One of the big moments in the video game calendar is the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) event in Los Angeles. Historically, this is when many big video game publishers announced new games and let the press get hands-on for the first time.
This year the event was held online, with a range of press conferences and streams. This expanded beyond just E3 to a week of video game announcements from many different sources.
While children will be excited about the big announcements and hoopla of the show, for parents and guardians this is a great chance to get ahead of the curve and see the games that will be coming later in the year.
If you want to deepen the video game conversation with your child, check out some of the games in this post and casually drop them into conversation over dinner or on the way to school.
A re-release of the classic Monkey Ball games where you tilt platforms to control the path of a hamster ball containing a monkey. The peculiar premise is matched with accurate challenging gameplay and some great multiplayer modes (like Monkey Target) that could be games in their own right.
Play involves tilting the world to control the speed and trajectory of the ball. The goal of the main game is to reach the goal gate before the timer runs out, and without falling off the floor. You can collect extra points via the bananas on the stage.
Terra Nil is a strategy game where you are using clean technology to bring back life to a barren world. It's a city building game where you aren't building a city at all, but a clean thriving ecology. It raises interesting themes of how humanity plays an important role in a healthy environment, as well as the importance of playing our part with longevity and light footprints in mind.
Lemnis Gate is a combat game that combines turn-taking with real-time shooting. At the start of the battle, you pick one of your seven operatives for the first 25 second round. The game then rewinds to the start and you go again with your second operative. Now though, your actions from the first round persist.
Tinykin is a puzzle game where you play Milo. You have landed on Earth in 1991 but are tiny. To survive you catch hundreds of mysterious Tinykin who can use their powers to create ladders, bridges and explosions to help you find a way home. Play is like the Pikmin games. You need to collect enough of the right kind of toy helper creatures to move obstacles and solve puzzles in your path.
Omno is a platform game where you explore an ancient fantastical world. As you explore you meet all manner of strange and wonderful lifeforms, from cute critters to enigmatic giants. Play centres around running and jumping. However, you have a staff that offers different movements. You can use it to dash or warp forward, then as it grows in power it can become a surfboard or witches broom or umbrella to enable you to surf through the environments.
Rawmen is a jovial combat game where you sling soup rather than bullets. Similar to Splatoon, this offers a less violent alternative to shooting games that is also a huge amount of fun in its own right. You battle alongside or against your friends in a range of battle modes and challenges that put your food fighting skills to the test. You can start a quick match against strangers, or invite friends and family to a private game of your choosing.
Party Animals is a fighting game where animal characters battle each other. Like Gang Beasts, the novelty is in the game physics that recreate realistic movement and impact with a cartoon rag-doll feel.
You choose one of the several furry fighters to brawl in a range of modes and locations. You can find and use a bunch of different silly weapons that escalate the chaos in different ways: a plunger, a lollipop or a bomb. It's a bit of silly fun that is quick to pick up but actually needs considerable skill to master.