Over the past few years we’ve gotten to know Outright Games as a major publisher of family friendly digital entertainment, but is this last stretch of 2021 they’re looking to be more prolific than ever before, with a diverse array of licensed videogames for youngsters and their families to enjoy. We were recently invited to see and try out the lineup at an exclusive digital event , and we’re excited to be sharing our insights with you as we highlight the games you can expect over the next two months. After the recent release of Paw Patrol The Movie – Adventure City Calls, the publisher has five more games coming out!
Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem
The Addams Family game comes out at the end of September (on the 24th) for all major console platforms and PCs, and was developed by PHL Collective. We got a chance to chat with the developer after a hands on session with the game, so we’re sharing extended insights on the game in a separate preview.
Blaze & The Monster Machines: Axle City Racers
Blaze & The Monster Machines is based on the popular show and will feature 8 recognizable characters that you can play as. The game will also feature ten different tracks to race on, and was developed by 3D Clouds, who are no stranger to racing games. They previously developed the fun All-Star Fruit Racing, as well as futuristic racer Xenon Racer and the licensed game Race With Ryan.
The Blaze game is clearly a title that was developed with younger players in mind, as it includes simplified button controls. During our playthrough, this meant getting used to not using the trigger buttons, but the two-button control scheme will certainly be easier for kids to manage. For even younger players who can’t just coordinate those control, you can engage an auto-drive option as well, giving them the sense they’re part of the game just like their older siblings or parents.
More advanced mechanics include a drift-initiated turbo, but Blaze is clearly aimed at budding racers who aren’t used to the advanced mechanics of more complex kart racers like Sonic Team Racing. Blaze’s characters are also quite wide compared to the tracks they’re on, leaving you less room to swerve and crash – but also less room to overtake. But perhaps this isn’t the kind of ultra-competitive racer many are used to anyway, as is further illustrated by the educational undertones that the game provides. The game comes out in October and will support four player split screen for some family racing fun.
Fast & Furious Spy Racers
Based on the animated show, which is based on the popular feature film franchise, Fast & Furious: Spy Racers Rise of SH1FT3R (as it’s called in full) is also being developed by 3D Clouds, and was the only title we didn’t get to go hands on with yet – most likely because it won’t release until November.
It’s releasing on all console platforms including next gen versions, but unlike Blaze it won’t support four player local multiplayer. You can play a two player split screen option though, or engage with up to five others online. The game’s geared at an older audience than Blaze is, focusing on the 6 to 14 demographic. Many of the voice actors for the Netflix show also appear here, as do iconic locations like the Los Angeles river basin (which Terminator 2 fans will appreciate).
The game runs on the same engine at Blaze & The Monster Machines: Axle City Racers, but features a much more mature approach to the genre. With power-ups, weapons and action that unfolds at a much higher speed, this is shaping up to be a fully featured racer that even adults might get into. With 17 tracks spread across five locations and 11 vehicles to choose from, there certainly is enough content.
My Friend Peppa Pig
Developed by Petoons Studio, Outright’s upcoming Peppa Pig was perhaps the most impressive title in the entire lineup in terms of how kid-friendly licenses can be approached. Out on October 22nd for all major consoles and PCs, this one recreates the look and feel of a typical Peppa episode but frames it in an entirely non-linear narrative-driven experience. Looking exactly like the original show and with the same voice actors, young players are essentially the writer, star and director of their own Peppa episodes.
That may sound incredibly complex, especially for young players, but it’s been implemented brilliantly, with controls that boil down to a case of “walk around and hit X to interact with something”. With very little hand-eye coordination required, it’s one of those rare cases where you feel confident that even the youngest of gamers can comfortably navigate it – this one’s going to be perfect for 3 and 4 year olds taking their first steps in gaming.
What’s almost ironic is that My Friend Peppa Pig is essentially an open world game – a genre rarely associated with family friendly gaming. You’re free to navigate the game world and its locations, which are all inspired by actual spots from the show – and interacting with items and characters will trigger story fragments. And what helps is that when Peppa might say “let’s head this way now!” and you stubbornly move elsewhere, the game will dynamically adapt and move along – there’s absolutely no need to guide your little one when they’re playing this. Looking forward to exploring this one in October!
PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night
Also developed by Petoons Studio, PJ Masks is another high profile license for Outright Games that’s popular with roughly the same demographic that enjoys Paw Patrol – PJ Masks targeting a group that’s ever so slightly older with its superhero-inspired protagonists.
Heroes of the Night is an action adventure that features Amaya, Connor and Greg, the protagonists from the TV show who turn into the superhero team PJ Masks at night. The game focuses on their alter egos Catboy, Owlette and Gekko as they fight familiar bad guys like Romeo, Luna Girl and Night Ninja, and we were able to go hands on with several sections of the game.
Perhaps a good frame of reference for PJ Masks is the (first) Paw Patrol game, which played out like a 2.5D side scrolling platformer. With your three protagonists, PJ Masks feels similar, even to the points where you’ll run into blockades where you need to invoke help or activate a special ability with a touch of the right button.
In addition to the platforming action PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night also features 3D driving sections where you control some of the iconic vehicles from the show, and with its recognizable cast of antagonists you’ll also battle in what are accessible versions of boss fights. It’s an adaptation that features a lot of elements that make the show popular, and will be out on October 29th for consoles and PCs.