Video games have become increasingly dour over the last few years.

With a push towards more realistic environments, faces that are slowly crawling out of the uncanny valley, and the ever-popular greys and browns of most shooters, it’s easy to forget that video games were once primarily cartoony and colourful.

Thankfully, amidst the (admittedly gorgeous) vistas on display in games like Anthem and Forza Motorsport 7, several games slipped into E3 2017 that demonstrated the power of modern technology when it comes to creating imaginative, vibrant worlds. However, environment design can only get me so interested in a game; it’s what populates these locales that tends to truly make them shine. These are the games that had me clutching the sides of my face, ranting in all-caps to my friends, and trying not to squeal loud enough for my neighbours to hear, because OH MY GOSH DID YOU SEE THAT IT’S SO ADORABLE AND I NEED IT NOW!!!!!

10. Kirby

The cuteness of Kirby is a well-known entity at this point. I mean, he’s a wide-eyed pink puffball whose enemies include a squat, shy knight and a suspender-clad walrus whose primary attack is to trip and fall. Yet I’d be lying if I said that watching Sir Kibble strike a pose with a heart above his head didn’t bring a smile to my face.

Kirby’s foes are already lovely and varied, and adding the ability to play as some of them is a great way to give them even more life.

Kirby is set to release on Nintendo Switch sometime in 2018.

9. Yoshi

The newest title in the Yoshi series seems to be moving away from the woolly look in favour of a more crafty, cardboard aesthetic; like some sort of kindergarten art project.

That hasn’t stopped it from looking gorgeous, though, and some of the trailer’s “adorableness highlights” (that’s a thing now) include Yoshi waddling along under a dinosaur skull (way cuter than it sounds) and using various googly-eyed objects as platforms. All this backed by a charming, whimsical score that only serves to highlight how playful and lovely everything is.

Yoshi is set to release on Nintendo Switch in 2018.

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