Fave Five Holiday Game Picks for Families
With the holidays literally right around the corner, I'm sure you're wondering what the hot toys and games of the season will be this year. Well, you are in luck. Over the last few months, my kids, husband and I have been feverishly testing tons of games and we've managed to narrow our must have list down to five important items. So here it goes...
1. The XBox 360 Kinect - I recently got the opportunity to try out the XBox 360 Kinect before it was released to the public and frankly, I was blown away. The reason? You do not need to use any remote controls to operate any of the games! A sensor, which is included with the XBox, actually recognizes you and tracks your movements (I was a blob at times and I will let that slide) and you earn points as you follow the games, dance competitions and action adventures on screen. My ultimate favorite game is Dance Central - where you get to show off your moves and challenge your opponents to a dance off. (Did I mention the game also takes hilarious photos and video of you while you are attempting to play?) I have to say, my Dance Central performance marked the first time I ever beat my son in a video game (okay, I guess it's not that impressive to beat an 8 year old, but when it comes to these games, trust me, it's quite an accomplishment). My husband, of course, rose to the challenge and trounced my score with his rendition of "Funky Town." Incidentally, my son's top choice for games was Kinect Sports - he loved the realistic action of the boxing game where you get your lights punched out and have to swat at stars to get back on your feet. And my daughter picked Kinect Adventures (which actually comes with your XBox 360 Kinect) - where you can go white water rafting with a partner while capturing points along the way. Another amazing option (especially for adults) is the Live component to XBox Kinect where you can access everything from Netflix movies, to TV shows (through Zune) ESPN sports and much more. (XBox 360 Kinect retails for $399; games retail for $49.00 each).
2. Kirby's Epic Yarn for Wii - If you're a Wii family then this game should definitely be #1 on your kids' must have list. When I first tried this game out by myself, I thought that it seemed a bit young for my kids (my son is 8 and my daughter was 11). Boy, how wrong I was! When the game arrived, my son couldn't stop playing it and then exclaimed - "Mom, this is the best game ever!" The great thing about the game is its creativity. Kirby has been transformed into a ball of yarn and has to defeat all kind of yarn type creatures in Yarn world. He can also turn himself into a yarn car, swing a piece of yarn to vanquish enemies and of course, capture lots of points along the way. The levels get progressively harder which makes it totally exciting for my kids since they love competing against one another to make it to more challenging parts of the game. (Kirby's Epic Yarn is Voted E (for everyone) and retails for $49.99).
3. Rubik's Slide - I can still remember the time I cracked the code on my Rubik's Cube. I was 10 years old and was visiting family in Israel and my cousin explained that there was actually a formula to solve the puzzle. She wrote it down on a piece of paper, I tried it out and guess what? It worked! When I came home, I proudly showed everyone I knew the Rubik's Cube code and before long, I lost that sheet of paper and my memory for solving the puzzle faded. This time, Rubik's Cube is updated for our kids with Rubik's Slide - a new electronic puzzle game from Techno Source that combines the simplicity and fun of casual games with fast-paced brain-busting cubing. And this time, rather than solving one simple puzzle, there are more than 10,000 to choose from - which means you and your kids will never get bored. (Recommended for ages 8+. Retails at $19.99)
4. The Hasbro Play-A-Thon Fundraising Kit - This gift option is beyond amazing. Buy your kids games and teach them to give back! You purchase your kids the play-a-thon kit, which contains some of the best "old school" games on the planet - from Twister to Connect Four, to Jenga, Yahtzee, Pictionary and Scrabble (our family fave). Once the kit arrives, you can plan your own fundraising event and support your favorite cause simply by playing and having fun! In addition to the games, the kit comes with 8 activities and a CD* filled with customizable templates to help you promote your PLAY-A-THON. (Retails $79.99).
5. Scene It? 80's Edition - Okay - even though this list is technically supposed to be fun for the whole family, I couldn't resist. This year, Scene It? released it's 80s edition which means my husband and I (and our friends) get to re-live all our big hair and acid washed jeans memories - from Flashdance, to Punk Rock, Pop Rocks and much more! There are all kinds of 80s-themed on-screen challenges that include tons of memorable movie, TV and music clips that'll make any mom smile or wince when they recall their best and worst 80s moments (Personal Best - Poufy dresses. Personal Worst: The mullet). My advice for getting your kids in the action...treat them to an 80s movie marathon featuring some of your favorite films when you were their age and then have them test their skills with the game. Or play 80s Scene It once they're in bed or on a playdate. It's probably more fun with adults anyway! (Recommended for kids ages 13+ and retails for $29.99)
Have any must-have gift ideas you'd like to share? Comment now because I'd love to hear them!