Family Gaming Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Family Gaming RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Cooking Mama: Cookstar Review — Just Like Mama Used to Make https://www.gameskinny.com/zf062/cooking-mama-cookstar-review-just-like-mama-used-to-make https://www.gameskinny.com/zf062/cooking-mama-cookstar-review-just-like-mama-used-to-make Fri, 03 Apr 2020 17:05:25 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Cooking Mama: Cookstar is better than many of the other games in the series; it has more content and recipes, it has more unlockables, and it has solid gameplay with more than one control method. It even has co-op.

Though it more or less plays exactly how you would expect it to if you've played one of these games before, there's a lot more to love here than might initially be expected.

Cooking Mama: Cookstar Review — Just Like Mama Used to Make

 

Let's see what it takes to be the next Cookstar

Creating such a familiar feeling is an impressive feat seeing how the game was the first in the series to not be developed by the series' original studio, Office Create. Cookstar was handled by the folks at Planet Entertainment and 1st Playable Productions, who have done fairly well handling the beloved IP.

The gameplay is as simple as it's always been, what with the simple controls and helpful instructions from Mama, but it's all done in a competent and charming enough way that I wanted to keep playing and playing.

Breaking down the various steps of both complicated and simple recipes from all over the world into little WarioWare style minigames is still a winning formula, and it's one that Cookstar successfully continues to utilize. You'll be preparing lamb gyros and pork gyoza in no time, and completing recipes allows you to earn more recipes to work through, of which there are 80 in total. 

This is on top of the customization options for Mama as well, and tons of cosmetic stuff to unlock for free.

There's a newly added Vegetarian mode for those who abstain from the meat life, which was a long-requested addition to the series, so that's worth a golf clap, too. There's also a co-op mode called "Potluck" with its own set of mini-games, which, while not all that deep, are decent fun.

The eponymous Cookstar is itself a new theme and mode added to the game. You see, you're trying to become the next "Cookstar" by cooking awesome food and then sharing photos of it online, which you can also share on Twitter IRL through the use of social media integration on Nintendo Switch.

Don't let the internet-savvy angle throw you off, though: it's more or less just an added aesthetic that changes based on how well you cooked each dish, which you are still graded on with the traditional three-star system.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have my fun applying little stickers and filters to my photos, and laughing at the idea of a rainbow grilled cheese sandwich being served in a fancy restaurant. 

 Don't forget, food can be art too.

The game was also apparently meant to incorporate blockchain technology for a number of reasons, such as varying character animations and helping to prevent piracy. This aspect of the game was handled by Planet Digital Partners, who seem to be another branch of Planet Entertainment. Luckily, it doesn't get in the way. 

Cooking Mama: Cookstar feels like a shiner, more content-rich version of the installments of the series made for the Nintendo Wii. It has the same 3D graphical style that is competent and appealing, but nothing amazing, and both feature motion controls.

The motion controls aren't the best I've seen for a Switch title. but they work just fine, and you'll find yourself doing a lot of different motions and actions in order to cook the perfect dish. You'll be tilting the controller to grease a pan with butter, copping vegetables like you would in real life, and even making softer, subtle motions in order to rip leaves off of a head of lettuce.

It can be quite fun if sometimes finicky.  

Unfortunately, the dual control modes come with a major disclaimer: You can only play the game with motion controls in TV mode and if you're playing in handheld mode, you must use the traditional non-motion controls. You can pair Joy-Cons to the game in handheld mode, but this doesn't really fix the problem.

It's a shame you can't use either whenever you like; being able to swap between the control methods whenever you like would have made the game both more accessible and more fun.

Cooking Mama: Cookstar Review — The Bottom Line

Apparently this game had an "Air Fryer Consultant". To be honest, it shows.

Pros
  • Fun and easy to pick up and play
  • Lots of content for single player
  • Decent Co-op
  • Vegetarian Friendly
Cons
  • Exciting control options are limited
  • Not much different from past titles
  • Music is fine but nothing special

Cooking Mama: Cookstar is a pretty fun if familiar addition to the series that was handled well. There just isn't much here that shakes up the formula. Even if it is decent fun and there's a little bit here for everyone, there's nothing that puts it a peg above the average game. 

More than anything else, I wish this game's release wasn't so shrouded in mystery so that people who want to play it could do so.

Cooking Mama Cookstar is available now physically for Nintendo Switch, with the digital release coming at an unspecified future date.

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Best Nintendo Switch Games for Kids 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/1nnzr/best-nintendo-switch-games-for-kids-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/1nnzr/best-nintendo-switch-games-for-kids-2018 Tue, 23 Oct 2018 17:19:38 -0400 Josh Broadwell

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Mega Man 11

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Poor Mega Man. It’s been so long since he’s had a grand adventure in the style of old. At last, though, his time has come again with Mega Man 11.

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Considered the series’ reboot—or, depending on your viewpoint, its last chance—this latest installment in the storied franchise goes back to the Blue Bomber’s roots, without sacrificing convenience and accessibility.

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It features the usual Mega Man story—evil doctor, crazy robots, wild power ups, and engaging platforming. Like always, you can choose the order you tackle levels and Robot Masters, with some paths only becoming available after obtaining a certain boss’s powers.

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One new feature is the Double Gear system, giving Mega Man a speed or power boost for a short time and adding an extra level of strategy to how you take on enemies. Mega Man looks better than ever, with highly stylized cartoon graphics, detailed outfit changes depending on powerups, and smooth animations throughout.  

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Even better, Mega Man 11 offers different difficulty options, so if your young, one finds standard much too challenging, it’s easy to swap modes and get back into the game. On top of that, the game includes extra modes, like boss rush, so there’s a lot of value for your dollar here.

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Super Mario Party

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Nintendo’s beloved Mario Party franchise returns for the Switch with Super Mario Party, only this time, it’s actually worth your while. Previous entries did away with competitive play and swapped interesting board designs for somewhat bland affairs, which extended to the minigames as well. SMP brings back competition between characters and the board system older gamers may remember from Mario Party’s GameCube heyday, complete with plenty of minigames taking advantage of the Joy-Con’s unique features.

