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Double Fine unveils Happy Action Theatre

Part of Microsoft Kinect kids initiative.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

A new title from Tim Schafer's Double Fine studio called Happy Action Theatre is among a raft of new kid-friendly Kinect titles announced by Microsoft today.

Due out this Winter on Xbox Live, it's a collection of 18 mini-games "designed to activate gross motor skills, inspire imagination and entertain players of all ages," according to the announcement.

The various mini-games have you mucking about with molten lava, smashing buildings up as a giant monster and generally laying your living room to waste. See the trailer below for more.

It's Double Fine's second Kinect title aimed at a younger crowd, following the recent Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster.

Other forthcoming titles part of Microsoft's Kinect kids push include a project codenamed Rush, due out in Spring 2012, which sees the platform holder collaborating with Pixar.

Kids will be able to scan themselves into five of the Disney animation studio's biggest properties - The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 - and get involved in various challenges.

Then there's Kinect Sesame Street TV and Kinect Nat Geo TV, which are interactive TV experiences, and something called Project Columbia which is an interactive storybook.

"We know that the most effective learning environments for children are those that are engaging and exciting, and that foster collaboration and a positive attitude toward learning," commented Microsoft's educational design director Alex Games.

"With the controller-free magic of Kinect, we can encourage kids to use their motor skills and to learn using their body in immersive experiences. This new way to play allows children to learn by interacting with their favorite characters and engage with content in novel ways."

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