Hole in the Wall.Â Let your brain process that – Hole in the Wall.Â It certainly didn’t take a top-dollar marketing team to come up with that title, or at least I’d hope it didn’t.Â In honor of the unabashedly blunt name, we’ll take a similar approach to reviewing it.Â Hole in the Wall is not good.Â It’s stale, it’s uninspired, and most damningly, it’s not really fun.
To understand Hole in the Wall’s failures, you need to understand the core mechanics at play.Â Those that have seen the game show will probably already be familiar with the concept, but bear with me.Â Your Avatar stands at the end of a track; a wall with (surprise!) a hole in it comes toward you.Â You must manipulate your body to “fit” throughÂ the hole.Â If you hold a position that the game deems acceptable long enough, you pass the wall.Â If you don’t, you get an “X”.Â Three “X’s” and you fail the show.Â That’s it.Â Over and over again will you repeat the process I just described, but never will there be any more substance.
Furthering the frustration, Hole in the Wall doesn’t do a great job of capturing the Kinect technology.Â Some walls it seemed required the player to be in a position only vaguely resembling the hole (and certainly not “fitting” in it) for a quick pass.Â Others, I’d swear I contorted myself perfectly and was only met with a failing grade.Â To compound matters, it was extremely defeating to fail a round due to (what I perceived to be) the game’s dysfunctionality, which kicks you out to the menu, leaving you to start the same show with the same discouraging walls inevitably leading to the same bout of disbelief and anger.
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that the last (run-on) sentence featured the word “same” many times.Â For good reason, too.Â “Same” is the best way to describe Hole in the Wall.Â Everything about the game is monotonous.Â Without any sort of narrative or goal, we’re just squeezing our way through an imaginary void to see what the next one looks like.Â Beating a show only opens another show, which you’ll try to beat to open another show.Â Even the scores that the game gives you are completely artificial and meaningless, as it’s doubtful that anyone will feel strongly enough about this title to try to best their friends’ scores.Â Plenty of games have made this formula work flawlessly, but Hole in the Wall doesn’t have the charm to addict players in the first place.
In all fairness, there’s a “party” component that I didn’t get a chance to try.Â It pits teams of two against each other as they take on the walls together.Â However, the reason I didn’t test it out wasn’t for lack of people.Â It’s that every time they saw me playing single-player and I invited them to join me, they declined.Â They proclaimed that it didn’t look fun enough to warrant them playing it.Â In comparison, two weeks ago, they were arguing over whose turn it was at Fruit Ninja.
It pains me to say this about any game, but Hole in the Wall honestly has no reason to exist.Â It completely lacks ambition, strives to be nothing, and can’t even deliver a fleeting feeling of satisfaction along the way.Â I’d suggest that Hole in the Wall would be well-suited as a free XBLA demo for the Kinect crowd (somewhat akin to the free Doritos games), but its implementation of the motion controls already feels completely dated compared to the likes of Child of Eden and Fruit Ninja.Â Hole in the Wall is really only suitable for the masochistic amongst us that find some sort of pleasure from being thoroughly bored out of their skull.