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However, Super Mario Party does make some changes which should help maintain peace in your household. Competitive it may be, but it greatly reduces options for cutthroat, friendship-ending skullduggery, and Stars are, on whole, easier to obtain.

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The boards are a little smaller than you might be used to as well, and there are only four, but Super Mario Party does add extra game modes as well, including co-op survival mode and minigame rushes. Overall, it puts the focus on a more relaxed board game and, more importantly, the mini-games themselves.

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Each player uses one Joy-Con for the game (which makes two-player multiplayer incredibly easy, with no extra cost), so even though it means no handheld mode, it does help bring folks together for some gaming fun.

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LEGO DC Super-Villains

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Everyone loves to be bad sometimes, and Lego DC Super-Villains lets you be as bad as you like, without going overboard or getting too messy. The story is fairly simple: the Justice League vanishes, and in its place is a new organization, the Justice Syndicate. All may not be as it seems with the Syndicate, though, and it’s your task to figure out what their goals are, wreaking as much havoc as possible.

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It features some of modern gaming’s biggest draws, too—an open world and extensive character customization. In fact, the story revolves primarily around the character you create, though in keeping with Lego’s previous games, you’ll switch between multiple characters throughout the story, including Harlequin and the Joker.

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“Open world” and “evil” might sound like a recipe for a more mature game, but it’s Lego, which means it’s built for fun and being kid-friendly. The puzzles are never too difficult, the violence is slapstick, and it’s impossible to take things too seriously. Even with a mild difficulty curve, the game still manages to be fun for more skilled gamers and superhero fans, making it a great choice for lighthearted gaming anyone can enjoy.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2cad346f86ca72e26054ccdd17638938.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2cad346f86ca72e26054ccdd17638938.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12373","description":"

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

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Remember the toys-to-life concept Skylanders made so popular? I see from your pitchforks and torches you do, indeed, remember. Fear not, though. Much as Starlink: Battle for Atlas seems like yet another shameless cash grab, there’s a lot to love about Ubisoft’s latest open world adventure. It’s evident the company has one eye to the consumer’s convenience and financial circumstances as well.

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First, the game itself. Starlink has you flying through seven massive worlds in your customized spaceship as one of many available pilots. The goal involves liberating each world from the oppressive and villainous Primes, massive space monsters who set up shop on each planet with their minions. But in good Ubisoft fashion, the game offers loads of side quests and exploration—think a more focused No Man’s Sky meets Starfox, with the added fun of creating your own, unique ships and seeing them appear in the game.

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Speaking of Fox, the Switch version offers a fantastic bonus in the form of Fox himself, the Arwing, and some special Fox missions, right out of the box.

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If you go for the physical version, you get two pilots, two ships, and some parts for $59.99; there’s a deluxe edition that offers more, but you still won’t get everything without spending over $100.00.

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The digital version retails at the same price and gives you access to all the ships, multiple parts, and several pilots; you can pay close to $80.00 for the digital deluxe edition and get a couple extra bonus ships and parts that are otherwise retailer-exclusive (Target and GameStop, respectively). True, you don’t get the lovely little ships to mount on the controller, but they don’t work all that well in handheld mode anyway. Otherwise, the only difference is you open a menu to customize your ship, rather than clipping pieces on.

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Scribblenauts Mega Pack

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Scribblenauts Mega Pack is a bundle featuring Scribblenauts Unlimited and Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure, two critically acclaimed entries in the long-running Scribblenauts franchise. If you’ve never picked one up before, the games revolve around using your imagination and vocabulary to solve a myriad of puzzles, and best of all, the majority of them are completely open-ended.

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Need to get somewhere out of reach? A normal ladder works just as well as a zombie pterodactyl (with or without pink spots). You can summon lightning bolt-wielding angels to take down foes or simply distract them with some fried chicken—whatever strikes your fancy, really.

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Unlimited expands on this core mechanic exponentially, giving players the option to indulge in a little bit of programming by building instructions into your creations so they act a certain way in a given circumstance or upon interacting with another object you specify. It explores Maxwell’s background and, in good 2010s fashion, is open world in structure.

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Unmasked breaks the series’ usual rule of no copyrighted material and no proper nouns by letting you summon multiple DC Comics heroes and objects as you traverse familiar locales, like Gotham City, and brand-new ones in the fight against evil.

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Owlboy

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Owlboy is an indie amalgamation of SNES style visuals and platforming built around PlayStation 2 era stories, like Jak and Daxter with retro art style.

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You take control of Otis, a young, mute owl typically treated like dirt by his fellows, who must rise to the occasion after his village is attacked by pirates; you'll set off on a journey to find some way of freeing your people and awaken the power of the Ancient Owls.

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You’ll meet many quirky characters along the way, but most important is Geddy, Otis’s best friend and traveling companion. He’s also how Otis takes out enemies, since Geddy wields a blaster-type weapon.

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In true old-school fashion, there are multiple puzzles to overcome, many of which center around placing Geddy or another object in certain places to accomplish one task, while Otis flies off to handle another. Some puzzles might leave you scratching your head for a moment, but it never gets too difficult.

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The platforming itself is unique for its focus on precision flying (and Otis is mercifully easy to control). On top of excellent gameplay, Owlboy combines a memorable story with gorgeous retro visuals, a great soundtrack, and accessible mechanics, making this a must have for gamers of any age.

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

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Enjoying Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker might depend on whether you picked it up for the Wii U. If you did, it’s largely the same game as it was, with a few minor additions and, of course, the added portability bonus. If not, it’s a real gem of a puzzle game.

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Players take control of the loveable Captain Toad, of Super Mario Galaxy (and now Odyssey) fame, as he journeys to rescue Toadette and recover stolen Power Stars. You’ll also get to control Toadette herself for a while after a twist in the story, and there are even extra green stars to uncover after completing the main story.

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One of Captain Toad’s most unique features is that, unlike his Super Mario Bros 2. days, the venerable Captain can’t jump. That leads to a variety of head-scratching puzzle scenarios, where you must guide Captain Toad through obstacles and around enemies without taking any damage, and you get extras for knocking out every enemy in a level as well.

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The Switch port doesn’t add much new to the Wii U original, save for some Super Mario Odyssey themed levels, but this is an excellent light puzzler, packed full of charm and content.

