The 2014 Game Awards aired Friday December 5th, 2015 and it featured a “Best Family Game” category. I’m sure you can imagine that we were more than a little excited that family friendly games were getting such significant recognition when most of the Triple A gaming space is dedicated to games that children shouldn’t be playing.
All five of the game that were nominated are worthy contenders. They were:
Disney Infinity 2.0
Disney Infinity 2.0 Took the formula from last years smash hit and somehow jammed another universe into it. This opened it up to a whole new audience that may not have been as interested before.
It also took steps to further refine the toy box mode making much easier for younger players to build their own experiences. This helped alleviate some of the frustration that plagued the initial release.
Fantasia: Music Evolved
Fantasia : Music Evolved is not only a fantastic game, but is also a completely unique experience. Any family with a remote interest in music and a Kinect enabled Xbox 360 or Xbox One owes it to themselves to give this game a try.
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8 is, by my mind, the clear winner out of the bunch. Mario Kart games has always been fun, but Mario Kart 8 feels special. The driving is spot on. The tracks are all amazing. And it might just be the best looking game Nintendo has ever released.
The real Strength behind Mario Kart 8 is its staying power. This game is great purchase because it will see play for the life of the console.
Skylanders: Trap Team
Skylanders started the entire Toys to Life trend. Trap team brings it all to another level by including a Pokemon-esque trap feature that lets players capture (and ultimately control) villains. The developers committed so fully to this trap theme that they upgraded the base to include a speaker. The captured monsters actually speak through it and interact with players.
Tomodachi Life may be the weirdest game I have played in a long time. But there is no denying that there is something very compelling going on here. There is just something about importing your friends and family a Mii characters and unleashing them on a fictional island and watching them interact.
The entire experience felt like a very “Nintendo” interpretation of the Sims, but with a much greater emphasis on silly situations than on realism.
How I would have voted: Mario Kart 8
My prediction: Mario Kart 8
Winner: Mario Kart 8
None of these games really stood a chance considering Mario Kart 8 came out this year. Fantasia may have given other games a challenge based on its unique premise, but it is a novel idea that will wear off its welcome quickly.
What do you think? Sound off on who you would have voted for in the comments!