Great Games To Play With Kids

The opportunity to share tabletop gaming with the kids in your life is a not-to-be-missed chance for making memories. In my experience, children relish the chance to play games as a family. Their imagination is set loose on the concepts of the game, they often relish the chance to learn clear rules and gain mastery, and perhaps most importantly, it’s something they can do together with you.

Many of us grew up on classic games like Battleship, Sorry, Jenga, or Connect Four. While there’s nothing  wrong with any of those familiar older games, recent years have brought us an array of fantastic new ways to enjoy gaming, even with the youngest players.

If you’re curious about ways to introduce board gaming into your family’s routine, here are some of my recent favorites, including recommended ages.

Top Of The Table: Games To Play With Kids

Hoot Owl Hoot
Publisher: Peaceable Kingdom
Age: 4+

Every year, new strides are made in the field of cooperative board gaming, leading to some engrossing adventures. Unfortunately, the phenomenon hasn’t often been harnessed for one of the demographics in which it would be most appealing: kids. Publisher Peaceable Kingdom aims to change that with games that primarily focus on shared goals and kindness to one another. My favorite is the color-matching cooperative game called Hoot Owl Hoot.

Players control a parliament of owls as they try to make their way back to the nest before the sun rises. Players take turns moving the owls on the board toward the nest by playing cards of different colors, and then moving one of the owls to the next available spot of that color. If another owl is already on the next space of that color, you can jump ahead to the one past that. Everyone works together to get the owls home safe. But hidden in the deck are sun cards that must be played when drawn, and which advance the arrival of the morning. Everyone wins or loses together.

Hoot Owl Hoot is great fun, and its appealing theme about cute owls is a surefire hit. No reading is required, and the concepts are simple to learn, so even very young children can have a blast. The game teaches rudimentary strategy as you consider which card to play, making it a far more compelling choice than many more recognizable “follow-the-track” games you may already know.

Top Of The Table: Games To Play With Kids

Tiny Polka Dot
Publisher: Math For Love
Age: 3-8+

With 16 included games in this affordable card pack, Tiny Polka Dot is a wonderful way to mix the fun of card games with early number and math skills. The cards are large and colorful, and they combine in different ways to create a variety of engaging ways to play. One mode might be about memorizing card locations and matching, while another might demand you gather cards that add up to the number five.

I love that the game plays well with even the youngest of children, but some of the included game types scale up to match skills available to slightly older players. I also love that the game includes a brief guide for grownups on how to help kids enjoy and learn as they play. Tiny Polka Dot makes this list for its fun factor, not because of its educational elements. But if the gamification of learning appeals to you, I’d encourage you to check out my earlier write-up on great games that teach.

Top Of The Table: Games To Play With Kids

My Little Scythe
Publisher: Stonemaier Games
Age: 8+

The original adult-targeted Scythe was one of my favorite games of 2016. You can read my complete review for more info. That’s why I was overjoyed that this new kid-targeted version turned out to be one of the most rewarding and exciting family games I’ve played. My Little Scythe translates the strategic systems of the original into an accessible and colorful story about competing kingdoms of anthropomorphic animals, setting out across a hex-grid board to complete quests, gather apples and gems, and all the while trying to maintain friendships with the other kingdoms. High production values are showcased with the gorgeous unpainted miniatures, colorful components, and attractive board layout. Young players are encouraged to think ahead and plan, since taking a move one turn means you’ll need to do something else on your next turn. Advancing your own kingdom’s goals must be balanced against maintaining friendship with your competitors, so don’t get into too many pie fights!

My Little Scythe’s greatest triumph is its ability to translate the sophistication of the original game into a playable and successful experience on a simpler scale. While My Little Scythe is still one of the more complicated games on this list, it will appeal greatly to kids who are used to watching their parents play all those cool and grown-up strategy board games. In the sweet spot of kids between 8 and 12, I can’t recommend the game highly enough.

Top Of The Table: Games To Play With Kids

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
Publisher: Educational Insights
Age: 3+

Ideal for pre-schoolers in your family, The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game features great components, simple rules, and a cute theme that rarely misses the mark for those littlest newcomers to the tabletop gaming world. The game focuses on color-matching and fine motor skills, and since the game box doubles as the board, setup is almost as simple as pulling off the lid.