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Mario Tennis Aces

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It’s been a long time—a long time—since we’ve been treated to a quality Mario Tennis game. Camelot’s latest efforts with Mario Tennis Aces might not reach the soaring heights the Game Boy Color classic did, but it’s certainly worth your time.

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The single player adventure mode follows Mario’s quest to recover powerful tennis rackets Wario and Waluig stole and set the now-chaotic world back in order. Despite some slightly more serious moments in the beginning, it’s your typical lighthearted scenario, setting the stage for another Mario romp. The courts are varied and fun, each with its own unique atmosphere and minor obstacles to overcome, and you’ll unlock additional courts for use in multiplayer mode as you progress.

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And that’s where the real fun is, of course. Players use one Joy-Con each (which means two-player mode doesn’t require an extra set of Joy-Con) and, like the good ol’ Wii Sports days, can use motion controls for a more immersive experience.

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The player roster is huge to begin with, but Nintendo’s updated it regularly with additional characters, from Shy Guy to Diddy Kong, along with a new co-op challenge mode, plus a patch that lets you easily retry failed missions—and it’s free DLC as well. Can’t beat free fun.

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Kirby Star Allies

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Kirby games are known for being relaxing frolics through visually soothing environments, making any of them perfect for younger gamers. However, this year’s Kirby Star Allies is one of the Pink Puffball’s best outings in a long time.

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Eschewing alternative mechanics from previous entries, like Epic Yarn and Rainbow Curse, Star Allies features traditional Kirby gameplay—light platforming and puzzle solving, plus loads of copy abilities. The major new addition are the titular allies.

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In single player mode, Kirby befriends his erstwhile enemies—a nice little commentary on forgiveness and friendship—and they all work together to overcome baddies and solve element-themed puzzles.

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Multiplayer mode lets you (or another player) take control of a different colored Kirby and do basically the same thing. The most enjoyable part of teaming up, whether alone or with others, has to be combining abilities, though. Sometimes, it’s just for the fun of it, but some combinations make enemies or certain puzzles a lot easier, so it’s worth experimenting either way.

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Like most Kirby games, the difficult curve is very smooth, so it’s perfect for gamers of any skill level (and you can always check out our guides if you get stuck).

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Dragon Quest Builders

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Dragon Quest Builders is Square Enix’s answer to Minecraft, but it provides much more than just mimicry. For one thing, it features a full-blown story mode, where your adventurer treks across four expansive chapters and brings light back to a hopeless world through the power of building.

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You’ll build and craft everything, from straw flooring and bed mats, to powerful weapons and massive fortifications. Each chapter focuses on a different kind of building and crafting, offering a more guided experience than Minecraft, without sacrificing freedom and creativity.

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You’ll find blueprints for additional structures and items as you progress through the game, but if you feel like just pottering around and building a massive city for the sake of it, there’s Terra Incognita mode as well, which is basically free build mode. Plus, the game is absolutely dripping with Akira Toriyama’s signature style and charm, accompanied by some classic Dragon Quest tunes, as you explore the massive world just waiting for you to shape it.

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Like you’d expect from a crafting game, there’s no huge difficulty curve, even with the monsters and combat thrown in, so kids of any age and skill level would be right at home with DQB. No, it isn’t a completely new game. But the Nintendo Switch’s portability makes it that much more appealing, since it removes some of console gaming’s inherent restraints.

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When you think about Nintendo's Switch, chances are, you think about playing games like Bayonetta or Skyrim, on the go, coupled with more recent outings like Octopath Traveler or Valkyria Chronicles 4. But after last year's Super Mario Odyssey, it might seem like there isn't much on offer for your smaller counterparts to enjoy.

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While it's true Nintendo isn't really positioning the Switch as a kids' console, unlike in the past, take heart: it doesn't mean your kids are out of luck. Of course, everyone knows Pokemon: Let's Go! is coming, but there are many other quality Switch games for younger players and families that came out this year. From multiplayer titles to engaging single player romps, we've got you covered.

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Top 7 Xbox One Games for Kids in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/iposo/top-7-xbox-one-games-for-kids-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/iposo/top-7-xbox-one-games-for-kids-in-2017 Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:38:45 -0500 Stephanie Tang

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That's it!

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I'll admit, it was some tricky hunting because many of the really good family-friendly games available on Xbox One (or at least the ones that I knew!) just weren't ones that came out this year. 

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What other titles do you think should have made the list, and is it a travesty that I couldn't think of them first? Let me know!

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JUST DANCE 2018

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Released October 24, 2017

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Be you man, woman, child, or dancing panda, this is the get-up-and-dance game for you -- no questions asked.

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Following in the grand tradition of highly rated rhythm music games, Just Dance 2018 brings you a mind-blowing selection of American Top 40 chart toppers and mixes them in with the super-fun choice of bopping out to K-Pop. Just to make partying even easier, new to 2018, there's an entire section dedicated entirely to kids with a selection of songs both new and old. 

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This game is a must if you like loud music, foolish dance moves, and posting videos of your kids grooving to 24K Magic by Bruno Mars on Snapchat. 

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The Disney Afternoon Collection

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Released April 18, 2017

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With this release you technically six games for the price of one!

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If we're being completely honest with ourselves, it's the adults and not the kids who are are boosting the customer ratings for The Disney Afternoon Collection sky-high. Many of these were originally released on the NES and have long since passed into the realm of classic gaming. 

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One more grasp at the nostalgia train, these games have been updated a little to adapt to the change in controllers but don't do much else -- essentially giving you a polished and functional emulator without the frustration of setting it up. It definitely beats rummaging the NES out of the closet and hunting up old connector cables just to bring a more 80s/90s arcade feel back into the living room this season.  

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Besides, if your kids are cartoon buffs, this collection can't be missed. 

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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2

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Released November 14, 2017

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Hot off the press and following in the footsteps of critically acclaimed LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, this game is bursting at the seams with over 200 different comic book characters in the base game alone, with even more promised in upcoming character packs. 

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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 answers the eternal question, What's a little time travel between friends? ... and then proceeds to answer a few more. What happens when Spider-Man meets Spider-Gwen? What happens when he runs smack into Spider-Man 2099? Why doesn't Tony Stark like Asgardian vol-au-vents? 

