Not long ago we went to eat at our local pizza joint, and when Annie saw the arcade it blew her little mind. Video games! Annie was enraptured, and though she was a little too young to play any of the games there herself, that didn’t stop her from talking about it nonstop afterward. Luckily for Annie (and Mike and me), Xbox has a lot of games that are terrific for families of all ages, including ours. Annie is now officially a “gamer” and doesn’t have to just watch from the sidelines!
Here are five family games that have proved to be real winners for us:
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Brave 1 of 5This one is based on the hit Disney movie, Brave, and we had to get it because, hello, princesses! Brave is definitely intended for older kids (grade school and above, I'd say) as you primarily use the controller. Overall, I'd describe it as being in the vein of "Legend of Zelda." Hmmm. I just dated myself by mentioning "Zelda," didn't I? Oh well. The graphics and story segments are terrific, and probably a big reason why Annie asks for this one to be put on the Xbox 360 more than any other even though she can't really play it herself.
Kinect Sesame Street 2 of 5Annie loves herself some Elmo and Abby, so this game is a no brainer. What's really cool about it, though, is that it's perfect for toddlers. As a game for Kinect, Annie doesn't have to use a controller - she simply moves her hands, arms, and legs! Elmo and the other Sesame Street favorites ask Annie to do simple tasks like throw a ball or jump up and down, and when the Kinect sensor sees her doing these things, the images on the screen change. What delights Annie the most is that the game takes photos and video of her and puts them on the screen. When Annie sees herself interacting with Elmo she gets so excited it makes me glad she's still in diapers.
Kinect Sports 3 of 5This game has been the biggest hit for our entire family. Mike is obsessed with the bowling, but there's also Boxing, Track & Field (my favorite), Table tennis, Soccer, and Beach Volleyball. Annie's favorite is soccer, and she gets the sillies out kicking and kicking all afternoon.
Kinectimals 4 of 5Want another home-run selection for younger kids like Annie? Try Kinectimals. Annie use her hands to interact with twenty different animals, and makes them purr or roll around on the ground simply by "scratching" them. This game is adorable, and just between you and me, I can't get enough of the animals either!
Toy Story Mania! 5 of 5Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the Toy Story gang are rock stars in our home, so Annie loves this game as well. Many of the challenges are similar to fairground games, and Annie's favorite is the one where she gets to pop balloons. This is ironic because if a balloon pops in real life she bursts into tears. One note for parents - this game is slightly more advanced than Kinect Sesame Street TV (though it is a controller free, Kinect game), so you might want to wait if you have a younger toddler.
Do you have any suggestions that, say, Santa might bring us?