Non-Violent Game of the Day

there is more to video games than guns
Mar 26th 2013: Nintendo Presents: Style Boutique (DS, 2009)
Released as Style Savvy in the US, Nintendo Presents: Style Boutique is a casual title for DS aimed at young girls with aspirations to enter the world of fashion. Players take on the role of a store manager at an up-and-coming fashion boutique. They are responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the store and choosing which outfits they stock. Eventually, they can work their way up to store owner, opening even more managerial options and allowing them to design their own clothes for sale. New outfits even became available to download as seasons changed, so in-game trends matched those of the real world. A 3DS sequel was released last year. 
You can find out more about Style Boutique here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 26th 2013: Nintendo Presents: Style Boutique (DS, 2009)

Released as Style Savvy in the US, Nintendo Presents: Style Boutique is a casual title for DS aimed at young girls with aspirations to enter the world of fashion. Players take on the role of a store manager at an up-and-coming fashion boutique. They are responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the store and choosing which outfits they stock. Eventually, they can work their way up to store owner, opening even more managerial options and allowing them to design their own clothes for sale. New outfits even became available to download as seasons changed, so in-game trends matched those of the real world. A 3DS sequel was released last year. 

You can find out more about Style Boutique here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 25th 2013: World of Goo (PC, 2008)
This acclaimed indie physics-based puzzler takes players with constructing complex structures out of small balls of goo. The objective of each level is to reach a pipe that lies beyond some environmental obstacle like a chasm. Only by using these goo balls can players construct objects such as bridges and towers to guide the remaining balls to the pipe. Different goo balls have different properties, which can help improve the structure. Any balls that are not used in the level are transferred via the pipe to the game’s sandbox mode, where players compete with other World of Goo users to create the tallest tower possible. There are also mini-challenges to complete, such as using the fewest goo balls possible.
You can find out more about World of Good here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 25th 2013: World of Goo (PC, 2008)

This acclaimed indie physics-based puzzler takes players with constructing complex structures out of small balls of goo. The objective of each level is to reach a pipe that lies beyond some environmental obstacle like a chasm. Only by using these goo balls can players construct objects such as bridges and towers to guide the remaining balls to the pipe. Different goo balls have different properties, which can help improve the structure. Any balls that are not used in the level are transferred via the pipe to the game’s sandbox mode, where players compete with other World of Goo users to create the tallest tower possible. There are also mini-challenges to complete, such as using the fewest goo balls possible.

You can find out more about World of Good here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 24th 2013: Asphalt (Various, 2004 onwards)
One of the most popular racing series available on mobile devices, with several ports available for gaming handhelds like 3DS and PlayStation Vita. The series is known for its impressive graphics (for mobile platforms) and wealth of options, including a console-like online multiplayer mode. Some versions also use tilt sensors to allow players to steer, rather than the touch screen. Several fully-licensed cars can be unlocked and the exotic courses range from jungles to some of the world’s most famous cities.
You can find out more about the latest version, Asphalt 7: Heat, here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 24th 2013: Asphalt (Various, 2004 onwards)

One of the most popular racing series available on mobile devices, with several ports available for gaming handhelds like 3DS and PlayStation Vita. The series is known for its impressive graphics (for mobile platforms) and wealth of options, including a console-like online multiplayer mode. Some versions also use tilt sensors to allow players to steer, rather than the touch screen. Several fully-licensed cars can be unlocked and the exotic courses range from jungles to some of the world’s most famous cities.

You can find out more about the latest version, Asphalt 7: Heat, here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 23rd 2013: Carnival Games (Wii, 2007)
This series of mini-games was one of the few third-party compilations to strike it lucky on the Nintendo Wii. As the title suggests, all of the activities are modelled around traditional carnival sideshows, from shooting galleries (aiming at targets and tin ducks) and coconut shies to hoopla. All of the games use the Wii’s motion controls to mimic the same actions you would do at a real carnival, and multiplayer allows family and friends to compete against each other. In 2011, an Xbox 360-exclusive sequel entitled Carnival Games: Monkey See Monkey Do was released for Microsoft’s motion-sensing Kinect. 
You can find out more about Carnival Games here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 23rd 2013: Carnival Games (Wii, 2007)

This series of mini-games was one of the few third-party compilations to strike it lucky on the Nintendo Wii. As the title suggests, all of the activities are modelled around traditional carnival sideshows, from shooting galleries (aiming at targets and tin ducks) and coconut shies to hoopla. All of the games use the Wii’s motion controls to mimic the same actions you would do at a real carnival, and multiplayer allows family and friends to compete against each other. In 2011, an Xbox 360-exclusive sequel entitled Carnival Games: Monkey See Monkey Do was released for Microsoft’s motion-sensing Kinect. 

