Eye spy... well, the most accessible gaming gadget ever, actually. It's also the newly crowned king of party games.
SCEE London Studio
Grown from the loins of a joint venture between Dr Richard Marks and SCEE, the Eye Toy is a Camera with motion tracking software technology that can basically read when the subject in view is moving.
This means no joypad required - so explaining how to play a game to a lady friend is now a million times easier. Hell, even the old lady that lives in our house picked up 'Kung Foo' in the space of five minutes and was giggling like a child who'd just discovered those sweets that fizzle on your tongue.
"We must mention the penis-headed monkey, whose ears even look very much like a pair of balls!"
Which is also the best time to play Eye Toy! Oh how we all laughed as non-gaming friends head-butted the Kung-Foo ninjas, farted on the amps in Beat Freaks and awkwardly 'kicked' the boxing robot in Boxing Chump - proof that people are comfortable looking like complete idiots when under the pretext of gaming.
All of these games are but small parts of the 12 game chocolate bar that is Eyetoy Play. Some of the others include Wishi Washi, where the screen is covered in lather - wave your hand as if holding a sponge and clean it up; Keep Ups - bounce the ball and hit the people poking their heads out of their windows; UFO Juggler - make the UFOs hover away by waving on them rapidly - but don't spin them too fast or they'll explode; Slap Stream - hit the Ratmen that pop out of the clouds and avoid the rabbit women; Plate Spinner - keep the plates spinning at top speed - hard work even when sober; Boogie Down - move your body parts into the spotlights - too easy; Ghost Catcher - pop the ghosts before they exit the top of the screen.
Easily the best game alongside Kung Foo is Mirror Time - the screen rotates and and flips to confuse you as you try to hit all the green balls - and Rocket Rumble should also get a mention - it's a simple but highly addictive firework-popping game!
Out of all the games, Mirror time, Rocket Rumble and Kung Foo are the ones you'll be coming back to. The others - although mildly fun - were either too shallow or too much hard work to play. That said, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with them as games - it's just that the three I enjoyed the most are more instantly intense and rewarding.
On a whole - the entire package is definite bargain, being as you get a camera, 3 amazing games and 9 good ones. You also get the added bonus of not having to explain a damn thing to your girlfriend when she has a go, as well her not complaining that you don't pay her any attention because you're playing all the time - because she will want a go, of course.
And we can't fully do this game justice without mentioning the delightful penis-headed monkey! The little bell-end topped simian will cause many giggles amongst the more immature of you (myself, for example) especially when you see that his ears are placed to look very much like a pair of balls.
Eyetoy has already knocked whorish old Lara off the top over in the UK sales charts, and deservedly so. It's a refreshingly original product that is probably an insight to how we'll be controlling our games of the future and also what could've happened earlier if the Dreamcast had stayed around that little bit longer.
Even if you not too bothered about innovation, originality, gaming history being made and all that palaver, this is still a great addition to your collection and if you're the kind of person that likes to have friends round playing games, this is absolutely essential. EyeToy hits the US later this year.