You might be surprised to learn that the traditional "core" gaming business is down 27 percent compared to last year, as the very way people play games is changing from traditional PCs and Consoles to Tablets and Mobile Devices. As you can imagine, that means that the casual presence at E3 is continuing to grow, with even the mighty Zynga having a presence this year! Below, you'll see some non-traditional coverage of E3, as we hunted down games that casual gamers like us would love to play!
It has been almost 10 years since gamers were last able to embrace their inner urban-planner (except at my house, where we still play the last release of SimCity fairly regularly). But, when the folks at EA showed us a preview, we can almost forgive them for making us wait so long…
Leveraging the technologies developed in the game Spore, the new SimCity will give an unprecedented level of detail, control, and data visualization. With curved roads (imagine Guitar-shaped inspired suburbs), building customization, and being able to have your friends' cities as neighbors, this SimCity definitely delivers on many long awaited features. (Available 2013 for PC.)
Skylanders debuted last year and Activision has already turned this popular game into a 30 million dollar franchise. This game is extremely unique... simply place your toy on the "portal of power" and they instantly appear in the game to help you on your way! The toys also "magically" light up without batteries when placed on the portal. The sequel, Skylanders Giants, was available for play at E3.
If you have Skylanders toys already, don’t worry… all of your previously owned Skylanders toys will work with the new one but fun new characters in the form of Giants are now added. The new Skylanders are more powerful (although a bit slower) than the previous ones. They provide useful powers such as breaking down walls and conquering bigger bosses.
Nintendo previewed NintendoLand, a collection of mini-games your Mii can visits. There are 12 "attractions," and five were on display at E3 - Animal Crossing Sweet Day, Donkey Kong Crash Course, Legend of Zelda Battle Quest, Takamaru Ninja Castle, and Luigi's Ghost Mansion.
We had the most fun playing Animal Crossing Sweet Day and Donkey Kong Crash Course. In Animal Crossing Sweet Day, up to 5 players can play. The person with the WiiU controller must control two guards who are protecting the sweets. At first I thought controlling two characters at once would be difficult, but it turns out I was pretty successful in blocking the other four players from getting to the sweets. Donkey Kong Crash Course involves navigating complex, detailed mazes very carefully using the new WiiU controller. One wrong tilt of the controller and you are a goner.
Some of you might not have ever tried an MMO before because you thought it was just for hardcore gamers who play World of Warcraft. But did you know there’s a whole realm of casual MMOs filled with mini-games and charming characters?
The first one we encountered was Free Realms , a browser-based MMO that’s aimed at kids, but, we must admit, is also great fun for adults as well! Create your character, decorate your house, dress up your pet, and go on exciting adventures in this casual MMO brought to you by Sony.
Another Casual MMO that caught our attention was Remnant Knights by GameSamba, an anime style MMO that reminded us of Harry Potter. When creating your character you must choose between two schools, the Owl Academy, which focuses on magic and the Dragon Academy that focuses on science. Choose your school, create your character, and then explore this colorful world of cute monsters, fun social interactions, and exciting adventures.
To see more pictures of E3, take a look at our Facebook page.