We don’t cover 360 stuff on here as a rule, but Kodu hits the Xbox Live Marketplace today and for what amounts to little more than a fiver, it represents amazing value for money and highlights the sorts of things that Sony were aiming for with LittleBigPlanet but on a much wider, broader (but simpler) scale. Initially designed to get kids into coding (the interface is quite basic and friendly) but will hopefully find favour with older developers too due to some subtle, albeit high-level, options that will let dedicated users get the most out of it.
Kodu avoids typing entirely – everything is done via the unique visual interface and with the game controller only, much like LittleBigPlanet, although everything is ‘proper’ 3D rather than LBP’s 2.5d viewport. Because of the fully 3D world, many more gametypes can be created in Kodu than other similar products, such as first person shooters, racing games and RPGs, although – yes – they’ll be reasonably simple ones. Don’t expect the next Quake and you should be OK.
What is most interesting is the cultural intentions here. If Microsoft (Kodu is out on PC, too) can instill the concept that computers and video games can be used to create rather than just serve entertainment this could hark back to the glory days when BASIC was included with all home computers. Whilst I’m yet to try Kodu for myself (but will do so tonight) if it manages to give me at least the notion of creative freedom that always seemed like a hack in LittleBigPlanet I’ll find my five pounds well spent. After all, who wouldn’t want to create a beat-em-up where FruitOfDoom finally got his comeuppance?