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Charming, cute, occasionally frustrating, and challenging to 100% complete, this game is a must for the kid who needs to stay occupied this holiday season. 

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Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

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Released March 7, 2017

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Here's another one that feels like it's just barely squeaking into the list on a technicality -- but I have a soft spot in my soul for crossovers of almost any sort, and the Marvel vs. Capcom series has managed to evolve somewhat since my first taste of it on the Dreamcast. 

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Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in particular has been lauded for improving on gameplay issues present in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and for a better online experience in general. Every holiday season needs at least one game that can be played with a friend -- and what better way than to see how you fare pitting cat girl Felicia against web-slinging Spider-Man? 

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Bright, flashy, and pretty fun to watch even if you're not the one with your hands on the controller, this is a great way to get into a more visually appealing fighting game without the extra violence and gore factor of, say, Mortal Kombat

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/eb1c123e74c2dc4a89f90d84624987a9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/eb1c123e74c2dc4a89f90d84624987a9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11628","description":"

LEGO Worlds

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Released March 7, 2017

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Following in the footsteps of the Minecraft global phenomenon, LEGO Worlds dumps its usual legacy of traditional story-driven premises so that players can do with bricks what LEGO players do best -- build whatever they want!

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This one's a bit interesting because it attempts to blend the fun of adventuring through a million different procedurally generated 3D worlds in a spaceship with the fun of being the omnipotent overlord of creation. Admittedly, a somewhat clunky interface gets in the way of a purely fun and frustration-free play experience, but it is a fantastic way to challenge a kid's creativity. 

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Whether you approach a problem by puzzling through the available quest or simply by deleting the walls that stand between you and the objective, the possibilities are actually limitless. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-70df4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-70df4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173770","description":"

I Am Bread

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Released: Jan 20, 2017

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Your mission ... to become toast! Ridiculous, over-the-top simulation games with a rather cavalier attitude towards the laws of physics might be a little played out by now, but the holidays are coming on fast, and there's something to be said for a game that does best with an audience and active commentary. 

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It might be cheating a little to include I Am Bread on the list since it initially appeared on PC and other consoles way back in 2015 and only made the jump to Xbox One early this year. Certainly it hasn't garnished rave reviews in its time on PC, but this charming little slice of silliness was never intended to match up against triple-A titles. 

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What it does have going for it is a history of gut-bustingly funny Let's Plays (see Markiplier's attempts to play it for further proof), and if you've got the right crowd around you, it's bound to keep you guys talking and shouting out suggestions. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/28cb771cfd472439a8c491d92f09a61e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/28cb771cfd472439a8c491d92f09a61e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11626","description":"

Sonic Mania

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Released: August 15, 2017

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I'll be the first to admit that I live my life with one foot permanently stuck on the nostalgia train. Almost any new game featuring this spiky blue hedgehog is bound to bring me back to my early days sneaking a few hours on my cousin's Genesis. But I'll also be the first to admit that many of the newer iterations of Sonic the Hedgehog, particularly attempts at 3D Sonic, just aren't memorable in quite the same way. 

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Sonic Mania is a nostalgic trip back to the side-scrolling Genesis years. Is it a cash grab and blatant nostalgia pandering? Eh, probably. It's certainly not perfect, but it is handily one of the best updated iterations of a 90s game that we've seen to date. 

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Besides, you have excellent on-the-surface gameplay, just enough of a balance between challenge and frustration, plus a golden opportunity ahead of the upcoming Ready Player One movie release to give your kids a glimpse at how fun an "old" game can be.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/x/b/o/xboxonegames-kidsfamily-e7775.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/x/b/o/xboxonegames-kidsfamily-e7775.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174431","description":"

What a year! 

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There have been tons of games that hit real and virtual store shelves all throughout 2017, and the time for a yearly roundup is nigh. With so many titles bridging that gap between "made for kids" and "games that adults still want to play if they've got kids around," it's been a great year for family-friendly titles.

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Admittedly, many of the biggest kid-friendly titles have graced the Nintendo Switch, Wii U, and PlayStation 4 platforms as exclusives, but there have still been a fair number of games that make an Xbox One plenty worthwhile this year.

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Let's have a look at some of them!

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(Note: This article specifically focuses on games that were released this year, so a number of great games that would probably make top gifting lists such as Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and Minecraft: Story Mode just don't feature.)

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Header image courtesy of Xbox One UK

"}]]]>
Nintendo Switch Co-Op Family Games of 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/3yub7/nintendo-switch-co-op-family-games-of-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/3yub7/nintendo-switch-co-op-family-games-of-2017 Tue, 14 Nov 2017 12:25:09 -0500 Lauren Harris

We all know everyone enjoys family gaming and playing with friends. The Nintendo Switch has brought players an all-new experience in family-friendly fun, and here are five titles that offer many co-op features to bring us closer together. 

1-2-Switch

This face-to-face party game lets players look at themselves instead of the screen; it’s almost like you're not playing the game. 1-2-Switch offers mini-games such as Wild West Dueling and even cow milking competitions. The Joy-Con controls make it easy for anyone to play. 

Purchase 1-2-Switch from Amazon for $49.88.


ARMS

ARMS is a family-friendly fighting game that allows players to use a variety of extending arms to defeat one another. With a variety of characters, arms, and game modes, players use button controls or flick their fists to throw punches in one-on-one or two-on-two battles. 

Pick up this family brawler now from Amazon for $57.44.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The definitive version of the previously released Wii U game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe lets you race friends anywhere. It features a revised battle mode with both new courses and previous favorites to enjoy. The game also includes every race track from the Wii U version in addition to previously released DLC. New features include Smart Steering (helpful for younger players or those new to Mario Kart), new characters and vehicles to choose from, and the ability to carry two items at the same time.

Be sure to pick up this addictive racing experience on Amazon for $58.99.

 

Snipperclips - Cut It Out, Together!

An action-puzzle game that requires players to cut their paper pals into just the right shapes, Snipperclips - Cut It Out, Together! lets you interact with objects to solve a series of puzzles and challenges. Blitz mode allows up to four players to compete with one another, or work in teams of up to four players in Party mode to solve difficult puzzles together.