Everybody is helping to gather food for their squirrel, picking up multi-colored acorns as directed by their result on a spinner. Sometimes, your squirrel gets sneaky, and is even directed to steal an acorn from one of the other players, demanding that all the players learn good social skills and how to be gracious and friendly even when competing in a game.

For most kids, the best part of the game will be the “Squirrel Squeezer,” a simple set of tongs (that looks like a cute squirrel) used to pick up the acorns. This one is a great option for a parent and child to play together, as there are times that the random element of the spinner means mom or dad might regularly lose.

Top Of The Table: Games To Play With Kids

Stuffed Fables
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
Age: 7+

One of my most anticipated games of 2018, Stuffed Fables turned out upon release to be even better than I hoped. While any gaming group could enjoy this narrative adventure, it really is one of the best games I’ve run into for families to play together, built from the ground up for parents and kids to be able to enjoy in equal measure, especially if that family includes fans of storytelling.

In this self-described “adventure book game,” players control stuffed animal characters on a mission to save their beloved little girl from an evil being intent on inflicting terrible nightmares. Stuffed Fables plays out as an adventure that explores the milestones and challenges of childhood, but wrapped within the context of a great fantasy story. In each chapter, the players make meaningful decisions about how to move the tale forward and save their friend. The unique feature of the game is its game board and rules, which are all contained within a colorful spiral-bound book, so every scenario is different from the last, with different pages reflecting different locations and situations that the heroes find themselves encountering.

Not only does Stuffed Fables feature a wonderful story, but its mechanics also emphasize cooperation through the sharing of dice for challenging actions, or even the ability to share “stuffing” with other players to help them recover from dire situations. While some minor dark imagery and scary plot points might not be the perfect fit for some kids, the wholesome tone and cooperative vibe help to ease the way.

If the kid in your life can’t get enough of fantastical stories and adventures, Stuffed Fables is a phenomenal introduction to the way gaming can bring stories to life.

Top Of The Table: Games To Play With Kids

Ice Cool
Publisher: Brain Games
Age: 6+

A couple of the kids in my extended family cannot get enough of this dexterity-based flicking game, which is all about a group of penguins slipping and sliding around their school. Gameplay is quick, the physical element of play is ideal for young players who may not yet be interested in strategy games, and the board and components look great.

Ice Cool comes in a box with multiple smaller box pieces layered inside, and they all fit together to form a discrete set of rooms that make up the school, each with doorways that interconnect for easy passage for the playing pieces. Your “penguins” are little wobbly round-bottomed figures that, when flicked with your finger, rocket, jump, and curve around corners. In each round, one player chases the other players, trying to touch an opponent’s penguin before they collect all the fish scattered around the board.

Not entirely unlike a wild version of putt-putt golf, the excitement here is in lining up a perfect shot, and seeing how it all goes horribly wrong as your penguin careens against walls and flies off track. The whole experience is light-hearted and simple, and has the added benefit that a single game can easily fit in under the 30-minute mark.

Amazing Tales
Publisher: Martin Lloyd
Age: 4+

I’ve previously written about the joy of introducing role-playing games to kids, which is an incredibly rewarding and bonding activity to share. That article offers advice on how to successfully navigate those first role-playing sessions, as well as several games that work well for young players. At the time, I hadn’t yet had a chance to explore Amazing Tales, and it’s a great option to add into the mix, so I wanted to mention it here.

Amazing Tales is built to be played by an adult and one or two children. The kids get to make up any character they want, from futuristic robot to magical fairy, and everything in between. Imaginations can run wild, and every character gets to select four things they’re especially good at, like flying quickly, or talking to animals. These newly minted heroes then set out on adventures into a setting of their choosing, including the deep dark wood, magical kingdoms long ago, pirate seas, and adventures beyond the stars.

Amazing Tales is presented as a book that can and should be read by the adult, but little to no reading is required by the child, as the rules for play are incredibly simple, and conflict resolution uses simple dice rolls. The book offers invaluable advice for how to make the game fun for your child, and ensure that everyone walks away feeling like they were part of a thrilling (and brief) adventure. A whole game can be played through in about 30 minutes, including character creation.

Top Of The Table: Games To Play With Kids

Suspend
Publisher: Melissa & Doug
Age: 8+

I’m a particular fan of stacking and building games, many of which can be adapted with little trouble to work well with younger players. No such adaptation is necessary with Suspend, a stellar physics and balancing game for all ages.

