Disclosure: I attended this Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment sponsored event but as always my post is my unbiased opinions.
I just saw my first commercial for Christmas!…for Christmas! the holiday season seems like it is getting longer and longer. Not that I blame anyone. With the economy as well as the craziness that occurs as the holiday season approaches (ie. Black Friday etc.) It behooves parents to think well ahead or face the massive hordes as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder. Yet, with all the bitter there is certainly a sweet side. There are some amazing games and systems coming out in the next few months that has me super excited.
This past week, I got my first taste of the latest selection of fall video game releases for kids from Warner Brother Interactive Entertainment (WBIE). Here is some of what I saw:
· LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Available Fall 2013
This was the game that everyone instantly fell in love with at the event. From the minute that the doors opened there was a group of kids and parents gather around Lego Marvel Super Heroes. The Lego game series has been spetacular since the introduction of the Lego Star Wars games adding everything that fans love about the movies with the added whimsy that only LEGO can bring. It really does seem like the Lego game brand has become the Pixar of kids games as it has yet to put out a dud of a game. Lego Marvel Super Heroes continues that strong tradition. Visually, the game looked amazing and in my opinion strained the graphical rendering capacity of the Xbox 360 that it was being played on (thankfully it will be a launch title for the next generation of systems: Xbox One and Playstation 4)
With fully interactive environments, an enormous cast of playable Marvel characters each with their own unique abilities and extremely detailed environments including New York City (from the Avengers Movie) and Asgard the game delivers on any expectation a fan boy or gamer might have. Again, I have had only a little taste but that taste has me really wanting more.
· Scribblenauts Unmasked – A DC Comics Adventure: Available September 24
Before trying Scribblenauts Unmasked I had not played a Scribblenauts game before, now I want to kick myself for not finding the games before. If you are not familiar with the game, the game places you in control of Maxwell who can summon objects and endow them with a variety of attributes in order to retrieve objects or solve puzzles. All the player has to do is write or type what he wants to summon or endow on the system. For example Maxwell can summon a ladder and use it to climb to a different level within the game by just typing in “ladder”, the player then can take that same ladder turn it on it’s side and set it on fire or smash it to pieces. The limit of what can be summoned or done is really up to the player’s imagination.
Scribblenauts Unmasked takes the Scribblenauts concept and brings it into the DC comics world. Now Maxwell must assist real superheroes in order to solve each problems. Along with this every single superhero and villain in the DC world is free to be summoned. The game is considered to have the most comprehensive encyclopedia of DC characters anywhere including various different versions.
When I played the game I had an instant vision of Rock and I sitting side by side summoning various heroes and villains and watching them fight it out…oh then we would blow them up and fly away in a jet being chased by a dinosaur.
Scribblenauts Unmasked will be available for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, & PC.
Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver: Available September 17
Hot Wheels has been around forever, but has mainly been known for their cars and track sets. This year they have made a significant step in to the virtual realm with Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver. By taking the best things about Hot Wheels: the ridiculous car designs and race tracks and combining it into an easy to play but difficult to master game you get a game that adults can play with children but with the added complexity to have moms and dads playing after the kids have gone to bed.
The game has 24 vehicles with dozens of replayable challenges and extremely test tracks all over the world.
Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver will be available for Xbox 360, PlayStation3, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and PC.
Also at the event was
· LEGO Friends: Available November 2013
Players travel to Heartlake City where they can build friendships and express their own style and individuality as they explore the city. This includes going shopping for the latest fashions, selecting the perfect hairstyle and decorating your room. In addition, players can chose how they spend their summer vacation play soccer and raise pets.
LEGO Friends will be available for Nintendo 3DS and DS.
· LEGO Legends of Chima: Release date TBD
LEGO Legends of Chima takes the popular TV cartoon and puts players in a totally immersive and interactive free to play world that is all online. You can choose your tribe and build your own outpost while interacting with characters from the show as well as online players. The game is free to play which means that players can build outposts, go on adventures and level up without having to pay. Though there are certain advantages given to those players who do pay for either currency or have a membership to the game.
The most important aspect of the game for both the developers and parents was the safety features. LEGO Legends of Chima Online has active chat filters and moderation in place to help prevent the collection and sharing of personal information.
LEGO Legends of Chima will be available for PC or Mac Desktops.