LEGO The Incredibles
Rated: Rated E 10+
Who it's for: Pixar fans and anyone looking for a great co-op family game
Console: Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Sushi Striker: Way of the Sushido
Rated: Rated E
Who it's for: Puzzle lovers with the patience to unlock the multiplayer modes
Console: Switch, 3DS
Summertime is a good time for family gaming once the kids come in from playing outside (assuming you pried the controllers from their hands and kicked them out), or perhaps on a rainy day.
Fortunately, a couple of new releases fit the bill perfectly.
Released with little fanfare, "LEGO The Incredibles" incorporates segments from both the original film "The Incredibles" and the newly released sequel to make one brick-infested super-game filled with spandex, gadgets and nefarious baddies bent on destruction.
The game opens with the events from "The Incredibles 2," including the opening battle with the Underminer and Elastigirl's mission to make supers legal again. Staying true to the established formula, players tackle levels with certain characters and must collect studs, solve puzzles and occasionally beat a big bad to advance. Once beaten, you can replay levels with different unlocked characters to uncover all the secrets they hold.
It's what you do between levels that keeps the gameplay from getting stale. Instead of a small hub, "LEGO The Incredibles" presents players with a sprawling, open world ripe for exploration. Head out into the city and listen for crime sprees in progress. Citizens will offer you missions, putting an end to the rampant lawlessness around them — things like mimes starting fires — and leave you to restore order. More than a distraction between levels, there's enough to do so the game flows more organically from one event to the next.
While not packed with characters like the DC and Marvel "LEGO" games, you will find more than just the Parr family here. Frozone appears, to lend an icy hand, as do some of the characters introduced in "The Incredibles 2," like Voyd, Flick and Reflux. You'll also unlock other Pixar characters, like Dory, Merida and WALL-E, just to add a little icing on the cake.
And yes, baby Jack-Jack is there, too.
"LEGO The Incredibles" isn't the most exciting game in the plasti-coated franchise, but it's far from the worst. So grab a loved one and relive two of the greatest animated movies of all time.
The most delicious of all foods
The other fun family game is a bit of an oddball — a puzzle game focused on eating sushi.
Don't adjust your antenna; you heard that right. In the world of "Sushi Strikers: Way of the Sushido," you step into the robes of either a male or female protagonist out to right an egregious wrong — an oppressive government that won't let its citizens eat sushi.
Regarded as the most delicious of all foods, the government keeps all of the sushi for those it considers insiders. The rebellion, however, wants everyone to have the right to eat sushi and are willing to fight for it by eating sushi and then throwing the empty sushi plates at the enemy. There are even sushi spirits — each with a different special power — to help give you an advantage in battle.
Plates of sushi move along four conveyer belts (three personal, one shared in the middle) and players must connect as many plates as possible in seven seconds to make a stack of plates.
The bigger the stack of plates, the more damage they will do when chucked at your enemy. Keep linking and throwing plates, employing your spirit's special skills at judicious times, and you may be the one to deplete your opponent's health first.
"Sushi Striker" moves fast. The trick is zig-zagging between the conveyer belts, which move in opposite directions between each lane. The faster you see the plates and capture them, the better your combo and the greater your chance of winning. It's as hectic as it sounds, and despite (or possibly because of) the goofy fun story, packed with animated sequences, the campaign is great fun.
The one ding — and it's a big one — I must give the game is that you must beat the single-player campaign to unlock all multiplayer modes. Multiplayer is great fun, and it was a mistake to make players wait to play this way.
Still, as long as you don't mind getting through the single-player portion, the whole game is worthwhile. It's a lot of fun in one fishy, little package.