Pick up this creative, fun, and entertaining game on Amazon for $19.99. 

Splatoon 2

The town of Inkopolis has changed over the past two years, and the Inklings return with Splatoon 2, bringing players battles on the go with the Nintendo Switch system. In this version, players can team up online in the new four-player co-op mode Salmon Run to take out enemies together. With new weapons and fashions being added regularly, players are able to customize their Inkling's style while teaming up with friends to ink up the town.

Purchase Splatoon 2 on Amazon for $56.99.


That's it for the list of fun, family-friendly co-op games available now for the Nintendo Switch. These are bound to bring families everywhere closer together. Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

]]>
14 Non-Horror Games to Play for Halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/kdgrd/14-non-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/kdgrd/14-non-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:59:56 -0400 Josh Broadwell

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Costume Quest 1 & 2

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It's difficult to find a set of games more perfectly suited for Halloween than Costume Quest and Costume Quest 2. The first centers around your team of characters trying to restore the stolen candy to their neighborhood and rescue a kidnapped sibling, while the sequel has you fighting a team of dental-hygiene fanatics intent on ruining Halloween for everyone.

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They are set up as RPGs, with sidequests and turn based battles. However, your gear is more than just what keeps you safe. Why is that? Because your costumes allow you to transform into what they represent, be it a knight, robot--you name it. The games look adorable as well, with a charming mix of spooky and quirky and environments that can't fail to put you in the Halloween spirit.

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Plus, until November 1st, both games are discounted on Steam: $0.99 for  Costume Quest, $5.24 for Costume Quest 2 or $4.99 for a bundle with both. Note too that the DLC for Costume Quest comes bundled with it.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/s/disgaea-ba2e6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/s/disgaea-ba2e6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171496","description":"

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (or Complete)

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Disgaea is a perfect series for Halloween, and the latest entry is no exception. You play as a demon overlord of some kind or another in every entry and recruit a variety of different monsters to your team as you fight to fulfill morally dubious goals and secure your position as hellish ruler. It's got everything a strategy fan could ask for too: deep mechanics, micromanagement galore, challenging battles, and a plethora of character classes and skills to master.

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Then there are the Prinnies. They're fun and slightly cute, plus they explode. But they're also the reincarnated forms of murderers and the worst kinds of criminals. If that alone doesn't tell you, the series prides itself on juxtaposing seriousness with ludicrous humor, all in a very anime style. It's a refreshing twist in a genre usually prone to taking itself too seriously and is sure to provide you with a frightfully good time.

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---

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From RPG to quirky platformer and puzzler, there's plenty to tick those spooky seasonal boxes and keep you occupied until -- and after -- Halloween. Let us know in the comments what you're playing for Halloween!

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Looking for more Halloween-themed content? Make sure to check our other Halloween articles on GameSkinny!

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Lumo

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Lumo is a charming little puzzler that has you take control of what looks quite like a Black Mage from Final Fantasy as you solve the brain-teasing puzzles in each of the game's many rooms. The game looks equal parts Fantasia and Chocobo's Dungeon, with a hint of Harry Potter, and it sees you traverse through a tremendous variety of locations in each of those rooms, from your basic storeroom setting to a hallway filled with lasers and a rotating tower with crumbling steps, among others.

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The puzzles are never overly difficult, so it's the perfect game to play with your children, if you have them, but it's certainly not too easy for adults to unwind with at the end of the day. Some of you might recognize it, too, as it's meant to be a revival of the classic British isometric puzzler genre, and it does a superb job of what it sets out to do.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-cf2b1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-cf2b1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171499","description":"

Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2

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Continuing on with the theme of costumes means the Kingdom Hearts games are next. Sora and co. change their gear with every world they enter, but there are two real main reasons for having these games on your Halloween list. The story becomes more convoluted as the games progress, naturally, but at the core of it all remain the themes of redemption, friendship, and, of course, the conflict between light and dark. It's a lighthearted take on the concept of battling the darkness within us all that carries with it a certain tone with it that perfectly suits the cold, dark autumn nights.

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More to the point, though, is the visit to Halloween Town! In both mainline games, you'll visit Jack Skellington and friends and battle the Heartless that manage to terrify even these monsters. The sequel puts you in Christmas Town—still in Halloween getups—excellently recreating the juxtaposition of happy and spooky that makes the film so enjoyable.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/5/1059e772cddb551.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/5/1059e772cddb551.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171498","description":"

Final Fantasy V

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It's Final Fantasy, but with dress-up! But seriously, Final Fantasy V stands out from its brethren for more than the adorable sprite costumes that accompany each change of class. It's a story that takes you across the world, only this time, the world is a lot more expansive, from dealing with mummies in a desert tomb to flying across the mountains on a dragon and everything in between. It's the plot and antagonist that really make this worth putting on your Halloween list, though.

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FFVI's Kefka is villainous in his own right, but Exdeath is the embodiment of evil, almost literally, considering the possibility that he was once the spirit of a forest, now turned corrupt. Along with his evil machinations, you've got a haunting (sorry) time-traveling, interdimensional tale of love, loss, and betrayal. That makes FFV much easier to recommend than that other costume-driven game, FFIII, since there is not much story in the latter. Plus, if you really want to scare yourself, you could play the mobile version of FFV.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/fire-emblem-echoes-918d9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/fire-emblem-echoes-918d9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171495","description":"

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

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The latest mainline Fire Emblem offering, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia provides both an eerie atmosphere and intense gameplay. The land of Valentia is suffering at the hands of a manic priest devoted to a corrupt god. Soulless witches who have offered themselves up to Duma wreak havoc, but that's not all. Fans of later games, including Sacred Stones and Awakening, will see the roots of the undead adversaries in Echoes, in the form of Terrors, legions of the undead controlled by some unknown force and popping up everywhere.

