– “Zoo Tycoon” ($60) is much more family-friendly. The goal of this easygoing simulation game is to build an animal sanctuary. It doesn’t get so bogged down in business details that kids won’t enjoy it. Besides, they’ll be too busy using the Kinect to interact with the gorgeous tigers, elephants, giraffes and other critters that populate this virtual Eden.
The four download-only titles in the online Xbox store are a mixed bag. They are also exclusive to the Xbox, though these online-only titles come across as lower-budget efforts.
-“Killer Instinct” is a solid one-on-one brawler that’s free to play, but if you want to expand your roster of fighters, they cost $5 each.
-“Powerstar Golf” ($20) is a lighthearted trip around the links. It’s cute and challenging, but doesn’t put much strain on the Xbox One’s high-powered graphics chips.
– “Crimson Dragon” ($20) briefly promises the thrill of flying your own winged beast, but the flight paths are so tightly controlled that it never takes off.
– “LocoCycle” ($20) combines clunky, repetitive vehicular combat with a story that’s supposed to be campy but comes off as racist, particularly against its hapless Hispanic protagonist. I consider it the worst game I’ve seen on any game system this year, and I’ve played more than 100.