Over the last few years, the Nintendo Wii has dominated the family game market and the Microsoft Kinect has siphoned away some of that audience with its emphasis on titles that span every demographic. It’s left Sony PlayStation loyalists wondering what they should do with their favorite system when it comes time to introduce it to the next generation. Get a PlayStation Move!
Kids like innovation – new bells and whistles in the gaming world – and you’re going to have a tough time getting them excited about picking up a controller when they’ve swung a sword with a Wii-mote and done the Dougie playing "Dance Central 2." While the Move technology still lags a bit behind its competitors, there are a number of G-rated games made for it that could be the perfect Saturday night entertainment for your entire family. Here are the best:
Photo © Sony
Released at the launch of the Move, "Start the Party" introduces the whole family to the basic functionality of the new technology and was even bundled with systems in Japan. It’s a remarkably simple game in which the PlayStation Eye (which comes with the Move) serves as a camera and the developers basically overlay the game on an image of whatever is happening in your living room. Like most kids games, the Move becomes something that can mimic understood actions – swing a tennis racket, move a paintbrush, etc. The idea that a kid can hold an object (the Move controller) and then that object can be turned into something magical in a virtual world is one of the building blocks for the entire concept of video games. It’s a fantastic way to first reveal to your young ones the magic of gaming.
Photo © Sony
Virtual Skee-Ball, Pop-a-Shot, and more carny favorites recreate the nostalgic experience of going to the arcade. Kids of a certain age love to play the same game over and over again, just trying to beat their own high score, which is one of the main reasons arcades existed in the first place. (Just ask the inventor of Whack-a-Mole.) The fun of being entranced by the same repetitive joy for hours on end is recreated in this entertaining, yet simple title that mimics a trip to the carnival complete with unlockable treats and prizes to be won.
Photo © Ubisoft
Have a kiddie who likes to dance? Teach ‘em how to win PlayStation trophies instead of just bouncing around during dinner time. Perhaps the most stunning gaming development in the last few years has been the success of games designed to get people to move their feet. Who would have guessed that an industry initially built around sedentary teenagers sitting on couches with controllers in their hands would eventually evolve into parties of kids bouncing around to the beats of “Billie Jean”?
Photo © Disney
Video games based on movies are generally horrendous, but this one is an exception and a great bridge between your kids’ favorite animated trilogy and the machine that they probably use to watch it on Blu-ray. The developers of the "Toy Story 3" game wisely don’t try to copy the action of the Oscar-winning film. Instead, they give fans a world in which they can play with their favorite characters from the Pixar franchise. The game requires a lot of controller-based action, but it also includes Move-based missions, making it a great example of how a family game can merge both traditional controls and new technology.
Photo © Sony
"Playstation Move Heroes" brings classic Sony characters like Jak and Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, and Sly Cooper to the new technology, allowing players to pick their favorites and work together to complete more than four dozen levels. It’s a great introduction to the idea of co-op play as siblings can team up as one of the legendary duos – one kid plays Jak and the other Daxter, for example. While the story is paper-thin and the title is essentially just a series of mini-games disguised as levels, this is a great introduction to not just these award-winning franchises, but also the entire world of Sony entertainment.