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3 Great, but Little-Known Kids' Games Heading to PS Vita


The early software line-up on the PS Vita will offer a lot of games for kids (or at least, games that are suitable for all age groups). Games that hail from esteemed, long-running franchises, like LittleBigPlanet, will receive lots of publicity in the coming months--even if they risk being "miniature" versions of existing console games. On the other hand, the more original kids' games may get muscled out of the spotlight by their more established competition (as they often have in the past).

The following are some made-for-Vita kids' games that may just give young players something they haven't seen before.

1. New Little King Story

New Little King Story Screenshot
2011 Marvelous/Konami

Genre: Strategy RPG

It may look a tad more grown-up than its Wii predecessor, but New Little King Story could easily be the cutest, most comical PS Vita game to date. The formula is the same: build a kingdom, interact with your subjects, and take over neighboring territories--all while defending yourself against other kings and marauding cows. It's a constructive, light-hearted role-playing experience that will foster leadership and management skills, and while there's a new romantic element, this game will probably be suitable for the 10-and-older crowd.

The Wii game, Little King's Story, was rated T for Crude Humor, Suggestive Themes, and Alcohol Use only; its Mild Cartoon Violence doesn't contribute to that rating.

2. Sound Shapes

Sound Shapes Screenshot
2011 Quesy Games/Sony

Genre: Music Creation/Platforming

There was some footage of Sound Shapes shown in the PS Vita launch trailers, but past that, it is unlikely to receive the attention it deserves. In this touch screen-based game, you create your own levels by forming the terrain and placing objects, and in so doing, you also create a musical arrangement. While it's not much to look at, the marriage of touch, sound, and sight will make Sound Shapes a wonderful creative and sensory experience, perfect for engaging kids. The sharing of user-created content means you'll likely see brilliant creations from around the world, as well--all for free.

3. Gravity Rush

Gravity Rush Screenshot
2011 SCEI/Sony

Genre: Action-Adventure

While Gravity Rush (formerly known as just Gravity) has yet to be rated, its focus is clearly not on sexuality or violence, but on a fantastical world of inverted buildings and eshewed physical laws. A new take on the popular parkour (or "urban climbing") genre of games, Gravity Rush will rely on the Vita's motion controls and touch panels to give the player the feeling of being in a world turned upside-down, jumping from building to building and reacting to threats of them falling apart.

With some amazing art direction and storytelling to back it up, Gravity Rush is poised to become one of the critical successes of the PS Vita's launch. It will certainly try to give players something they haven't seen before.

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