by Lori Cunningham
E3 is a fun trade show to attend, you never know what or who you’ll run into. Last year I ran into Yoda and some of his friends. This year I saw Snoop Dogg. E3 is the video game industry’s big trade show of the year where major video game producers introduce the video games they have secretly been working on for months. At E3 they debut their concepts and working prototypes to give store buyers and the press a look at what’s to come. The WellConnectedMom.com scours the floor each year to give parents a head’s up on what’s coming and gives recommendations for fun family games to consider for the holiday season. This year, there were too many war type games to count. Surprisingly, less family titles than last year. Nonetheless, we found some gems:
Where’s My Perry?
You may recall from our Digital Kids Conference post, we listed the Disney’s Where’s My Water app as one of the new Apps you should know about. It ranks right up there with Angry Birds as one of the most entertaining and challenging apps out there…and both apps have a free version on Android. Disney knew they had a winner with Where’s My Water so they decided to extend the premise and functionality of the game into a new game for Phineas & Ferb fans called, Where’s My Perry? in the show, Perry plays Phineas & Ferb’s beloved platypus, who secretly is a crime-fighting agent for the O.W.C.A. As with Where’s My Water, you guide Perry through different levels by sweeping out dirt obstacles so the flow of water takes Perry through various secret passages. Complications arise, however, when Dr. Doofenshmirtz sets up gadget traps that turn water into steam, ice, or a strange liquid. Where’s My Perry debuts later this month and will be available for $.99 on both Android and IOS. Later, a free version will be made available, although the timing of the free app is unknown at this time.
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
You may not recall Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but he was one of the first characters along with Mickey, Walt Disney created. He last appeared in cartoons in 1928. He joins forces with Mickey in this fun engaging video game. Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is an incredible game to play for Disney fans. This sequel to Disney Epic Mickey, allows you to explore an awe-filled world full of Disney characters and attractions from the parks…long forgotten about. The game is like a stroll down memory lane and full of adventure as you can control Mickey to paint incredible scenes with his magical paintbrush and thinner. And Oswald has the power to control electricity. What makes Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two different from any other video game I’ve seen is that it actually encompasses a musical as a part of the story line. So throughout the game, the characters will break out into song and dance. Dependent upon the player’s game choices, each game will be a different musical. Pretty cool, huh? I can’t wait for this game to come out. Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two will be available in October across all gaming platforms..DS3, Wii, XBox, PS 3, PC, etc. Disney Epic Micky 2: The Power of Two is available for pre-order through Amazon.comfor $49.99 with free super saver shipping.
NBA Baller Beats
I was mesmerized by NBA Baller Beats at the trade show. Majesco Entertainment, maker of NBA Baller Beats, had a big basketball court looking stage with a full schedule of professional men and women basketball players adorning the court. They were showing off their moves and the challenges of NBA Baller Beats. It was truly fascinating to watch them. The object of the game is much like Rockband only instead of strumming a guitar or hitting a drum to the beat, you dribble a basketball. In addition, similar to a dance program, you are served up “moves” to mimic as you dribble your ball. Moves include a dribble through your legs, a pose as if throwing the ball into a basket, and a number more. NBA Baller Beats allows you hone your ball handling skills while building up your stamina for the basketball court. For beginners, the game includes a skills building area that helps you perfect your moves before the “big game.” If you’re looking for you or your kids to score some exercise, this game will do it for you and them. The NBA Baller Beats comes packaged with an included Spalding NBA replica basketball and will be available for the XBOX Kinect. The game debuts September 1st and is available for pre-order now through Amazon.comfor $59.96 with free super saver shipping.
Dance Central 3
Dancing games have been popular for a while now. What more can they do to them to “raise bar?,” I thought before seeing a private demo of Dance Central 3. Well, now they’ve thought of everything and have gone “retro!” Now young and old can learn real dance moves to old favorites through the ’70′s, 80′s, 90′s, and today. Great popular-crazed dances like The Hustle, Electric Slide, The Dougie, and more. How fun is that? Featuring songs from 50 cent, Gloria Gaynor, Usher, and more, Dance Central 3 accommodates up to 8 players to dance at once. In fact, to make parties more fun, you can have two teams of 4 compete one another. Dance Central 3′s “Crew Throwdown” pits two teams (of up to 4 each) against each other in head-to-head performances, battles, and fun mini-games, including my favorite “Make Your Move.” ”Make Your Move” allows you to create your own dance moves and your opponent has to mimic them to earn the point. It’s pretty hilarious to compete and watch other players. Dance Central 3 will debut in the Fall for $49.00 and is available for pre-order now through Amazon.com, including free super saver shipping.
Now, I was pretty impressed by fore mentioned games, but the new PlayStation 3 Wonderbook Book of Spells for Move was nearly mind boggling. Yes, mind boggling, which by the way, is a word I haven’t used in years! I will write more about the Wonderbook in another article because it deserves more description. Using the PlayStation 3 Move controller and a nondescript “book” with no words that comes with the Book of Spells game, you can interact with the game on your TV making magical things happen with the spells you are learning. In front of you, the book and Move controller are boring. But look at your TV and instead you are holding a Harry Potter type wand and a book full of color and vitality. You can write with fire, conjure up dragons, and making mystical things happen. It is truly a fascinating concept. Sony worked closely with R.K. Rowling to develop the book and all of it’s spells. Many of the these spells are the basis from which the Harry Potter movie series were based on. The Book of Spells Wonderbook is only available for PlayStation 3 and will be available in December and will come with the game and a blank Wonderbook. The Wonderbook: Book of Spells is available for pre-order now through Amazon.com for $39.99 with free super saver shipping.
Look forward to some fun and exciting games to play with your family this Fall. The timing of the debut of many of these video games, of course, is strategically released right before Christmas. The Where’s My Perry app will be available by the end of the month. Curious about our top pics from E3 last year? See our article, The Best Upcoming Family Games from E3 2011.Tweet