You can find out more about Carnival Games here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 22nd 2013: Fatal Frame (PS2/Xbox, 2002)
This Japanese survival horror series, known as Project Zero in the UK and Europe, arms players with nothing more than a camera and leaves them at the mercy of unresting spirits. In the first game, a young Japanese girl goes searching for her missing brother but finds herself trapped in a haunted mansion. The ghosts can only be seen through the Camera Obscura she finds, which also allows her to capture their spirits as photographs. This is her only means of defence as she tries to search for both her brother and a way out.
You can find out more about Fatal Frame here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 22nd 2013: Fatal Frame (PS2/Xbox, 2002)

This Japanese survival horror series, known as Project Zero in the UK and Europe, arms players with nothing more than a camera and leaves them at the mercy of unresting spirits. In the first game, a young Japanese girl goes searching for her missing brother but finds herself trapped in a haunted mansion. The ghosts can only be seen through the Camera Obscura she finds, which also allows her to capture their spirits as photographs. This is her only means of defence as she tries to search for both her brother and a way out.

You can find out more about Fatal Frame here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 21st 2013: Tapper (Various, 1983)
A classic arcade game in which players control a friendly bartender. Quick reflexes are required to pull pints and slide them along the bar to thirsty customers as the room begins to fill. Originally released in arcades, then ported to early consoles such as the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, it has since been updated and released as a downloadable game for mobile phones, iOS and Xbox Live Arcade. It even had a cameo in Disney’s video game movie Wreck-It Ralph, released earlier this year.
You can find out more about Tapper here. You can read reviews of the iOS version, Tapper World Tour, here.

Mar 21st 2013: Tapper (Various, 1983)

A classic arcade game in which players control a friendly bartender. Quick reflexes are required to pull pints and slide them along the bar to thirsty customers as the room begins to fill. Originally released in arcades, then ported to early consoles such as the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, it has since been updated and released as a downloadable game for mobile phones, iOS and Xbox Live Arcade. It even had a cameo in Disney’s video game movie Wreck-It Ralph, released earlier this year.

You can find out more about Tapper here. You can read reviews of the iOS version, Tapper World Tour, here.

Mar 20th 2013: Super Monkey Ball (Various, 2001 onwards)
Sega’s hugely popular arcade series has been on every major gaming format of the last decade and, while it has attempted different takes on the formula, the core concept remains the same. Players guide a monkey in a plastic ball around tricky courses by tilting the environment and using gravity to roll the mammal in the desired direction. While the objective can vary, the majority of the series is focused on collecting as many bananas as possible before reaching the end of the course - without falling off, obviously. There is also a range of mini-games such as Monkey Racing, Monkey Bowling and Monkey Target, in which players glide through the air and attempt to land on areas that are worth different scores. [Caveat: one of the mini-games is Monkey Fight, but since all of the weapons impact on the plastic balls, no monkeys are harmed].
You can find out more about Super Monkey Ball here. You can read reviews of the latest version, Banana Splitz for PS Vita, here.

Mar 20th 2013: Super Monkey Ball (Various, 2001 onwards)

Sega’s hugely popular arcade series has been on every major gaming format of the last decade and, while it has attempted different takes on the formula, the core concept remains the same. Players guide a monkey in a plastic ball around tricky courses by tilting the environment and using gravity to roll the mammal in the desired direction. While the objective can vary, the majority of the series is focused on collecting as many bananas as possible before reaching the end of the course - without falling off, obviously. There is also a range of mini-games such as Monkey Racing, Monkey Bowling and Monkey Target, in which players glide through the air and attempt to land on areas that are worth different scores. [Caveat: one of the mini-games is Monkey Fight, but since all of the weapons impact on the plastic balls, no monkeys are harmed].

You can find out more about Super Monkey Ball here. You can read reviews of the latest version, Banana Splitz for PS Vita, here.

Mar 19th 2013: Real Heroes: Firefighter (Wii, 2009)
A first-person game that is all about saving lives, not taking them. As the self-explanatory title suggests, Real Heroes: Firefighter puts players in the role of - you guessed it - a firefighter. Dressed in the flame-retardant uniform and wielding the same powerful hoses and tools of the real life heroes, Wii owners must enter various dangerous areas to douse infernos and save civilians who are trapped inside. The game was developed in collaboration with a real fire veteran, drawing on his experiences of such life-threatening situations.
You can find out more about Real Heroes: Firefighter here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 19th 2013: Real Heroes: Firefighter (Wii, 2009)

A first-person game that is all about saving lives, not taking them. As the self-explanatory title suggests, Real Heroes: Firefighter puts players in the role of - you guessed it - a firefighter. Dressed in the flame-retardant uniform and wielding the same powerful hoses and tools of the real life heroes, Wii owners must enter various dangerous areas to douse infernos and save civilians who are trapped inside. The game was developed in collaboration with a real fire veteran, drawing on his experiences of such life-threatening situations.