Players have a number of metallic rods with different indentations and lengths, and they must hang one of their pieces onto an ever-growing structure of delicately stacked other rods. Can you add a piece without having the whole thing tumble?

I’ve broken Suspend out even at grown-up game nights, and everyone has had a blast. For kids, the joy is in the precarious nature of the balanced structure, and the tension of seeing whether their newly added piece will stay on. Interestingly, by the end of the game, the structure often looks like a beautiful piece of modern art, which is a nice bonus.

The publisher’s recommended age is eight and older, but I think it bears mentioning that I’ve played it with kids as young as five who had a great time, so long as they had some monitoring, since there is a physical component to the metallic game pieces.

 

Tons of amazing kids games are out there, but I wanted to highlight the games above because many parents have the tendency to simply fall back on old standbys they played when they were young. That’s fine for nostalgia reasons, but I suspect that with some experimentation, you may find that some of the more recent games for young players are a ton of fun, and that means you’ll have a better time sharing them as a family.

Despite this lengthy list of suggestions, I’m eager to hear what family games you like to break out with the kids in your life. Share your picks in the comments below. And if you’d like some more personalized board game recommendations (for kids games or otherwise) feel free to drop me an email and let me know what you’re looking for, and I’ll see what I can help you find.

Remember Haunting Ground, Capcom’s obscure survival horror game on PlayStation 2?

No?

Oh, okay.

Haunting Ground was a 2005 PS2 game from Capcom that was rumored to have begun development as a Resident Evil prototype. Capcom is dredging up these memories by giving Cammy a crossover costume of the game’s protagonist, Fiona, to be earnable through the game’s extra battle mode.

The survival horror title put Fiona in a castle with a dog partner named Hewie, who comes to listen to her commands and befriend her over the course of the game. The game was…problematic, but decidedly unique, especially in the way it depicted sexual horror regarding the dangers surrounding Fiona.

Capcom’s crossover costumes for Street Fighter V never quite dive this deep, so it’s interesting to see that they remember Haunting Ground, or maybe someone on the Street Fighter V live team just really liked her costume. With Capcom’s focus on looking into their back catalog for games to bring back as remakes and remasters, maybe someone is pushing Haunting Ground internally.

You can start earning the first part of the costume on August 30.

A few weeks back, we found out that God of War’s novelization was actually being penned by game director Cory Barlog’s father, J.M. Barlog. Now we find out that the audiobook is also being kept in the family in a different way, with the audio version of the book being read by Alastair Duncan, the voice of Mimir.

Barlog and Sony Santa Monica tweeted out the announcement today.

Mimir, the smartest man alive, is carried around by Kratos through about half the game. The head regales you with tales of the world around you and mythology of the Norse pantheon Kratos finds himself embroiled in. This makes him a natural choice to read the novelization of the game.

Duncan has also voiced several other notable video game characters, like Nihlus (and the stubborn Turian council member) in Mass Effect, Celebrimbor from the Middle-earth games, and Senator Armstrong from Metal Gear Rising: Revengence. Nanonmachines, son.

 

Mimir’s dialogue was some of the best in the game, thanks in no small part to Duncan’s on-point delivery. I’m usually not one for video game novels, but this might be worth a listen.

In our latest piece of exclusive coverage on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, we’re getting into the gritty details of some different abilities and armor you can use in each of the game’s three playstyles: Warrior, Hunter, and Assassin. I walk through a few different character builds, showing ability combinations, gameplay loops, and how it’s all been improved from Origins.

Watch the video above for new gameplay footage and details, and don’t forget to click the image below to check out our coverage hub, where new written and video features on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be posted all throughout the month!

The Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game has maintained its popularity for nearly two decades. With it showing no signs of slowing down, we opened the newest Structure Deck, as well as a few booster packs from the recent Shadows in Valhalla release to show off our favorites.

We were sent both the Powercode Link Structure Deck and a few booster packs in the Shadows in Valhalla set to see what we could pull. I was surprised by the quality of cards we got from the booster packs, with super and secret rare holo monster cards overflowing from the boosters.

Check out the gallery of what we pulled from the booster packs and the deck below.

 

For some coverage of the Yu-Gi-Oh video games, check out this episode of Test Chamber where we took an early look at Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Links.

