2013 TREND: Games Are Getting Younger
2014 UPDATE: Super Young Games Weren’t A Big Deal.
So much for the games for 18 months to 3 year olds. I’m guessing we will see activity again in this area because of age compression and the learning aspect involved in playing games, but it didn’t seem like there was any sort of big push in this area this year. Two new titles that did stick out: Sunny Day Pond from Peaceable Kingdom (left) and Peek-A-Doodle Doo! from Fat Brain (right and both are 3+ up).
2013 MICRO-TREND: Unique Shaped Boxes
2014 UPDATE: Right Angles Rule
I didn’t see a ton of tins like I did in 2012 or fabric packaging like we all saw post-Bananagrams, instead we’re back to nice 90-degree angles on our boxes. Thankfully, I think everybody’s stepping up their graphics a bit which makes the traditional box a bit more exciting. Here’s a nice mix of really good looking ones: (Pictured: SteamPark Iello, Dodge Dice Gamewright, Spy Tag Ravensburger, Zombie Run Haywire, Over Under Gamewright)
2013 CONTINUING TREND: Cooperative Games
2014 UPDATE: Full-On Cooperative Games Have Been Left to the Experts.
Peaceable Kingdom does cooperative games well and no one else really seems to want to play in their pond this year. There are cooperative elements in games from other companies, but not full on cooperative games like I saw last year. The only one I can think of that even comes close is Zombie 15’ from IELLO (at right) — but that’s a game for teens (14+) so it’s more along the line of Pandemic. If we’re talking kids games — or cooperative party games — Peaceable’s got this area covered. Below: Say the Word and Noodle Speedoodle from Peaceable Kingdom.
2013 MICRO TREND: Multi Game Branding/Licensing
2014 UPDATE: Toned Down.
While “Scrabble Catch Phrase” went the way of the Dodo, Hasbro’s showroom still showed a really strong dedication to their brands and licenses. There wasn’t much new in the arena of games with long lists of brands/licenses attached to them like we saw with Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga (I can’t imagine negotiating how that royalty was split!) Granted, those products seemed to do quite well, as did Tetris Bop-It, so it only makes sense that we’ll see more at some point in the future. In the mean time, it looks like they’re back to one license per game – as well as one game per game. Pictured below: variety of new licensed children’s games from Hasbro.