You can find out more about Real Heroes: Firefighter here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 18th 2013: Fate of the World (PC, 2011)
This turn-based game is all about global warming. Players tackle a range of scenarios based, on real scientific research, in which they are responsible for minimising, preventing or sometimes exacerbating the effects of Earth’s changing climate. These can range from improving living conditions in Africa to overseeing a major nation’s transition to electric cars. Each turn represents five years, with gamers choosing the policies they wish to fund for each half-decade. They must also manage their public opinion, with certain regions shunning their judgement if their approval rating becomes too low.
You can find out more about Fate of the World here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 18th 2013: Fate of the World (PC, 2011)

This turn-based game is all about global warming. Players tackle a range of scenarios based, on real scientific research, in which they are responsible for minimising, preventing or sometimes exacerbating the effects of Earth’s changing climate. These can range from improving living conditions in Africa to overseeing a major nation’s transition to electric cars. Each turn represents five years, with gamers choosing the policies they wish to fund for each half-decade. They must also manage their public opinion, with certain regions shunning their judgement if their approval rating becomes too low.

You can find out more about Fate of the World here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 17th 2013: Jet Set Radio (Dreamcast, 2000)
Similar to Tony Hawk’s, Jet Set Radio sees players performing jumps, tricks and grinds across an urban landscape, albeit with inline skates rather than a skateboard. However, the focus here is not on the tricks themselves, but on combining them with grafitti. The player character is the member of a rebellious young gang determined to mark their territory all over Tokyo, spraying over other gangs’ marks with their own. Leaving more and more tags over the level will prompt the police to chase you, who can be evaded with quick thinking and a few skating tricks. One of the most acclaimed titles on the Dreamcast, Jet Set Radio can now be downloaded on PSN, XBLA and mobile devices.  
You can find out more about Jet Set Radio here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 17th 2013: Jet Set Radio (Dreamcast, 2000)

Similar to Tony Hawk’s, Jet Set Radio sees players performing jumps, tricks and grinds across an urban landscape, albeit with inline skates rather than a skateboard. However, the focus here is not on the tricks themselves, but on combining them with grafitti. The player character is the member of a rebellious young gang determined to mark their territory all over Tokyo, spraying over other gangs’ marks with their own. Leaving more and more tags over the level will prompt the police to chase you, who can be evaded with quick thinking and a few skating tricks. One of the most acclaimed titles on the Dreamcast, Jet Set Radio can now be downloaded on PSN, XBLA and mobile devices.  

You can find out more about Jet Set Radio here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 16th 2013: SingStar (PS2/PS3, 2004 onwards)
One of the most popular games on PlayStation 2, with tens of millions of sales worldwide, is basically Karaoke. Players use the bundled microphones to compete in a range of singing competitions, either as a duet or in a head-to-head battle. All songs come with the official music videos, and can be played in full or just partially. There are even a range of medleys on each disc. Multiple versions were released on PS2, covering different genres (such as pop and R&B) or dedicated to specific bands (such as Queen or Abba). Meanwhile, the PS3 version features a mixture of tunes and allows players to download more from the PlayStation Store. This version is now free to download, but additional songs cost extra.
You can find out more about SingStar here. You can read reviews of the PS3 version here.

Mar 16th 2013: SingStar (PS2/PS3, 2004 onwards)

One of the most popular games on PlayStation 2, with tens of millions of sales worldwide, is basically Karaoke. Players use the bundled microphones to compete in a range of singing competitions, either as a duet or in a head-to-head battle. All songs come with the official music videos, and can be played in full or just partially. There are even a range of medleys on each disc. Multiple versions were released on PS2, covering different genres (such as pop and R&B) or dedicated to specific bands (such as Queen or Abba). Meanwhile, the PS3 version features a mixture of tunes and allows players to download more from the PlayStation Store. This version is now free to download, but additional songs cost extra.

You can find out more about SingStar here. You can read reviews of the PS3 version here.

March 15th 2013: Crush3D (3DS, 2012)
A remake of 2007 PSP puzzle-platformer Crush. Players control a young boy that has the ability to shift between the second and third dimensions. Each level challenges players to collect a certain number of objects by shifting between 2D and 3D to change the terrain. For example, coming across a wall in 2D can be overcome by shifting into 3D, where the wall is actually in the distance. Unlike the PSP original, the 3DS version actually features 3D visual effects, thanks to the handheld’s lenticular screen.
You can find out more about Crush3D here. You can read reviews here.