Today, during the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Pokémon World Championships, the lead cast and director of the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie appeared on stage to reveal the film’s logo and to get the audience to chant, “Pikachu!” You can check out the photo gallery below for photos of Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Kathryn Newton (Blockers), who are playing the film’s two leads, and director Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) at the event. Unfortunately, Ryan Reynolds, who will be providing Pikachu’s voice in the movie, was not in attendance.

 

 We still don’t know much about the movie, Detective Pikachu, but some photos from the set did leak at the beginning of the year, which you can see here. Detective Pikachu is coming to theaters May 19 of next year.

For our review of the Detective Pikachu game, you can follow the link.

The Last Remnant is one of those RPGs very few people played, but those that did mostly fell in love with. The spiritual successor to some of the SaGa series’ best ideas, The Last Remnant achieved some success on PC, but it seems like Square Enix is delisting the game in two weeks and it’s not entirely clear why.

The Steam page for the game updated news today to give a fairly detail-free announcement that the game is being removed. “We will soon be discontinuing digital and physical sales of The Last Remnant on PC,” the post read along with departure times by region. We have reached out to Square Enix for clarification but did not receive anything back by the time of writing.

The Last Remnant was Square Enix’s first foray into the world of western engines, using Unreal Engine 3 for what Square Enix called a cornerstone of their western strategy. Announced for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the PS3 version was eventually unofficially cancelled as the developers struggled with the engine on the console and the 360 version running notably poorly. It wasn’t until the game got ported to the PC that players started picking up on the title, especially during the heyday of Steam sales.

If you’ve already purchased the game, digitally or physically, you should be good for the foreseeable future, but this is your last chance to buy the PC version of the game before September 4.

 

I’ve played through the game (and love it) but I don’t really know what is in this game that would warrant needing to pull it for a license expiring or something like that. I’m really curious why this is getting delisted and whether we can expect that to happen to other games.

After finally getting some quality hands-on time with Devil May Cry 5 earlier this week, I had ton of questions about how it played, its characters, and what Capcom had learned in the years between DMC 4 and 5.

Luckily, I was able to sit down with director Director Hideaki Itsuno to have him answer as many questions as I could throw at him in half an hour. We talked about his attachment to various characters from the series, what Capcom learned from Ninja Theory and DmC: Devil May Cry, and more.

With it being a while since the last Devil May Cry game, what is the team’s philosophy behind this game? What did the team want to do?
Like you said it’s been 10 years since DMC 4, and there’s a couple of reasons that I wanted to do a sequel. The first was, I thought, “Okay, there’s actually a couple of new things that I want to do now,” after it had been seven years or so, and I said, ‘All right, I want to see what we can do.’ So that was kind of the first reason to get everything started. 

And then he had seen that recently, you don’t see as many action games like this these days. So I also kind of wanted to put out a little challenge and say, “This is what Capcom feels is true, unbridled action, so let’s put that out there and see how people react.”

In between those years, there have been some marquee action games like Bayonetta, and God of War had its own return. What do you feel defines Devil May Cry versus other action games?
There’s kind of two portions to that. First of all, my hope was that when people see Nero, and people see Dante doing really cool stuff on screen, that makes them feel like they’re the ones being cool and stylish. And then also, that players are the ones making those decisions, they’re the ones actually touching the controller and making the inputs. So the hope is that when they do that, based on the information they have based on what the enemies are doing, based on the situations, it feels intuitive, and that it feels like they made the right choice when they made their inputs. And that feels just as good as it looks. So having those two portions, make the player feel good about themselves, is what makes Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry.

Over the years DMC has had different playable characters like Dante, Nero, and Vergil. Do you feel a particular attachment to Nero since he’s the character you were most involved with versus Dante, who already existed when you came on board?
I did come up with Nero, but we didn’t have Vergil playable in the same form as we now know him as until DMC 3, which I directed, so Vergil is also sort of another character that I basically came up with. But that really has nothing to do with why Nero is really one of the star characters this time around. It really comes down to, In DMC 4 we had a teenage Nero, and we thought, “Well, let’s see what would happen if we saw him in his prime, if we saw him a little older, as an adult.”

And then also the idea of that he has this amazing Devil Bringer. How would the player feel if we ripped that away from him, and instead we give him something new to try out? How would they react to that? Also, there’s certainly things that we wanted to do with Dante as well, which you’ll find a little bit more about at TGS.

