Nearly all the punches have been thrown, and we’re entering the final rounds of the next-gen console war. Sony and Microsoft know that for those who are still on the fence, the games that will be available for kids to unwrap at Christmas or to play on launch day may tip the scales.
It’s been interesting to see the paths of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One diverge. A look at the games being released in the “launch window” (the time between release and December 31st),shows the Playstation edging out the Xbox on the family front, assuming you’re counting downloadable titles. If we’re talking retail box copies, then it’s really anyone’s game.
Playstation 4 Exclusive Titles for Kids
Knack is a highly stylized, all-ages goblin crushing adventure where you collect objects that make you stronger, Katamari Damacy style. As we reported on Thursday, this game has an innovative local co-op feature to help younger kids get into the game.
Spearhead Games of Montreal will present their debut game as one of PS4’s downloadable launch titles, Tiny Brains. This living room co-op game allows four players to tackle puzzles together as a team of escaped lab rodents by teleporting and creating platforms.
HumaNature Studios’s Doki-Doki Universe is a downloadable PS3 title from Toejam and Earl creator Greg Johnson. Bizarre and quirky in the best way, this game is about self-discovery and unique connections. It plans on connecting your PS3 or PS4, Vita and social networks.
Hohokum by Honeyslug is a unique and “relaxing” downloadable game with no tutorial, timer or scores. All you do is move your “Long Mover” through non-linear space, calmly enjoying the experience while going for a few set objectives. In Hohokum, it’s all about the beautiful, immersive journey.
Super Motherload by XGen was voted into existence on Steam Greenlight. It’s a couch co-op platformer puzzle game where you and up to three friends drill your way through “Mars in an alternate Cold-War era.” The retro vibe is pretty hip, and the dynamic world changes each time you play.
Xbox One’s Family Friendly Launch Titles
Peggle 2 by Popcap Games is a timed exclusive with Xbox One, meaning it will launch with the console and then release later versions for other platforms after the fact. Peggle is an addictive puzzle game that should make for addictive family fun on the Xbox.
Project Spark isn’t necessarily a kid’s game (or even a family game), but if your kid has the diligence and creativity to learn the world and use it to create, he or she will most likely enjoy Project Spark. This is really less of a game and more of a game maker. Using Kinect and SmartGlass along with voice commands to build environments and share them with the community.
Non-Exclusive Family-Friendly Titles for Both Consoles
Skylanders was the first IP to do the action figure-video game mashup that we talked about last week in our Disney Infinity preview. Skylanders Swapforce is the newest installment of this very cool toy, and this time you can swap the bottoms of characters with the tops of others to make new, unique characters with different combinations of in-game powers.
I could link you a normal old trailer for this game, but I found something much more adorable:
Ubisoft’s Just Dance is just fun. Some of my best memories are hanging out in my friend’s basement (as an adult, more recently than I care to admit) playing Just Dance on the Wii. The pop music is fun, but not as fun as making a fool of yourself.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes will be releasing on both consoles, which is good since this would be a tough one to miss out on. Check out our review of this great new all-ages title here. I have yet to be bored with a LEGO video game, they’re always a ton of tongue-in-cheek fun.
I feel like it would probably insult your geek status level to tell you about Minecraft. I will tell you that it’s coming as a download to PS4 and will be a download and boxed release for Xbox called the Xbox One Edition. I’ll just leave this here.