March 15th 2013: Crush3D (3DS, 2012)

A remake of 2007 PSP puzzle-platformer Crush. Players control a young boy that has the ability to shift between the second and third dimensions. Each level challenges players to collect a certain number of objects by shifting between 2D and 3D to change the terrain. For example, coming across a wall in 2D can be overcome by shifting into 3D, where the wall is actually in the distance. Unlike the PSP original, the 3DS version actually features 3D visual effects, thanks to the handheld’s lenticular screen.

You can find out more about Crush3D here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 14th 2013: Animal Crossing (N64, 2001)
Nintendo’s cutesy take on life simulation games takes place in a village populated only by animals. As the only human in the village, you move into a new house and must carry out various errands to pay back your mortgage to raccoon tycoon Tom Nook. Once done, players can expand their house as well as purchase furnitures and decorations. Errands are also key to winning over the neighbours. The hook of Animal Crossing is that it works in real time. If it’s 7am Christmas morning in the real world, it’s 7am Christmas morning in the game. The world changes depending on the season, with snow in the winter and flowers in the spring. The game world of Animal Crossing is also shared across all users of each console: rather than save files, each member of the family has a different house. They can leave each other messages, send each other gifts - or enter each other’s homes and rearrange the furniture.
You can find out more about Animal Crossing here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 14th 2013: Animal Crossing (N64, 2001)

Nintendo’s cutesy take on life simulation games takes place in a village populated only by animals. As the only human in the village, you move into a new house and must carry out various errands to pay back your mortgage to raccoon tycoon Tom Nook. Once done, players can expand their house as well as purchase furnitures and decorations. Errands are also key to winning over the neighbours. The hook of Animal Crossing is that it works in real time. If it’s 7am Christmas morning in the real world, it’s 7am Christmas morning in the game. The world changes depending on the season, with snow in the winter and flowers in the spring. The game world of Animal Crossing is also shared across all users of each console: rather than save files, each member of the family has a different house. They can leave each other messages, send each other gifts - or enter each other’s homes and rearrange the furniture.

You can find out more about Animal Crossing here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 13th 2013: Zuma (Various, 2003)
A fast-paced puzzle game available to download on various consoles, smartphones and playable in browsers. The objective of Zuma is to prevent a constant stream of coloured balls from rolling along a set track and touching the Aztec skull emblem at the end. If a ball touches this, the game is over and players lose a life. Players control the frog idol in the centre, which spits coloured balls in any direction their aim. Firing a ball at those in the track that share the same colour causes the track balls to explode, removing them from the game. Clearing the screen wins the level, as does clearing enough balls to fill the air bar. There are different power ups to give players an advantage and starting chain reactions of ball explosions gives them extra points.
You can find out more about Zuma here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 13th 2013: Zuma (Various, 2003)

A fast-paced puzzle game available to download on various consoles, smartphones and playable in browsers. The objective of Zuma is to prevent a constant stream of coloured balls from rolling along a set track and touching the Aztec skull emblem at the end. If a ball touches this, the game is over and players lose a life. Players control the frog idol in the centre, which spits coloured balls in any direction their aim. Firing a ball at those in the track that share the same colour causes the track balls to explode, removing them from the game. Clearing the screen wins the level, as does clearing enough balls to fill the air bar. There are different power ups to give players an advantage and starting chain reactions of ball explosions gives them extra points.

You can find out more about Zuma here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 12th 2013: Cooking Mama (DS, 2006)
This DS title sparked a casual gaming phenomenon, quickly becoming one of the handheld’s best-selling games of all time. As the title suggests, the game centres around cooking with a wide selection of mini-games mimicking various kitchen actions like chopping vegetables and stirring soup. The task of each mini-game is to prepare either ingredients or a meal efficiently and within the time limit, with more complex recipes unlocked as players progress. The game proved to be so popular that a console version was made for Wii and it can even be found on smartphones and tablets.
You can find out more about Cooking Mama here. You can read reviews here.

Mar 12th 2013: Cooking Mama (DS, 2006)

This DS title sparked a casual gaming phenomenon, quickly becoming one of the handheld’s best-selling games of all time. As the title suggests, the game centres around cooking with a wide selection of mini-games mimicking various kitchen actions like chopping vegetables and stirring soup. The task of each mini-game is to prepare either ingredients or a meal efficiently and within the time limit, with more complex recipes unlocked as players progress. The game proved to be so popular that a console version was made for Wii and it can even be found on smartphones and tablets.

You can find out more about Cooking Mama here. You can read reviews here.