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From a gameplay perspective, it provides a serious challenge, too, requiring you to carefully plan your every move and delivering its own form of tension in the process. It's definitely one of the darker entries in Fire Emblem, and it only gets darker as the game progresses, with the final climax *mild spoilers ahead!* taking place deep underground, involving possession, murder, and betrayal.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-knight-ca8f6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-knight-ca8f6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171494","description":"

Hollow Knight

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Hollow Knight looks like what you'd get if Tim Burton made video games. Based on the classic Metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight combines the best of 2D platformers with a distinct and attractive art style. Hollow Knight himself, sporting a stylish skull helmet, must traverse the dark, monster-ridden depths of his underworld home to find the secrets buried in it corrupt heart.

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The entire world exudes an eerie, almost otherworldly -- netherworldly? --atmosphere, drawing you in and keeping you wondering what might be beyond the next turn. Yet despite focusing on muted tones and various shades of darkness, the art manages to remain appealing throughout the difficult campaign. Even better is the new Grimm Troupe DLC dropping October 31, even more reason to dive back in or pick up the game for the first time!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dragon-quest-69215.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dragon-quest-69215.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171493","description":"

Dragon Quest VI

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"What the heck is a Dragon Quest game doing on a Halloween list?" you might be asking. Well, there's good reason Dragon Quest VI is. You see, long before Halloween became the blood-filled fright-fest it is now, it was one of two times of the year when people of almost every culture believed the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest. That meant the spirits of the dead could cross, of course, but also all manner of other creatures, including fairies -- not the Tinkerbell kind; the steal your soul and curse your cattle kind -- and other nefarious creatures from beyond could walk in our world.

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Dragon Quest VI captures that theme perfectly. It alternates between an illusionary dream world and a real world, blurring the lines between both (and even making you a kind of ghost when you first visit the real world). The main antagonist draws his power from both worlds, breeding a host of monsters and causing nightmares in the dream world to create havoc in the real one.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/u/i/luigis-mansion-686f4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/u/i/luigis-mansion-686f4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171492","description":"

Luigi's Mansion

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The launch lineup for the little purple lunchbox that could might have suffered from its games being too short, but that doesn't mean they lacked innovation and quality. And Luigi's Mansion is one that stands out. It's the first game to feature Luigi in a prominent role and completely changes the style of gameplay one would expect from a Mario-type game.

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Over the course of one stormy night, Luigi must explore the depths and heights of the mysterious mansion that appeared from nowhere in order to try and find his missing brother.

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You'll come across multiple mischievous ghosts in the process, along with the masterminds behind the kidnapping, the Boos. The original Luigi's Mansion brings with it a much spookier atmosphere than its sequel, owing partly to the fact that the camera is much closer to Luigi and also the fact that the mansion is much, much darker until you solve the puzzles of each room. For maximum enjoyment, play with the lights turned off.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/x/i/axiom-verge-768d5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/x/i/axiom-verge-768d5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171491","description":"

Axiom Verge

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If 2D Metroidvania is more your taste, then Axiom Verge is just the game for you this Halloween season. Drawing inspiration from Super Metroid, among other titles, Axiom Verge places you in an unknown environment that blurs the lines between reality and the subconscious. You end up there as a result of a lab accident, so you're not entirely sure at first if you're alive or not.

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However, the game gives you a great deal of control over your environment through the glitch mechanic, letting you manipulate your weapons, enemies, and even landscapes -- some you might not have been intended to see. There's a deep story here, too, as you'll uncover the remnants of an ancient, apocalyptic war and try to piece together how this domain ended up the way it did. The entire affair is rather dark and moody, as you would expect, and it's an excellent way to add some atmosphere to your Halloween gaming.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/t/metroid-prime-dda40.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/t/metroid-prime-dda40.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171490","description":"

Metroid Prime

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The Metroid games are known for creating eerie atmospheres and a sense of isolation, with the possibility of mortal danger lurking around every corner. Any game in the series would be suitable for Halloween (though some fans might say Other M is the most frightening of all, even if for reasons not entirely intended by the developers). However, the original Metroid Prime stands out above the rest in this regard.

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Its first-person mechanic and the dreary desolation of Tallon IV combine perfectly, and no matter how many times you play it, that first time the Metroids burst out of their tanks still holds the power to make you jump. If this doesn't quite sound appealing, though Prime 2: Echoes is also a good candidate, with an even darker plot and the terror of the Ing to contend with as well.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/p/puppeteer-992ad.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/p/puppeteer-992ad.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171488","description":"

Puppeteer

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Puppets are creepy, and that goes double for marionettes. Puppeteer manages to maintain that creepiness, yet makes it endearing by adding to it with a quirky, eerie aesthetic and a storyline pulled straight from a fairytale. The story begins when the Moon Bear King puts your soul into the body of a puppet to serve as a slave, but your troubles don't stop there. Before tossing you into his dungeon, the Moon Bear King also rips your head off -- but that sets the stage, so to speak, for the game's signature mechanic.

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You acquire various powerups throughout the game, and these are incorporated via wearing different heads. Your journey takes you across the world and through a wide variety of landscapes, but it's all presented as though it's on a miniature stage, as you'd see with a real puppet show, complete with audience effects, props, lighting, and the whole works. It's a superbly tight platformer and a joy to play, plus there's the added bonus of it being a form of exposure therapy.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/j/majoras-mask-abf72.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/j/majoras-mask-abf72.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171485","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

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Arguably one of the darker entries in the LotZ franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask takes everything you know about the series' structure and chucks it out the window. Taking place right after the events of Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask sees Link taken to the mysterious world of Termina, a land where time is quite short because the moon is going to crash into it in three days' time. From there, you travel through Termina's four main regions and try to uncover the mysteries surrounding the catastrophe and the enigmatic Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask itself.

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As you'd expect, masks play an important role throughout the game, providing new powers and abilities and even transforming Link into different Link-forms. Needless to say, the entire atmosphere is quite dark and broody, rivaling even Twilight Princess. And as the days progress, the people you interact with begin realizing their lives are about to end influences the way they conduct themselves in the game, with reactions ranging from desperation to quiet acceptance of their dark fate.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-08c33.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-08c33.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171484","description":"

Animal Crossing

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Of course, no Halloween game list would be complete without Animal Crossing. With the exception of Wild World, with its grudge against holidays, every Animal Crossing game has some form of Halloween festivity. Whether it be the GCN original's hunt for Jack to get Spooky furniture or New Leaf's wider array of activities involving month-long specials at the Nooklings' store, mask collecting, and neighbor-scaring, there's plenty to do throughout the month of October.

