Invizimals may have been a game that your kids have liked but not really clicked with. Now however with the Invizimals The Alliance on Vita and Invizimals Lost Kingdoms on PlayStation 3 the franchise has really started something that could grab their attention. So get ready as we did not see it coming (pardon the pun!!)
There are many components to this franchise and it takes a while for all the pieces to click together. Not only is there the ability battle between Vita and PS3 but there is also a cartoon coming to the UK soon as well as a line of toys and collectable Panini stickers. Look out wallet!
Testing out the two games, as well as seeing the cartoons and the toys at a recent launch event for the game it was interesting to see how uncomplicated the offering felt. It all clicks when you see a child pause the TV show and use a Vita to scan the QR code which then granted him access to the on-screen character in his game.
Then later on while exploring in the garden they use the Vita to scan a particular part of greenery to capture another hard to find Invizimal he had been searching for.
With both Invizimals games launching on 28th March we are looking forward to seeing how quickly it reaches that critical mass of becoming the characters of choice for imaginary playground games. We are looking to see if they will work for our Gamewagon kids video game parties where Skylanders really struggled. We focus on social interaction and four player games and we hope more developers continue to support social gaming in creative ways such as Invizimals.
Below is a video from our friends from Family Gamer TV so you can learn a little more from the Invizimals Launch Party;
You and your wallet may have survived the Skylander phenomenon that linked collectable characters with a video game. Well get ready for Mixels from Lego.
Lego Mixels are a range of unique characters that belong to one of nine tribes, each with a distinct colour and style to differentiate them. Made from Lego parts they can all be combined to create a mix (combining Mixels of different tribes), max (combining Mixels of the same tribe), and murp (when a mix goes horribly wrong).
Lego Mixels is a quite unique approach as the cartoon shorts (Cartoon Network) and the toys were developed in unison, with both debuting at the same time.
Supporting them on the video gaming front is the Lego Mixels App, “Calling All Mixels”, which allows you to play with your Mixels in a virtual environment as you mix, max and murp them together to defend against the evil Nixels.
Lego could have a huge hit on their hands with the Mixels; and at only £3 per character, they’re a little less of a hit for parents too!
We are often asked about the suitability of our video game birthday parties and entertainment for girls. My own daughter is a FIFA fanatic but also has grown up playing Jak & Daxter, Mario Kart, and Super Mario Bros on consoles and not just Singstar and dance mats. There is no doubt in my mind that girls love video games of all genre as much as the boys. We see them every week playing together and having an absolute blast.
However, it is interesting when you take a view from afar and start to consider what kind of female characters exist inside the games that she historically played. There is no doubt there is a huge bias towards male characters but we talked about it and it was not something she was really aware of, or that ruined her fun at the time.
Our friend Andy at Family Guy TV recently posed a similar point to Activision at the New York Toy fair. Skylanders has been an amazing phenomenon but the character set has been predominantly biased towards male characters. Although the development team felt they were gender neutral!
We have recently seen Angry Birds Stella announced, which is a version of the game targeted specifically at girls (judging from her colour and types of toys being sold). While boys will likely enjoy playing this as well it will be interesting to see if Skylanders goes a similar route.
With the Swap Force figures seemingly all being male, does Skylanders 4 need to re-address the balance? What video games do your daughters play? Do they have any favourite female video game characters?
We will take a close up look at some of the favourite female Skylanders in preparation for announcements on the new game. Here is Sky who packs a fiery punch.
BAFTA has published the nominations for its awards for games in 2014. Of particular interest to us at Gamewagon are the family video game nominations shown below. Two of our huge favourite video game party titles are featured; Rayman Legends and Super Mario 3D World.
These awards are great, not only do they recognise the talent that is behind these incredible games but they also put games in the same context within the arts as film and television.
Video games have come a long way and it is important that parents understand this and appreciate why video games are rated in a similar way to films with regards to age appropriateness.
A full list of the nominations is available at BAFTA Games. In the category for “Family”, nominations are: Rayman Legends; Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons; Tearaway; Animal Crossing: New Leaf; Super Mario 3D World; and (unsurprisingly) Skylanders SWAP Force.
Below is a link to more news on the BAFTA Awards and other family gaming news from Andy Robertson of Family Gamer TV.
Andy at Family Gamer TV alerted us that Microsoft has lowered the retail price of the Xbox One in the UK. If you were thinking of buying one, this may be enough to tip you over the edge and today you’ll be able to get it for £399 instead of £429. Worldwide, Microsoft is also introducing a Titanfall (new shoot’em up game PEGI 16) bundle you get the Xbox One, a digital copy of the multiplayer shooter, and a free month of Xbox Live Gold all for the same price as the console alone. Not a bad deal so soon after the launch of the new Next Gen console.
We are still watching the developments with both the PS4 and Xbox One and still absolutely adore the Nintendo WiiU for fun family friendly multiplayer games. The current pricing of the Next Gen consoles according to Amazon are as follows; Xbox One – £399, PS4 – £349 and WiiU – £217.
Given that the WiiU will allow you to continue to use your Wii controllers and still play your back catalogue of Wii games it is tough to beat in the frugality stakes. Parents of kids from 3 to 9 years could do far worse than the WiiU. Older children may find that the peer pressure to much to resist the Sony and Microsoft offerings.
We will aim to keep you posted on further developments in the battle of the consoles.
Angry Birds has always been a firm favourite with Gamewagoners on iPad and consoles. Now, Rovio has announced a new Angry Birds brand being developed called Angry Birds Stella.
“Get ready to meet Stella and her friends! Stella may be pink, but she’s definitely one of the Angry Birds, a fierce and a feisty character with a great group of friends. Of course no story is complete without some interesting (fr)enemies! Angry Birds Stella will open a door to a part of the Angry Birds universe you’ve never seen before! There will be plenty of fun and adventure, but the bunch of passionate pals will also have to deal with some serious issues in order to protect their friendship and the environment they live in. Luckily, Stella and her friends are good at finding creative solutions!”
There’ll be games, cartoons, books, toys, and more to tell stories about Stella and her friends and (fr)enemies. The new tagline? “Best friends forever… most of the time”.
Watch the video courtesy of Family Guy TV presenter Andy Robertson and we will keep you posted as launch date becomes clearer.