What do you see as difference between Nero and Dante from a personality standpoint? Because to a lot of people who don’t know the series, they just kind of look like two guys with white hair who happen to be cocky.
So Nero has always been somebody who has something that he wants to protect, and that’s family. In DMC 4 he had Kyrie, so that’s one of the key aspects of his personality. Dante also has something he wants to protect, but that’s less concrete. His father, Sparda, wanted to protect humans, so Dante feels he wants to respect that decisions that his father’s made, and that’s what drives him.

In the trailer we saw a little bit of Dante, with him wielding the motorcycles. Can you offer details about his gameplay? Will he be similar to his DMC 3 iteration?
Actually I don’t think anyone’s asked this question. We’re going to go more into detail about Dante at TGS, but in terms of whether he’ll more like his DMC 3 or 4 iteration, we’ll have to say more like DMC 3.

So with the different protagonists, is the game structured so that you choose your character before the mission starts, or is each mission tailored to a specific character?We haven’t announced any details on that yet, but what we can say is that there’s going to be several different ways that you can approach them this time.

How did you arrive at the decision to give the Devil Breakers an ammo-based system, instead of a meter or something?
It’s actually a really interesting story. It goes back to what I was just saying about taking away the Devil Bringer. It all started from an image that I had in my head of, “How would the players feel if we took away the Devil Bringer?” And then the idea of having Nero in combat, and he’s fighting, and one of these Devil Breakers breaks, and then image of Nero going “Crap,” and shoving his arm down into the holster, pulling out a new one, and it’s still kind of sparkling, doing transformations and stuff, and then, “All right, I’m back in the battle.”

So it all started from that, from the idea that it would be cool if it broke. And then I also had an image in my head of Nico, whenever one of them does break, going, “You’ve got to be more carful with the merchandise!” And from there it naturally proceeded into “How can we approach the game design and offer a new dimension of gameplay with consumable weapons?” And that’s what the Devil Breakers are.

How limited do you see the ammo as being? Do you see it as something players will have carefully manage their use of things, or is it something like, “In this encounter I have X uses of an arm, but I’ll probably get one before the next fight?”
That’s actually a really important part of the game design. It was something we were talking about earlier, about how I’m the kind of guy who never uses elixirs when I play RPGs, so I always have 99 elixirs when I get to the final battle. And we were talking about how yeah, actually we have a lot of people on the team who are like that too. So as we’ve designed the game, we all kind of figured we want people to use the Devil Breakers. And ideally, it gets to the point where people use basically use up their last Devil Breaker in a boss fight in any given mission. 

You’ll notice we don’t have a score bonus for having a certain number of Devil Breakers by the end of the stage, because that’s not the intent. The intent is to have people enjoy playing with them. So to that end, we try to design in a way so that for instance, if you have a full amount of Devil Breakers in your inventory, you see one lying on the ground and go, “Well okay, I’m going to use one of them up right now so I can pick up that one up.”

One thing that struck me while I was playing the demo was the way that the camera is positioned. Instead of walking from scene to scene, it’s more standard across scenes, just following the character around. What was the logic behind shifting to that angle?
There’s two parts to this question. One is, I wanted to have it so when you have screens of DMC 3, 4, and 5 all next to each other and you right away go, “This is DMC 5. It’s that one.”

And then the other thing is, because it’s all about playing stylishly, we wanted to bring the camera as close to the action as possible to show you just how stylish it is without it being a detriment to the way it plays. So in trying to balance it as well as humanly possible to make sure we can do both of those things.

After DMC 4 there was the Ninja Theory game, DmC: Devil May Cry. Did the team behind 5 look at that game for any inspiration?
We learned so much from Ninja Theory and DmC. That was a collaboration between Capcom and Ninja Theory. I went to Cambridge once every couple of months to work those guys. So we learned a lot of from them, and you want to talk about stylish… Ninja Theory, those guys are style incarnate, man. What they did with DmC, that art style, those animations, that is real style, y’know? So we took a lot of what we learned from that.

Even stuff like the kill cams, for instance, we took a lot of that, and having learned that, we tried to implement that in this game as well.

Another thing is, we have a lot of friends who love DmC. For me, DmC is one of my favorite DMC games, if not my favorite. And we wanted to make the game in a way that people who enjoyed that game will enjoy the way it controls just as much as they enjoyed DmC.

