Summer Game Fest: Play Days 2022 unleashed a pile of new games for us to check out. I was lucky enough to be one of the few journalists there, so I wanted to make sure Parental No-Scope readers are up-to-date with the best family games that are coming soon!
Day of the Devs launched two booths this year with plenty of single player games that would be good for all ages. ANIMAL WELL brings a colourful side scrolling adventure to the table, and Time Flies is a timed adventure where you try to live out a fly’s 77-second lifespan to its fullest. Though I really want to say that Sonic Frontiers could make this list, it just didn’t meet my expectations, and the age and skill level required just isn’t clear yet. Though plenty of other games could be great for gamers of all ages—and even some cool tech on display—there were a few family games that really stood out.
Here are the best family games from Summer Game Fest: Play Days 2022:
This is by far the best game for families to come out of Summer Game Fest. Originally, I was doubting if we really needed another battling game, but after spending some time with LEGO Brawls, I’m sold. We absolutely do need this game, and families of all ages are going to fall in love with it too.
LEGO Brawls features really extensive customization options, and you’re able to design some wild minifigures or play as premade ones. Not only does LEGO Brawls pair the already famous LEGO brand with titles like Ninjago and Jurassic Park, but it also provides plenty of content to complete as a family. Unlock new levels and an insane amount of gear on your own or as a family. If you’ve played a LEGO game in the past, you know what it takes to unlock everything to completion!
Couch co-op (4 players) or online matches (8 players) are available, so you can battle it out against each other wherever you may be. Customize your loadout, so you have the best power ups for your style of gameplay. The game will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Nintendo Switch, so whatever console your family rocks, LEGO Brawls will be one of the best family games to play.
This one might not cater to younger gamers, but in multiplayer, anyone of any age can join in the fun and feel like part of a team. Escape Academy is playable solo or multiplayer, but I’d highly recommend the latter. This game amps up the fun with an added friend or family member and really focuses on communication skills and problem-solving.
Something that I look for in a family game is laughter, and this game brings plenty of it. There is a story mode that you can play through, but playing levels with a friend or family member is sure to make you laugh, or cry, as you race against the clock. The level I played involved rising water levels, so tensions were high, but we made it out okay in the end.
Escape Academy is perfect for the whole household, as younger ones can play with mom or dad, and older kids can partner up or play through the story on their own. I love a game that gets people playing together. Even if only two people can control the characters, many more can join in solving the clues and puzzles.
A Little to the Left
This is another game that parents may need to take control of, but anyone can join in to solve the puzzles. A Little to the Left does not have a specific story, instead providing a series of puzzles surrounding tidying up the home. One may be a crooked picture, another could be a messy dinner table. It is up to the player to fix up the home and gain a real sense of accomplishment with each puzzle.
The trick is, there could be more than one solution to each puzzle. I think getting the family together, and seeing how many different solutions you can come up with sounds like a great time. It will be interesting to see how parents may solve the puzzles vs how the children will. Plus, the kids will love the cat that shows up after the first few puzzles—parents, you will not.
If you’re interested in some quick moments with your kids, the game even has a daily challenge, something you can do over breakfast as a family! Though it isn’t a typical multiplayer family game, I still believe this will be a hit at home with kids shouting out ideas and everyone working together. If only we could get the kids to help tidy up the house for real.
Summer Game Fest: Play Days featured plenty of content for gamers, and even some for the little ones. If we saw anything from the many showcases this month, there will be content coming to all consoles, for all ages, and I can’t wait to dive in!