Perfect Woman isn't a typical game. In fact, it's not what you'd expect from a game leveraging the Kinect either. That's exactly why it caught my attention, by meaningfully using the Kinect to weave in a narrative about lifestyle and categorizing people. The Kinect can feel gimmicky, but here developers are using it to make a statement about seeking "perfection" and it's doing it in an engaging way.

Peter Lu and Lea Schönfelder created Perfect Woman while working at the UCLA Game Lab together. The inspiration for the project came from personality questionnaires in women's magazines that try to lump people together in one generalized box or another. We've all seen these tests and laughed; the quizzes often feature takeaways about careers, sex, and family, aiming to classify what type of person you are. "But these cannot possibly characterize the depth and complexity of a woman's life," states the Perfect Woman website. That sums up the point of the game, and Lu and Schönfelder approach it with plenty of humor and smart observations.

Perfect Woman starts with your birth, and then progresses through different stages of life, where you must make important decisions about your future. For instance, at age nine you can choose to go down the path of a princess, a super-talented singer and performer, a street kid leading a gang, or a child worker. Each decision has a different difficulty level, ranging from easy to extreme. Once you make your selection, you use your body via the Kinect to match the changing poses on the screen. If you pick easy, the posing is minimal and gives you plenty of time to react. If you pick a hard or extreme difficulty, you're put in strenuous situations where you must not only react quickly, but you also have to contort your body. The better you can hold poses, the higher your rating level at the end of each level, which determines how well you did at that stage in your life.

Depending on if your score earns you the bad, mediocre, or good tier, certain life choices become easier or more difficult. For instance, if you pick to be a child worker, you'll have an easier time being a low-paid cashier later in life. In a more ridiculous choice, you can choose to be, "the girl everyone wants to sleep with." However, if you end up being bad at that, you become afraid of love, so having a family life will be hard, but you can have an easy life as a call girl. You can try to break away from your past, but it won't be easy.

At the end of the six different life stages, your decisions are summarized for you, showing how your choices, successes, and failures lead to the outcomes. The goal is to reach age 85 and ultimately decide how you're going to spend your last days. Would you rather be a demented but happy old lady or a wise and experienced grandmother?  If you try to be too perfect along the way and take the hardest challenges, you could end up dying before your time; constantly striving for perfection takes its toll.

I enjoyed how the game wasn't afraid to be funny and parody stereotypes. The branching decision tree makes it so every choice has a consequence and opens up easier or harder paths between the four decisions at each life stage. Choose to be a terrorist and it's going to be tough to re-integrate into society, but it doesn't take that path completely off the table. You'll just have to really master your poses and reflexes.

The different difficulties and choices send the message that you can't be perfect at all six stages of life, and not every choice you make in life is going to be what you want. More so, sometimes you'll take the risk on a hard life choice and fail. It doesn't doom your life; it just increases the challenge of certain life paths. But I enjoyed this commentary on life. Going the easy route might not be at the top of your life goals, but it might pay off later in life to do other, more meaningful things.

The game takes roughly 10 minutes to complete, but the branching paths make you want to see where different choices lead and if better skills can change your outcomes. I've already played through it four times because it's kept me curious, and I'm left still intrigued.

No release date is set, but the game is currently in development for Xbox One. A PC/Mac version has already been shown at various events.

You can check out more about the game at its official site.