The family video game announcements that mattered, including Lego Dimensions and Skylanders

Lego Dimensions at E3 2016

The family gaming highlights of E3 2016

From epic trailers to playable demos of some the hottest upcoming titles, there was plenty to get excited about. E3 is the big yearly shindig for the gaming industry in California. Publishers court media attention for new games coming later in the year.

At this year’s show there were the usual suspects of shooting, driving and sports games, but in amongst these were some surprises for families.

Here are the games that matter for families looking for something new and creative in their gaming menu in 2016.

Skylanders Imaginators

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Children can create their own characters in Skylanders this year. This not only saves money but also offers a much more creative and engaging experience.

At E3, Activision revealed the addition of Crash Bandicoot in Skylanders – a big surprise that will hook in parents who remember Crash from PlayStation 1 days.

The game itself works wonderfully and looks set to be another strong addition to the Skylanders range.

Parents should avoid being sucked in to collecting all the figurines though as you can complete the game with just the starter pack.

Read more: What we know about Skylanders Imaginators

Infinite Arms

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This new toy-game crossover stole the show with its large robot toys and clip-on attachments. Add a weapon to the top and it appears instantly in the game.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Replica WatchesThe on-screen action is on the iPad and impressed visually with development talent from the likes of Halo and Gears of War.

The game works well with fast action shooting through a series of campaign levels and detailed upgrading of weapons like a more in-depth role-play game.

The toys work because they aren’t tethered with wires or portals like other toy-game titles.

Lego Dimensions

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At E3, Lego Dimensions announced an impressive array of new franchises coming to the game. Wave 6 of the toys will see the A-Team, Harry Potter , Ghostbusters and Adventure Time arrive as physical Lego figures.

Place these on the Toy Pad peripheral and they unlock related levels, characters and worlds in the game.

Add to this the upcoming brands like Sonic, The Goonies and Gremlins and Lego Dimensions has a strong offering for families of all ages this year.

Read more: Lego Dimensions adds Knight Rider, ET and the Powerpuff Girls

AirHogs Mission Drone

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This is a very different game that uses a physical remote controlled drone toy to control an on-screen spacecraft.

It sounds complicated but in practice works well. Place the drone on the carpet and take off with the tablet app.

On the screen you have all sorts of battles and rescue missions that require careful flying of your craft both virtually and in the real world.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Zelda is an exploration adventure punctuated by brain stretching puzzles. The Wii U version stays true to these roots while expanding the open world nature of the experience.

Pulling in ideas from games like Minecraft you can now explore at your own pace, collect food and craft different items.

It’s a beautiful game with hundreds of hours of enjoyment. If you’ve not tried Zelda before this is a great place to start. If you are a Zelda fan this may be the best game of the series.

Read more: Nintendo unveils new Legend of Zelda game at E3 2016

Anki Overdrive Supertrucks

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Honourable mention goes to Anki Overdrive’s Supertrucks, shown just ahead of E3 this year and offering a very different experience.

The trucks and cars race on a snap together track on the living room floor, but the action is controlled by a smartphone app.

New characters and stories are added with the new Supertruck vehicles, but most exciting is seeing the cars and truck racing together on the same circuits.

Read more: Race robot big rigs with your smartphone in Anki Supertrucks

PJ Masks Moonlight Heroes

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Another game shown ahead of E3 is this PJ Masks Moonlight Heroes app. If you’ve not heard of the Disney Junior show just ask your children.

The game is a nice balance between Flappy Bird -style flying with Owlette and Mario-esque jumping and running with Cat Boy.

If your family enjoys the PJ Masks cartoons then this is an ideal addition to your gaming library. It starts simple but soon ups the difficulty with score attack modes that will have children playing over and over to improve their results.

E3 2016

Kevin Lynch’s top ten E3 highlights

Microsoft conference round-up

E3’s biggest family gaming announcements

Sony conference round-up

Nintendo round-up

EA conference round-up

E3 2016 Bethesda news and trailers

Ubisoft conference round-up

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