For all its faults over the years, children’s gaming has undoubtedly been the largest source of entertainment and pleasure for gamers of all ages. No other genre has tapped into as many audiences, attracted as many players and satisfied as many customers as it has – and I’m not just talking about the stereotypical Platforming games either!
Yet for all the charm of LittleBig Planet and all the novelty of WarioWare, there has been a significant decline over the past few years between games that appeal to children just as much as they do adults. Sure, there have been “child-friendly” games that target a predominantly mature audience (Child of Eden, Star Wars: Force Unleashed etc.) and there have been outwardly junior games (Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Club Penguin Game Day etc.) but has there really been any definitive titles knocking around since the days of Sonic The Hedgehog? … I ask you.
Well it seems modern gaming is finally about to “get with the times” (there’s a pun there, somewhere) in the form of two eagerly anticipated titles that promise to blend the fabric of childhood wonder alongside the presentation and puzzling nature of a more mature title – Tearaway and Ni No Kuni.
The PS Vita recently received a great amount of content and support at GamesCom this year, marginally stealing the show with it’s new titles and additional peripherals. The one which stole most of our attention, however, was Media Molecule’s Tearaway – a game that Sony’s Worldwide President Shuhei Yoshia feels is going to be “a really good example of a game made from the ground-up with PS Vita’s functionality in mind.” Just from some of the early previews and screen-grabs you can tell this is another children’s game that will attract a significant audience of you and I’s. Anyone feeling a Beautiful Katamari vibe?
Similarly to this is the wonderful Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – a game that will singlehandedly take that final leap into blending children’s gaming with something far more important: bold execution and wonderful storytelling. If there was ever a film studio that one would nominate as being responsible for successfully capturing the magic of childhood in a surreal yet mature and tasteful way – Studio Ghibli would be them. Just by taking a quick look at the oodles of content Namco Bandai have released online for Ni No Kuni you can begin to get a flavour of what I’m talking about. This will be the next generation of Children’s gaming – whether you’re definition is or isn’t the same as mine.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments box below.