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New Releases for The Week of Kid-friendly Monsters

New Releases for The Week of Kid-friendly Monsters

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

First up: Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure is a children’s third-person adventure game with a marketing gimmick. The game play is pretty straightforward—move the character through a mostly-linear adventuring world, slashing and shooting through a variety of foes. The game’s big feature is that there are over 32 different characters to play through with (four each in eight different ‘elements’), each with their own unique abilities and traits, and each with a slightly different story-line and ending. The marketing kicker is this: To play any given character, that character’s physical model must be placed on the Portal of Power, a small, glowing RFID tag sensor which connects wirelessly to the game console. The game comes with a Spyro figurine and two others. The rest of the figures can be bought separately, either solo or as part of an ‘adventure pack’ which also comes with a new location in the form of another figurine, also activated by the Portal. The surface of the portal can fit up to three figurines to allow players to co-op (only two-players; the third spot is for a location figure). If nothing else, this is an interesting concept, and I’m curious to see how well it sells. I don’t think it would work for a game marketed to adults, however.

Sideway: New York

Sideway: New York is a somewhat unique puzzle platformer. The protagonist is a graffiti artist trapped in one of his own works, painted on a wall in New York. When he comes to life, the player moves him along the walls, and to pass each cleverly stylized level, the world must be turned and the level manipulated. It’s 3D in the way things wrap and turn and bend, but 2D in the sense that the character is tied to the surface of the walls. The actual plot of the game is a little unclear, but it likely isn’t much.

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster

Another kid’s game worth a mention, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, hits shelves this week. The idea here is a controller free storytelling game for small children. Each storybook in the game is interactive, but non-punishing. The player can meet characters and work with story elements all with Kinect gestures. The game features six storybooks, and a drop-in drop-out ‘co-op play’ mode, so that parents can join in and help out when needed. What’s interesting about this game to me, is that it represents, potentially, the first games for a generation of players who will know video games through motion sensing devices like the Kinect, rather than from gamepads or keyboards or mice. In twenty years, this is the group who will be developing our games, having grown up with this kind of technology.

Might and Magic: Heroes 6

The Icrontic Spotlight this week glimmers across the continuum of Might and Magic: Heroes 6. Changing development studios, and slightly changing the title, the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise is getting a bit of an overhaul. The new game is tossing out many of the old conventions of the franchise in favor of some new features. The core is still here: The player builds a city for their race, while the heroes of the story wander around the country-side seeking tactical battlefields and collecting resources with a customized army. This iteration only keeps about half of the spells, weapons, and armor of the past games, with the rest being new creations. A similar treatment has been given to the monsters and creatures of the world. In addition, the player will have morality decisions to make, and their story, appearance and game ending will change based on the decisions they make. There will be several multi-player modes over the internet.If you like the Heroes series, but felt, like I did, that the last couple had gotten a bit stale, this might be the one that revives the franchise for you.

Following is a full list of this week’s announced North American releases:


  • Airline Tycoon 2
  • Blackwell Deception
  • Might & Magic: Heroes VI
  • Renegade Ops
  • Rugby Challenge
  • Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure


  • DanceDanceRevolution II
  • Go Vacation
  • Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny
  • Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
  • Wipeout 2


  • 1001 Touch Games
  • Aliens: Infestation
  • Wipeout 2


  • Imagine Fashion Designer
  • Mahjong Cub3d
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad: Infinity Gauntlet
  • Professional Fisherman’s Tour: Big Bass Open
  • Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

Xbox 360

  • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Guardian Heroes
  • Hulk Hogan’s Main Event
  • Michael Phelps: Push the Limit
  • Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster
  • Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
  • Wipeout 2
  • WWE All Stars


  • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
  • Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny
  • Sideway: New York
  • Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
  • Wipeout 2


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