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Fuego's River Adventure: A Kinect-ish iPad 2 game

Fuego's River Adventure goes hands-free and uses the iPad 2's front-facing camera to capture your body movements as you steer a little guy down an obstacle-filled river.

Fuego's River Adventure screencap
Watch out for the alligators. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser

We've seen motion-controlled iOS games before, but they usually use the accelerometer. Fuego's River Adventure from Crimson Apps uses the iPad 2's front-facing camera to create a Kinect-like gaming experience.

The concept is simple. Fuego is a young lad with Sideshow Bob hair. He floats down a river, collecting golden orbs, and avoiding obstacles along the way.

Fuego image gallery
It isn't Fuego's fault that the iPad 2 front camera takes low-quality images. (Click to enlarge.) Screenshot by Amanda Kooser

You have to prop up your iPad and stand back about 4 to 5 feet. Your ghostly image appears at the top of the screen while you play. This helps you stay in frame.

The body control isn't super-sensitive, so you'll find yourself bobbing and weaving quite a bit. That's also where a lot of the fun comes from. This game should keep the kids out of your hair for at least a few minutes.

I'm sure I look just as goofy playing Fuego as when I'm Wii bowling. Avoiding alligators and rocks can be surprisingly challenging. I'm still stuck on Level 2, but I'm getting better.

Fuego takes photos of the bizarre movements and expressions you make as you play. Kind of like those embarrassing snapshots during a rolling coaster ride. These can be shared with Facebook friends, if you dare.

The $1.99 game isn't a highly sophisticated experience, but it does tap into that Kinect-loving well that lives inside many of us. There's something about jumping around and not caring what anyone thinks that lends itself to casual gaming.