At the recent E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in June, video game companies from all over the globe gathered to show off their upcoming products for Holiday 2011 and beyond. Although much of the overall focus of the show this year centered on companies trying to appeal to “core” gamers, there were quite a few games on display that families should be excited about.
In Part 1 of our Favorites, we’ve recognized games in each of the five different gameplay categories we use to classify games on FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com, which helps make it easy for families to search for and find games they are looking for. For Part 2, we’ve then recognized a few of our favorites by platform and category, and conclude this list with our top 3 overall FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com family-friendly favorites of E3 2011.
There are lots of games for families to be excited about this year, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback about what YOUR family is looking forward to playing, so please feel free to leave a comment or ask us a question via Facebook or Twitter.
Part 2 - OVERALL FAMILYFRIENDLYVIDEOGAMES.COM E3 2011 FAVORITES
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite Nintendo DS Game
Combining exploration with many of the elements that have made previous Mama games so popular, Camping Mama seems poised to deliver the most comprehensive Mama experience yet, with more than 100 activities - like making S’mores.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite Nintendo 3DS Game
Mario Kart 3DS
The ultimate head-to-head racer makes its debut this year on Nintendo’s new 3DS handheld, and Mario and the gang have new tricks up their sleeve as they take their customizable karts to tracks from all across the mushroom kingdom. This may finally be the first must-have Nintendo 3DS game.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite Nintendo Wii Game
Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games
Mario and Sonic combines competitive and cooperative action like no other, making any installment in this franchise a must-own for Wii families.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite PlayStation 3 Game
This new move title offers an unprecedented level of detail and precision to many favorite carnival games. Outside of actually playing it in real life, we’ve never felt so in control of our skee-balls before, and can’t wait for this mini-game collection this holiday.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite Xbox 360 Game
We’re not sure we can imagine a more fun Kinect game then Take Shape. Players will use their bodies to fit inside shapes to make them disappear from puzzles, work together with up to four players to fill other shapes, and even challenge other teams to match the shapes that they can make. Blending competitiveness, cooperation and over-the-top Let Loose fun, Take Shape seems like the perfect game for any family gathering.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite Multi-platform Game
To celebrate Sonic’s 20th Anniversary, Sega has put together a game that combines the classic 2-D side-scrolling Sonic action that families love with the more successful and easy-to-play portions of recent 3D Sonic titles. The result is a game that can be enjoyed by family members of all ages.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite PlayStation Vita Game
Little Big Planet Vita
Showcasing the best parts of Sony’s powerful new Vita handheld system, Little Big Planet for Vita is simple enough for almost anyone to play, yet contains enough depth that even serious gamers will find more than enough to occupy them. We love how Little Big Planet blends front touchscreen and rear touchpad controls.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite Accessory
uDraw & Enhanced uDraw Studio
Although it doesn’t contain a viewable screen, the touchpad on this new controller for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 allows players to use their fingers to control the onscreen action. Based on the popular and family-friendly uDraw Wii from 2010, the 2011 version has been optimized to make all aspects of using it as simple as possible for kids as young as six.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite Exercise Game
Featuring a controller that doubles as a real exercise bike, Cyberbike puts players in control of bikes, subs, gliders and more as they use pedal power to move the character on screen. Not only is the controller certified exercise equipment, but it also can be used for other racing games like Mario Kart.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite New Product
Although concrete details and actual games were non-existent, we saw enough of Nintendo’s Wii successor to think that they’ll deliver an innovative platform for families in 2012. We were particularly impressed by the demo that allowed the Wii-U tablet controller to view the gameworld as it rendered all around us. We also love that it will be compatible with all Wii games and controllers.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite Dance Game
Dance games may be the ultimate family equalizer, and Everybody Dance for PlayStation Move seems to combine all the greatest elements from the most popular Wii and Kinect dancing games, and add even more value on top of it. With the power to host 20-person tournaments and more, we think Everybody Dance might be the first dance game that does everything right.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite Play Together Game
With a beautiful cartoony art-style, and humor that will appeal to kids and adults, Rayman Origins four-player cooperative gameplay looks to be the next evolution of the Super Mario Bros. model. As an added bonus, players can drop in and out of the action whenever they want.
FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Award for Blending Games and Real-Life
While other companies were showcasing their latest wares onscreen, Activision was promoting two family-friendly products that require real-life toys in order to work. Both of them have us extremely intrigued.
Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure is a game for tweens and up that will require players to place their collectible figures on the game’s “Portal of Power” in order to appear onscreen. But once they do, they can be transferred to any friend’s game as well, regardless of the system.
Wappy Dog is a robotic dog that players can interact with via Nintendo DS. Not only does the robot work as a standalone toy, but the toy also can be played within the videogame world, as abilities and attributes will cross-over between the virtual and real-life pet.
Top Three Overall FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Family-Friendly Games of E3 2011
Mario & Sonic at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games
As with previous versions of the game, favorites from the Mario and Sonic universe are back to compete in “realistic” versions of Olympic events, along with “dream” versions that incorporate over-the-top videogame world elements.
This all-new dance game for PlayStation Move is able to bring together the best of other popular dance titles, as well as add cool new features like a 20-player tournament or a Dance Party mode where you can simply set the time limit and have the game generate a playlist for you.
With a beautiful art style and a unique sense-of-humor, Rayman Origins lets up to four players to work together to complete levels, allowing them to jump in and out of the action whenever they like. Great for a broad range of ages.