Would Capcom ever consider ever working on a sequel to DmC with Ninja Theory, or some other project?
We love those guys. We’d love to be able to work with them again someday. But they’re under the Microsoft umbrella now, right? [laughs] So we’d have to clear that up with them first.

One of the things that’s stood out to me about DMC 5 is Nico. Can you talk about creating her, and what you see as her role within DMC 5?
There’s a lot going on with Nico. We created her as Nero’s partner, and the idea is that she’s a gunsmith, just like her grandmother Nell Goldstein who created Ebony and Ivory. So there’s a lot going on with her in the lore of DMC. But she’s inherited that knack of creating weapons and engineering. She considers herself a weapons artist. She can take these materials she’s got and create true visions of beauty, to create havoc.

Nico feels like she’s the latest in a series of characters, like Trish and Lady, who act as the partner characters to Dante or Nero. With the time distance you had between DMC 4 and 5, did you ever considering creating a playable female character in a starring role
The way we approached it was, “Okay, here’s all the stuff that we want do with the franchise and the story any everything,” so I never considered what sex should this character be, you know? It was just, “Hey, this is the idea.” Either way, Nico is someone we always wanted to be this weapons artist. And then otherwise, we technically haven’t announced any details on this third character yet, so we haven’t announced whether it’s a man or a woman.

Is there any chance we might see either Trish or Lady in DMC 5?
Let me put it this way: If you wait just a little longer, you’ll find out.

Lara is nothing if not resourceful, and the new trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider shows off some of the abilities players can pick up to aid them as they traverse the jungle.

From becoming a better forager to harvesting poisons, there are a plethora of ways Lara can use the environment to her advantage.

For more on the game, check out our New Gameplay Today episode with the title and read about its difficulty system.

The notoriety of licensed games has always been on the cynical side, with some of the better games in that category usually earning descriptions of “surprisingly good” at best. These days, however, the reputation for licensed games is clawing its way out of the dismissive hole it has lived in for decades with games like Dragon Ball FighterZ showing that the right developer can really make a license sing. In that same vein, Bandai Namco is betting big on One Piece: World Seeker to surprise people once again.

Based on what I played, the game might be on the right track to do just that.

One Piece: World Seeker is one of those games that inserts “World” into the title to tell you that it’s an open world game. This specific build was blocked off so that the open world wasn’t available to me, setting an expectation for a limited scope in this demo. What I didn’t expect, however, was exactly how much the game was aping Metal Gear Solid V of all games in its design.

The demo placed series protagonist Luffy at the base of a mountain while Nami informs him that the Marines are crawling all over the place, more than willing to take out the Strawhat crew if they get in the way of whatever the Marines are searching for. Luffy needs to get to the top of the mountain, so a few Marines are not going to stand his way, either.

The game really emphasizes that Luffy should either be picking enemies off from afar or sneaking up on them to take them out stealthily. A button prompt shows up when approaching an unaware marine, spurring Luffy to jump into the air and kick them in the back of the head. Drawing the attention of too many guards also brings out Pacifista, extremely tall laser-shooting robots that can blast Luffy right off the mountain. Sowing the seeds of chaos is not a preferred method of conflict resolution here.

The gameplay loop becomes shooting, stunning, and stealthing past enemies on the way to the summit, on the top of which sits the Marine commander Akainu. Luffy understandably has a bone to pick with the lava-powered Marine fleet admiral and the two square off. The boss fight functions surprisingly similarly to a Metal Gear Solid boss fight with some added melee capabilities, emphasizing Luffy’s ability to sock Akainu in the face with punches before following up with quick and basic combos.

One Piece: World Seeker

Luffy has access to various types of haki, or energy, that afford him different skills. Observation haki, for example, lets Luffy focus by slowing down time to get previous headshots in while Akainu tries to obfuscate the shots with lava. Bandai Namco told us that eventually Luffy will be able to gain nearly every move he has from the source material as the game progresses.

The fight ends with the two clashing fists, also ending the demo with the same impact. While I definitely would have loved to run around the open world to see whether these similarities to the above-mentioned open world stealth game were merely superficial, the inspirations seem pretty clear already in what I’ve played. The controls could probably stand to be tightened up slightly, but I’m still looking forward to seeing what the full game has to offer.

One Piece: World Seeker is scheduled for release in 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC