E3 2012 Booth Spotlight: D3 Publisher
Family friendly fare is not something that is easily found on the show floor at E3. I mean, this is a show where huge titles like Halo 4 and The Last of Us make all the noise, but one vendor that was purely focused on more kid friendly offerings was D3Publisher. They ran the gamut between popular movie franchises and big TV franchises, but if you were looking for something that would be suitable for a younger child this was the booth to visit.

Madagascar is a big franchise for Dreamworks and D3Publisher as there were two distinctly different titles based on the new movie that just dropped in theaters. The first is a title for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii and it closely follows the events of the Madagascar 3 movie. Here you will visit Italy, France, London and Spain with the goal of opening a successful traveling circus that will fund a trip back home. Most segments are centered on simple platforming, although there are some mini-games sprinkled throughout the action. The other Madagascar title is a free to play option on the iPad device. Madagascar Join the Circus has you building attractions to make for a successful circus. The better you design the circus, the more visitors you have and the more tickets you can collect. As with most free to play titles, you can buy extra bananas and tickets with real world money to speed things along.

Rise of the Guardians is a title that is based on the movie of the same name that will be coming out in November 2012. The gameplay centers on hack and slash gameplay with each character having a weak and strong attack. While the game is directed more towards younger children, it does offer up enough extra features to give grownups a little fun as well, like an upgrade system and skill tree for boosting your powerups. While it is not pushing into new ground, it seems like a fun title for families. Rise of the Guardians is so far announced for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii but others could come later.

If you watch Nickelodeon on a regular basis, you have probably heard of Miranda Cosgrove and her hit television show, iCarly. Well, there is a new DS title that is using the iCarly branding. Why do I phrase it like that? Well, the game is more of a simple Diner Dash/Tapper clone where you are asked to serve guests in a restaurant as punishment for getting in trouble with Johnny Law. iCarly Groovie Foodie does feature iconic characters from the show; it is a game that will sell more because of its name rather than its gameplay. Pricing might determine how well this title does on the open market. iCarly Groovie Foodie is coming to Nintendo DS and 3DS in June 2012.

Another famous television license was on display at the booth as well in a new Ben 10 game. Ben 10 Omniverse is based on the new show that is coming out, and roots itself more in the original world of Ben 10. Up to 10 creatures can be unlocked by players, with three that can be equipped at any one time in the game. Each of the monsters have unique attacks and abilities and you can even challenge yourself by trying to beat a level just using Ben 10 and his punch and kick attacks. While gameplay was early, combos were simple enough to pick up and play. Listening to the developers talk up the game, they are definitely putting in a lot of fan service for those that watch the show and that is always a good thing. Ben 10 Omniverse is coming later this fall for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 so far with others that could be announced later.