Five family-friendly games to look out for this year
The coming year is set to be an epic one for gaming, and it's not just big budget shooters to look forward to. There's also a great selection of family-friendly titles incoming, on all of the major console platforms. We've picked out five of those we're most excited about, all of which are suitable to be played with kids of any age...
Remember Banjo Kazooie? This is a spiritual successor to the Nintendo 64 classic, with a host of the talent who created that title on board for this follow-up. It's an exploratory platformer in the grand tradition of its predecessor; all daft characters and secret-packed gaming worlds. The development of Yooka Laylee was funded by fans via Kickstarter - it reached its initial funding target in just 38 minutes.
If you've ever looked at Minecraft and thought, "hmm, looks a lot like Lego on a computer screen..." well, you can bet the Lego head honchos have thought the same too. And though it's taken them a while to play catch-up, they get there in the end in 2016 with Lego Worlds. Gameplay is sure to be deep but the overall concept is simple - build whatever you want, however you want out of virtual Lego bricks.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
We're sneaking this one into this round-up despite its late December 2015 release date because it really deserves to be played - and games that release so close to Christmas are easily overlooked. It's a Nintendo 3DS exclusive that's brings together Mario & Luigi gameplay with that of the Paper Mario universe...it's basically everything that's glorious about Nintendo platforming, on a handheld.
Mighty No. 9
Here's another throwback for you; how about a bit more Mega Man? Anyone who went anywhere near a games console in the late 80s/early 90s will have fond memories of this gaming mainstay and we've once again got Kickstarter to thank for bringing this one back to life. Funded by fans and produced by Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune, this promises to be a nostalgic slice of 2D platformer goodness.
Ratchet & Clank
If you can't rely on Kickstarter to reboot a franchise, then how about Hollywood? The venerable Ratchet & Clank series is getting the movie treatment in 2016 and inevitably there's a new game to accompany it. This new title is being created by many of the minds behind the original title and brings back the classic mix of platform/shooter action that Ratchet & Clank is so well known for.