The Best Family Games at E3 2014

© Nintendo
Splatoon © Nintendo

E3 is typically about the Next Big Game from the usual publishers, like Ubisoft, Activision, and the rest. But E3 isn’t just Mortal Kombat X and Assassin’s Creed: Unitythere are family friendly games at this show, too! Here’s a quick roundup of some of the best video games coming out soon for families and kids featured at this year’s E3.

Nintendo came out swinging at this year’s E3, hoping to generate interest in a console that has disappointing sales and what seems to be a doomed, short shelf life. If this week’s announced lineup of upcoming games is any indication, though, the Wii U is going to be alive and kicking—at least in 2015.

Not only did Nintendo showcase Hyrule Warriors (a Legend of Zelda/Dynasty Warriors mash-up), and announce an untitled Legend of Zelda for the Wii U, Mario Party 10, Yoshi’s Wooly World, and Bayonetta 2, some games at the show were real standouts.

Splatoon

A third-person shooter developed by Nintendo, Splatoon is vibrant, unique, and immediately grabbed my attention. That’s no easy feat during a Legend of Zelda heavy show. The goal in this multi-player game is “to get your ink on as many places as possible and claim your turf.” Once you see it in action, you’ll want to dive into the messy fun. (Wii U, 2015)

Mario Maker

Make your own Super Mario Bros. levels with Mario Maker. What else do I have to say? Parents who played it as kids will dig the nostalgia, and kids (especially the ones who dream of being game designers) will love the challenge. You can even flip between the classic 8-Bit and a 3-D Mario world. (Wii U, 2015)

amiibo
amiibo © Nintendo

amiibo

Nintendo’s answer to Skylanders and Disney Infinity is amiibo. These figures come to life within the game—starting with Super Smash Bros.—and can fight for you or against you. Each figure can learn new stats and tactics the more you play. (Wii U, 2014)

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes

infinity-marvel
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes © Disney

All of the fun of Disney Infinity in the Marvel Universe, and the Play Set stories are penned by Marvel vet Brian Michael Bendis? Sign me up. Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes includes more than 20 Marvel characters, including the Spider-Man play set, announced at E3. The Hulk also comes to the Playstation 4 as an exclusive. (Playstation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, 2014)

Skylanders Trap Team

Skylanders Trap Team is coming this fall, and GeekDad Andy Robertson got his hands on the game at E3. Swing by his YouTube channel to see the new game in action with characters revealed at E3. (All consoles, 2014)

Did any other family-friendly games at E3 stand out for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.