Everyone plays games these days, even if they don't consider themselves to be a gamer. My own dear mother enjoys a variety of puzzle titles and RPGs but she's often to be found with her Nintendo DS firmly in hand, helping Professor Layton unravel mysteries. Now, we don't subscribe to the view that women only play Nintendogs and cover their games consoles in heart stickers and perfume, and therefore we've tried to resist the retail temptation to stereotype. Rather we've used our own mothers as a basis for this.
No...Dead Space 2 is not on the list.
Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call
It's a no-brainer, really. Mums were half the reason the DS did so damn well in the first place, primarily because Nintendo actually remembered to release some good games for the thing. Professor Layton's emergence was one of the console's highlights and the big-hatted detective is still going strong. This one's out on November 25th and it'll probably feature the same blend of varied puzzling as before, but if ain't broke...!
Yes, it's an exercise game. But there's a reason that it dominated the charts for weeks - people love it. It's fun, confidence building, you're kind of learning how to dance and, best of all, it means you can learn a few things and shed a few pounds before joining a class. It was also the only reason people were still buying Wiis this year, until Zelda showed up. Do bear in mind that Zumba Fitness 2 emerges at the end of the month.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The best RPGs let you play as yourself in a vast open world. It's not some character doing all this funky awesome stuff and saving the world, hurling fireballs at dragons and stealing fish - it's you! In an industry with a paucity of female role models, becoming one yourself is a fairly attractive prospect. You can play as whoever you want, however you want. A female friend of mine once said she'd hump Todd Howard's leg if she ever found out where he lived. I'd judge her, but frankly so would most of the Dealspwn team.
We gave excellent puzzler Portal 2 full marks because, quite simply, it's one of the finest games of this generation. It's a game that can be enjoyed by everyone, it's brilliantly inventive, superbly written, and features the voice of that lovely chap who does the Barclays ads. Thrown in a co-op mode to bust through with the other half and you're all set.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Forget all of the shovelware, forget those games that made you cook and clean and babysit creepy dolls. THIS is what the Wii made for. It's taken half a decade, but finally Nintendo's little white box has the Zelda game it deserves. It's gotten absolutely rave reviews, makes the most of the MotionPlus attachment and serves to remind us just how good Nintendo can be when they really set their minds to the task.