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Later entries, especially New Leaf, allow you to customize your look down to the finest details, so you can always be in costume. Or you can just finish a long day by taking an evening stroll through your village, appreciating the change of scenery.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-f3efd.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-f3efd.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171502","description":"

The sun sets early, the evenings are getting darker, and there's a certain something in the atmosphere that sets your hair on end. That's right, Halloween is almost here! But not all of us are fans of horror, blood, and gore, so what's a gamer to do if Resident Evil and Silent Hill are out of the question? 

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Never fear! We've got a list of the best 14 non-horror games (because 13 is supposed to be unlucky, right?) you can play in the run-up to Halloween without having to plug in your night-light. Plus, as an added bonus, these are almost all perfectly safe for you to play with the younger members of your family -- and this first one, in particular, should prove widely popular with that specific audience. 

"}]]]>
10 of the Best PS4 Games for Kids in 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/dq33z/10-of-the-best-ps4-games-for-kids-in-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/dq33z/10-of-the-best-ps4-games-for-kids-in-2016 Tue, 17 May 2016 04:37:59 -0400 AwesumPawsum

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If nothing on this list suited your fancy, maybe action games aren't the way to go. These are the games I tend to play with my nieces and nephews, but there are a few family friendly genres that may work better for you.

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For example, there are some good PS4 games for kids in the sports genre. They've got football, baseball, soccer and basketball games. 

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Do your kids have the need for speed? Maybe you should get them... Need for Speed. See what I did there? 

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Puzzle games may be another way to go. Brothers -- A Tale of Two SonsThe Road Not Taken or Perfect Universe are other kid-friendly PS4 games to look into. 

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Good luck, and don't forget to play these games with your kids! I know I always appreciated it when my Dad took time to play with me, and it's some of the only bonding time I really get with my nieces and nephews. 

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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

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  • Release Date: October 22, 2013
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  • Price: $18.99
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What little boy doesn't love Marvel superheroes? Actually, scratch that -- what person alive doesn't like these guys?

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This game's been out for a while and is a blast for everyone. You get to play as a bunch of different characters, each with different powers. Not only the Avengers, but also characters like Spiderman, Wolverine and Mr. Fantastic.

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Even though there's cartoon violence, it's not gory at all. It's just LEGOs! 

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Just Dance 2016

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  • Release Date: February 18, 2014
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  • Price: $19.56
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The great thing about Just Dance 2016 versus many of the previous dance games is that it doesn't require PlayStation's camera system (PlayStation Move.) Instead, you download a free app to your smart phone that pairs with the game.

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That said, if you don't have a smartphone, you will need the PlayStation Move system to play.

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This is a great family or party game- as long as you aren't too afraid to embarrass yourself. (Or, in my case, embarrass everyone else for not having my kinda skillz.)

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Rayman Legends

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  • Release Date: February 18, 2014
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  • Price: $19.56
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Rayman Legends is a fast-paced side scroller. It's a great pick for both kids and adults, as the non-stop action will entertain just about anyone. It's a very kid friendly PlayStation 4 game, although there is some cartoony, non-gory violence. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/970a8be0ce7962371fff391ddfb0a500.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/970a8be0ce7962371fff391ddfb0a500.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8286","description":"

Knack 

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  • Release Date: November 15, 2013
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  • Price: $18.49
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Knack was one of the games that launched with the PS4 a few years ago. You play as a experimental robot that can transform itself to deal with different situations. 

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It's very kid-friendly, although (going with the trend) there is some violence in this game. 

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Hasbro Family Fun Pack 

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  • Release Date: October 20, 2015
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  • Price: $23.75
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 Somehow this game seemed to skate under the radar. Maybe because the concept isn't exactly revolutionary. This is basically a 4 pack of classic games -- Monopoly, Risk, Trivia Pursuit and Scrabble

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...but don't let the simplicity fool you. This game is actually a lot more fun than just playing the board games, because the PS4 graphics help bring it to life. It's a great PS4 kids game that lets them with friends and family or against people on the PlayStation Network. 

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And paying less than $24 for all 4 games is a no-brainer. 

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The LEGO Movie Videogame 

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  • Release Date: February 7,  2014
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  • Price: $15.99
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The LEGO Movie was a lot funnier than I think most people expected -- myself included.

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And even though playing the game isn't quite the same as seeing the movie for the first time, it's still a lot of fun! You play as Emmett, and meet all of his crazy new friends along the way.

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This is another co-op game-up to two players can play at once. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/2c5dd610200c57b2dd44f6582fb55142.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/2c5dd610200c57b2dd44f6582fb55142.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8282","description":"

Minecraft 

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  • Release Date: September 4, 2014
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  • Price: $18.00
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Minecraft was designed almost as a joke, but has taken the world by storm. People of all ages have built all kinds of crazy things, from enormous cities and castles in the sky to deep, dark dungeons. 

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There are two ways to play -- Survival and Creative. Survival mode has some violence, there's no blood. A few blocks fall apart -- that's about it. If your kids choose to play Creative Mode, there's zero violence because the goal of that mode is to just build whatever you want! 

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Another good thing about this game is that your kids can play together, which makes building go much faster! 

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Little Big Planet 3

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  • Release Date: November 18, 2014
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  • Price: $17.92
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If I had to pick just one PS4 game for kids to recommend, it's Little Big Planet 3. It was clearly designed to be kid-friendly, although adults have loved the game, too. 

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It's basically an adventure-puzzle game, where you use these stringy little heroes through various levels and obstacles. 

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The best part is that it can be played co-op. Either you can play with your children, or they can play with each other. Can't beat that for less than $18 bucks!

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Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition

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  • Release Date: August 28, 2015
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  • Price: $41.78
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This one is a mixed bag to be honest. Kids LOVE the Disney Infinite game, which now has 3 different editions. Each edition added new characters and content.

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The bad news is that Disney recently announced they won't continue adding content to the game. But you can still buy everything they've already released, and your children will get hours and hours of enjoyment from it. 

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™: Mutants in Manhattan 

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  • Release Date: May 24, 2016
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  • Price: $49.99
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Growing up, I couldn't get enough of the Ninja Turtles. I watched the movies, played all the video games, had the action figures... you know the drill. 

