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Where You’ll Find My Family on Wednesday Night

By the glow of the Xbox.

Here’s the scene, Wednesday night. Homework is done. Dinner has been enjoyed. The dishes have been done and put away. There’s still a couple more hours until bedtime, but it’s totally dark outside and too cold to play out there anyway. It’s become a habit that once the dishes are done we clear the area in front of the TV, put our game faces on and challenge each other to a few rounds of living room Olympics. Sometimes it’s Addie against Cody, sometimes it’s Cody against me and there’s always a game of bowling involving all three of us.

Kinect Sports Ultimate Collection has become our go to game as a family and when we play alone. Cody’s really good at football, Addie loves a good game of downhill skiing and I am kind of the master of beach volleyball. One of the great parts of Kinect Sports is that it takes into account who is playing and adjusts how difficult to make the game, a handicap of sorts. When I play track and field against Addie it doesn’t let me blow her out of the water no matter how hard I try (um, competitive much Casey?) but when I play against Cody I have to bring my proverbial game up to a whole other level so I’m not the one left in the dust. It’s just a nice feature that Addie doesn’t ever feel like she’s doing terrible or being put in last place despite trying as hard as she does. (She’s also improved dramatically in the time we’ve been playing.)

What else do we really like about this special two pack of Kinect games? Keep reading to find out!

Soccer – Intensity level 3/5 – This is one to play by yourself. With how much you’ll get into kicking and head bumping the ball it’s probably best there’s no one else around to suffer your wicked goal attempts.

Football – Intensity level 4/5 – This one is Cody’s jam. Probably because he enjoys doing the truffle shuffle in the end zone after each touchdown. (You can make your avatar victory dance however you want, I prefer the pony.) It’s also helped Addie understand the basic concept of downs better than any amount of explaining Cody and I have given her every Sunday.

Golf- Intensity level 1/5 – This is the one Addie has the hardest time with, she just can’t keep her little body to the side on her swings. This one is fun, not my favorite, but still a nice way to kick Cody’s trash talking butt at the end of a long day.

Skiing – Intensity level 3/5 – The secret to this one is not to over correct, for my entire life my biggest enemy in video games was the over correction. Addie is an expert at this game, racing through gates and jumping off runs so well it makes me wonder if she missed her calling as a skier.

Tennis – Intensity level – not sure! We haven’t made it to tennis yet! There’s so many other games that we simply haven’t made it to a game of tennis yet.

Boxing – Intensity level  5/5 – My shoulders. MY SHOULDERS. The day after I played this game once against my friend I could feel my shoulders in a way I’ve never felt them before. This game is more fun if you secretly have pent up aggression towards the person you’re playing against. We were EXHAUSTED after one game and delirious from laughing so hard at the same time.

Darts – Intensity level  1/5 – Cody digs darts. I on the other hand am all “What’s with all the rules, darts?” All this time I thought you just tried to get a dart in the middle and boom! You win! Wrong. There’s a strategy to darts and I’m terrible at it. Cody likes playing against the computer and dance taunting his opponent.

Baseball – Intensity level 4/5 – This one is FUN. It may have something to do with me being really good at it, perhaps it has something to do with me dispelling that whole “Casey at the Bat” nonsense, but give me some alone time and I’m going to choose this one to play by myself. You get to hit, run, pitch and throw (and the home runs! THE HOME RUNS!)

Bowling – Intensity level 2/5 – This one is our most favorite as a family. There’s just the right amount of skill involved and we all have a good time whenever we play together. My best friend scored a 240 on her first try and Cody’s response was, “Well now I have to stay up all night beating that.” He hasn’t yet.

Track & Field – Intensity level 5/5 – This one involves 5 events: track, javelin, hurdles, long jump and discus. The secret to track and hurdles is HIGH KNEES! There’s a lot of victory dances involved in this game too, world records too. The secret to long jump is not to jump too late. The tutorials and explanations are easy to understand and follow.

Table Tennis – Intensity level 2/5 – I’m not sure on what separates table tennis from ping pong, but in our house it’s ping pong. We don’t have room for a table so this is the next best thing. You can do some trick moves but not easy enough that Cody is constantly spinning the ball and scoring off of me (something he was guilty of with other video ping pong games.) Our preferred way to play is Addie and me on the same team, we’re a good team.

Beach Volleyball – Intensity level 4/5 – Perhaps it’s because I look so good in my virtual bikini spiking the ball, perhaps it’s because I always had secret fantasies of being a volleyball player this one isn’t so much physical intensity as it is PAY ATTENTION intensity, but there is a lot of jumping so be sure to pee first.

Basketball – THERE’S BASKETBALL? Goes to show how much we pay attention.

Kinect Sports Ultimate Edition? For $49.99 this award winning family gets six collective thumbs up from my team.

Thanks to Xbox for sponsoring this campaign. Visit xbox.com to learn more. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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