Meta-games provide another way to measure success. A meta-game creates additional challenges that overarch the game itself. Co-operative style experiences often offer a meta-game as a way for players to compare their performance while still contributing to the team effort. Achievements on the Xbox 360 and Trophies on the PlayStation Network are examples of meta-games. They take things a step further by providing points for achieving goals across different games so that players slowly build up a score for their performance on the console as a whole.
Colors 3D and Flipnote studio provide two great way to interact with the DS and 3DS beyond only playing games. In this week's FamilyGamerTV, we talk to a gaming family about the ways that they get creative - and even learn - using DS and 3DS software... watch now
Rocksmith is the latest in a line of music-based games which have proved so popular with Guitar Hero, Rock Band and You Rock. While former games never really feel like they are teaching applicable, real guitar technique, FamilyGamerTV looks at Rocksmith and how it actually teaches guitar skills... watch now
Uncharted: Fight for Fortune is a card-game spin-off of the brilliant Uncharted series, for the PS Vita. It seems a world away from the gunplay and exploration of the main series, so how exactly will it work?.. read now
Wonderbook: Book of Spells gives players the chance to go deeper into the Harry Potter world. In this pair of interviews with the game's Director, Dave Ranyard, we get a glimpse inside the game and find out about future plans for the Wonderbook peripheral. We also put Wonderbook into the hands of a real family!.. watch now
LittleBigPlanet on the PS Vita offers a step up from previous handheld versions of the world-building and platforming hybrid game. We look at how our family responds to the creative side of the game on the new PS Vita console... watch now
After our first battery test, we were asked about all kinds of other handhelds' performance. So, this week, we put an ever bigger range of handhelds to a real-world test and filmed the results on a time-lapse camera. We'd have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky kids!.. watch now
Journey and Flower are both games which can offer a tranquil and thoughtful experience. In this pair of FamilyGamerTV episodes, we bring gaming into Religious worship in two different places with Flower at the Greenbelt Festival and Journey at Exeter Cathedral... watch now
Is Nintendogs is a possible ideal solution for the gaming-sceptic family? In this week's Family Gamer TV, we talk to one such family and see how well Nintendogs earns a place in family life and its leftfield application in fending off requests for real pets. We also talk about how playing games fits into family life for the different kids and what age it is ideal for children to start with videogames... watch now
FamilyGamer TV takes a good look at the new 3DS XL handheld with the assistance of a junior presenter. We also look back at the history of Nintendo's handheld consoles and how the new XL version of the 3D handheld fits in... watch now
Jewel Master: Cradle of Persia twins the match-three puzzle genre with an empire-building sideline. It also tweaks the genre itself to provide new challenges. The question is, are the changes a strong foundation or a cul-de-sac?.. read now
Cooking Mama World: Babysitting Mama is a terrifyingly saccharine assault on the senses. However it provides a great way to blur physical play with the game world, as long as you're the right age... read now
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
What sort of gamer are you?
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: