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You're in the Movies is all about getting you prancing around in front of a camera playing action games. But cleverly, this footage is then turned into your own personal movie appearance. Although we have seen this before with Eye Toy PS2, and various Playstation Eye games on PS3m this Xbox camera game raises the bar for integrated family friendly fun.
Mini games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What unites the genre is the speed with which players can pickup the games and the relatively short time required to complete a level or two.
You're in the Movies analyses your gaming room environment before playing to better distinguish between the players and the background. This certainly helps the game enable players to control proceedings by their bodily movement.
The real innovation comes at the end of the game though - when the various poses and activities are packaged together into a movie showreel.
Each player chooses a role at the start of the game that determines how their performances are used in the resulting movie. Then, as they play through the various levels they are called to the stage (read: in front of the camera) when they need to star in a particular level.
Up to four players can play through a variety of combinations of levels either from a preset list or by creating your own. This director mode enables you to put together your own film from a range of scenes. And once you have shot your footage (or friends and family playing the games) you can edit it into your very own master piece.
Players will be attracted to the game because of its family playing together ethic and unusual camera control scheme. The first time a group of friends/family play through a level is a sight to behold. The effort of getting the right person in front of camera playing a game at the right moment, and the cafuffle of getting young and old moving in the right way is more than paid off with the joy of seeing each other in the final production. This is as much a celebration of simple movie making as it is a video game.
The game does take a little while to calibrate and needs to be played in a well lit area. Also, if anyone is wearing a colour that exactly matches the background in the room the game struggles to pick them out.
Once you are set up you need a good twenty minutes to work through one movies filming. The variety and switching players means this passes very quickly. Each individual game takes no more than a couple of minutes.
Young players sometimes need a little direction to get them in the right spot on the screen - but they soon get the idea. They are then happy to exuberantly throw themselves into their part or activity - something that is rewarded by a compelling performance in the final movie.
Intermediates will enjoy You're in the Movies ability to get a mixed group of people playing together. That said, the lack of complex controllers doesn't do away with confusion and instruction entirely - although it does make the perceived barrier to entry a lot lower.
Experts may find the simplicity and cheesy nature of the game and the movie results a little much to swallow. They may be better served by the purer mini game antics of the Playstation Eye based games.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: