Happy Action Theatre

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Happy Action Theater used in school for special needs students

How Double Fine's Kinect game succeeded where others failed.

Last month we investigated how Minecraft was being used in classrooms all over the world, but it's far from the only mainstream game adapted to education. The Jackson School in Victoria, Australia, which specialises in kids with special needs, has found success using Double Fine's Kinect-exclusive Happy Action Theater.

Happy Action Theater Review

"Daddy!" My daughter is standing in the doorway to my home office, arms crossed, her face bearing the sort of petulant look that only five-year-old girls can pull off. "You're missing all the fun!" Her message duly delivered she gives a haughty turn and runs back to the living room. That'll teach me to check my emails when Happy Action Theater is on.

If that sounds like an almost too perfect moment, the sort of thing an advertising executive would come up with, then imagine my surprise to be confronted with it, unscripted, in real life. Yet there it is. Natural, unrehearsed, honest passion. And this from a girl who has been, at best, ambivalent about gaming despite being raised in a house filled with consoles.

But that was before Happy Action Theater came along, bringing with it gameplay that she instinctively understood. That is to say, no gameplay at all.

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Double Fine's Happy Action Theatre release date

Double Fine's Happy Action Theatre release date

Psychedelic Kinect minigame comp out next month.

Double Fine's first release of 2012, Kinect title Happy Action Theatre, lands on Xbox Live Arcade on 1st February.

Studio boss Tim Schafer announced the date via his Twitter feed, adding "Better achieve your life's goals asap, because come 2/1 your priorities will change."

A price tag has yet to be confirmed by Microsoft.

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Double Fine unveils Happy Action Theatre

Double Fine unveils Happy Action Theatre

Part of Microsoft Kinect kids initiative.

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.

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