AskAboutGames’ Family Games of 2017
If, like us, you plan to spend the weekend finally getting the Christmas shopping that you said would be done in November finally crossed off the festive to-do-list, we’re here to help.
Below are five of our favourite family-suitable games of 2017, from those suitable for true youngsters, to games great for your own relatives to play in groups.
The below is presented in no particular order, but does hope to make sure you deliver the goods when it comes to gaming gifts over the holiday season.
Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) PEGI 7
As with almost every entry in the main canon Super Mario series since the portly plumber was known as ‘Jumpman’ – back in 1981 – Super Mario Odyssey is an absolute masterwork of game design. From it’s level design, characters, audio and gameplay to the amazing missions and wealth of extra to find after the main game is done, it truly is one of the best games ever made. Believe us; we’re 700 moons deep in the game right now, and if you know what that means, you’ll know how much we’ve played. It’s also equally enjoyable whether you’re seven-years old and new to Mario, or an old hand nearing 40. And it works great with a few family member tackling the single-player mode together, taking turns and working together to uncover those pesky hidden moons.
Splatoon 2 (Switch) PEGI 7
While the competitive multiplayer shooter is so often defined by aggression and violence, with Splatoon 2 Nintendo proved that need not be the case. Here the guns fire a bounty of paint, and players are tasked with painting as much of an area with their team’s colour before the match ends. The thing is, there’s always another team trying to do the same, often painting over your colour with their own. Hilarious, energetic and spirited, this wonderful game show exciting, competitive multiplayer shooting doesn’t need; let alone gore or death.
LEGO Worlds (PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One) PEGI 7
It always surprised us that the LEGO video games never quite went with Minecraft’s model of letting players build worlds from bricks. After all, Minecraft owed a lot of its success to LEGO’s long heritage serving as the king of all creative toys. And then LEGO Worlds came along. There’s a vast LEGO adventure to be enjoyed, but it also offered the chance to build elaborate models from virtual LEGO bricks. Sure, LEGO had tried that before with CD-ROM software like Creator many years back. But here they got it so right we almost forgot about the story-driven game mode. And it’s a great game for kids and their parents or guardians to play with together.
Overwatch (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One) PEGI 12
For slightly older family members, Splatoon 2’s cheerful colour palette might not have satisfied their urge to play a truly mature shooter like the 18-rated Call of Duty, which is absolutely only suitable for adults. Overwatch, however, was a ‘proper’ online multiplayer shooter without a ‘childish’ theme, but it carries a PEGI-12 rating. And it has become a recognised global eSport. A warning to parents – extra money can be spent in game, but only on entirely cosmetic changes, so there’s no need to spend that money to get the most out of the game, meaning you need not cave and empty your wallet.. And there’s free content added all the time.
Snake Pass (PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One) PEGI 3
OK, we might be showing our age, and we have already included Super Mario Odyssey in this list. But Snake Pass offers a wonderful, extremely family friendly homage to 1990s 3D platformers. It didn’t get as much credit as it deserves – in our humble opinion – but it really is a wonderful, cheerful release that lets even very young kids enjoy a classic gaming form with their older family members.