have probably played something like this before or else already have an understanding of what the game is before ever playing it.

There are a surprisingly decent amount of challenges to explore and have fun with. The title also supports downloadable content, which opens the door for future challenge add-ons. I really would have liked to see competitive online modes or leaderboards, but again maybe that is just missing from the preview copy. For players that either host a lot of parties or otherwise have multiple bodies around, this game can be a lot of fun. As far as the single player experience, once the show is over (there are ten shows) there isn't a lot to keep you coming back for more. In summary, if you are a fan of the show, looking for a game show fix, or have people to play with, then Minute to Win It could be the party title you are looking for. If you don't fall into these categories, then this title might not be the perfect fit for your gaming dollars.
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on November 30, 2011
This game is so overlooked. It has good controls, it follows the game show to the tee (has the same challenges from the show(, and is a ton of fun even if your alone. I dont understand why its not more known when there are all of these stupid kinect games that dont work being advertised like crazy. The only issue i have with this game is that it isnt too lengthy.
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on October 22, 2012
While the game play is OK and is based on the TV show, the "kinect-ability" is horrible. Often times, sensor issues come up and game play is highly affected. I did not pay much for this game so I was OK with the loss. Other kinect games have no problems so I'm sure it's the game, and not my setup. Another complaint is how long it takes to go from game to game
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on January 6, 2012
We received this game and was excited to play it. Some of the challenges were fun, but there was an issue with some. The problem is on some of the games requiring leg movements, the game would not acknowledge our legs moving. We tried everything we could...nothing. We returned the game. The good news is there was no hassle returning the game to Amazon. We just followed the directions given for returns and it was done.
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on February 5, 2012
Fun & entertaining game. As usual with these types of games, they are more fun when played with a large group of people. I only gave it 4 stars because the fun only lasts for a little while and then it's on to the next game.very rarely do I play this game by myself or even with just one of my friends. With that being said, it's a good game to have in your collection. Your company will have fun playing this game, even if it's just for a little while.
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on January 8, 2012
Without a doubt, Game shows are my favorite to watch on tv, and this game show is a blast to watch on tv. When I saw they were coming out with it on Kinect, I was really excited. The game itself is very fun. The menu system is easy to use but not the best menu system I have saw from a kinect game. The timer is very fast once you select something which is good but if you move your hand fast, it goes scrolling down the screen and chooses something else that you definately did not want. My biggest complaint of the game is, Once you conquer / complete an event, you must still play the full 60 seconds. You need to make this like the game show and stop the game and start the music that shows I am winner. :)
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on August 30, 2013
I have to say, I was not expecting much from this game. Like so many other game show tie-ins, I was expecting it to be a play once and stick it on the shelf game. I'm glad I was wrong! This game is fun to play and to watch others play. Granted, some of the challenges are a bit iffy with how they are controlled but, overall, the multiple ways you can play make it a game you can pick up and run through a few mini-games and get a good workout while having a fun time.
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on February 3, 2016
We have a really hard time with this game not being responsive to our movements. Makes it very frustrating to play. Idk if it's because of the placement of the sensor or the programming of this specific game but our other games seem to respond just fine.
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on March 14, 2013
This game is fun, the entire family loves to play it. The host has that cute little bobble head. This was actually a little cheaper to buy new vs used. This would be a good game to buy used. None the less, we got it cheap and fast free shipping made this game a wonderful addition to our game library.
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on May 13, 2013
The game is a ton of fun for about 2 hours until you do every available game type. After that, it is just too easy. If you like Kinect games a lot and want something that would be cool to play with friends for about $20, then go for it.
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