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Just like you'd expect, this game will have some PG violence to it. But if your kid is old enough to appreciate the TMNT without being influenced to beat up everyone around them, this is a great option. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/s/4/ps4-kids-a6789.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/s/4/ps4-kids-a6789.jpg","type":"slide","id":"117004","description":"

Finding the right PS4 games for kids isn't easy. Most games tend to be fairly violent and are tailored towards older kids, if not teenagers. 

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Fortunately, there are a lot of great family-friendly games out there. If none of the following games sound appealing to you, there are a few genres that are typically very family-friends. Racing and sports games come to mind, as well as puzzle games. 

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Don't see the game you're looking for here? Check out our other best games lists here: 

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Games for Grandparents and Grandchildren: Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks https://www.gameskinny.com/fw6is/games-for-grandparents-and-grandchildren-old-dogs-can-learn-new-tricks https://www.gameskinny.com/fw6is/games-for-grandparents-and-grandchildren-old-dogs-can-learn-new-tricks Tue, 03 May 2016 06:16:58 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

“I just don’t understand those, whatchamacallit? Damgummed vidja games you play. They don’t make any blasted sense to me.”

One of my grandparents once told me something not too far removed from that sentence. My cousin and I were sitting down playing my brand-new copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker on my still shiny, purple Gamecube. (Oh yeah, I am going wayyyy back to 2002.) My cousin and I did our best to explain video games to the bewildered, older person, but our eleven-year-old selves couldn’t convince the grandparent that games were anything other than the preconceptions they held.

You tell those young whippersnappers!

You tell those young whippersnappers!

Just fourteen years later, I have met several grandparents and older adults who either play video games with their younger family members or have expressed an interest in the idea. With that in mind, here's a list of somewhat recent titles that might be starting points for grandparents who want to play games with their grandchildren. Who knows? Maybe you will be playing one of these games and it will catch your grandparent’s eye like no Bingo game ever could.

This is a varied list. Some of these games will be more difficult to play than others, and some of these games are aimed more at mature players than others. I've included descriptions with each entry so you have an idea of what the game is before scurrying off to entice your victim loved one to play.

Let’s get started!

 

Juju 

Available on Steam, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360.

Can two players play at the same time?  Yes 

Control complexity?  Minimal

Juju is an extremely cute platformer ( a game where you navigate obstacles and collect floating, shiny things) starring a pink panda bear and his best friend Peyo, who just so happens to be an anthropomorphic snake. (Because video games okay?) Juju and Peyo get into some trouble and wind up releasing an evil bat that kidnaps Juju’s dad and places some dark magic on Juju’s home forest. It’s up to Juju and Peyo to save the day!

The gameplay is almost as simple as the plot for this one. Players control their choice of the two characters, and their partner controls the other. Players navigate levels filled with obstacles, enemies, and tons of floating, shiny objects to collect! The game goes out of its way to entice newcomers to play. The character of Peyo has skills Juju does not, and he is also less targeted by enemies, allowing his player to simply enjoy the game.

The controls in Juju are also simple. You control your character and have buttons to jump and perform an attack. There are five buttons used at most, making this ideal for all newcomers.

Juju’s novice-friendly design makes it a great choice for either enticing grandparents or younger grandchildren. If you want more information about the game, I actually wrote a review about it here! (Shameless self-promotion for the win!)

 

Yoshi’s Woolly World  

Available on the WiiU.

Can two players play at the same time?  Yes

Control complexity?  Minimal

Much like the aforementioned Juju, Yoshi’s Woolly World is a platformer where you navigate obstacles, defeat enemies, and collect shiny objects. What separates the two is the degree of difficulty and art style. The world of Woolly (the full title is a mouthful) is presented as living yarn, and yes, it is as adorable as it sounds. The art style makes the game appealing to players of all ages and can bring a smile to the face of the most cynical of players, such as myself.

The cute is strong with this one.

Players have the options of four different controllers for playing this one. You have the option of the Wii U Gamepad, the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wiimote, and the Classic Controller. As with Juju, there are essentially five buttons used in gameplay. When playing with another person, both people can also use different controllers, depending on their preference.  

 

Woolly is also more difficult than Juju. If Juju’s difficulty was rated at a 1 on a scale from 0-10, Wooly would fall somewhere between a 2 or a 3. Just something to keep in mind for newer players. The game allows two people to play simultaneously, so grandma can help you snag all of those collectibles!

 

Katamari series

Available on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Can two players play at the same time? Depends on the game from what I can gather. 

Control complexity? Moderate

The Katamari series is an example of simplicity done beautifully. The objective of the game is to roll around large environments and collecting everything into a large ball of, well, everything. There is some story about replacing the stars, but all you need to know is you can collect virtually anything into your giant roving ball of objects. It’s a game that is simple to grasp and enjoy.

Here’s the game in action.

 

The controls are slightly more demanding than the previous titles mentioned, but they don't take long to become comfortable. The controls are similar to controlling the treads on a tank. If you want to go forward, you move both sticks forward. If you want to turn, you push the stick forward on the side you wish to turn. It's slightly more complicated, but not enough to completely alienate people. You can see more of the controls here.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band  

Available on Playstation 3&4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Depends on your difficulty and instrument, but minimal to difficult.

The Guitar Hero and Rock Band series are unique as they can provide an enjoyable experience for newcomers and experts alike. The Rock Band games have modes where you cannot fail, and instead, can simply enjoy the music and your attempts to play it. If your grandparents don’t have the dexterity for the guitar, let them beat the drums to death. If drums aren’t their thing, give them a mic and have them wail to the classics they know and love!

The controls complexity depends on the difficulty you decide to play. Each difficulty adds a new button for the guitar and drums. For singing, it makes some notes harder to hit and adds more difficult pitches and sections. There's a reason these games have become hit party games though. There is a difficulty level for all players to enjoy!

With a large library of songs included with the base game and a huge selection of songs available to download, there’s bound to be some songs your grandparents enjoy. These games can provide an evening of fun for the whole family to enjoy. Before you know it, you’ll have a garage band and participate in the local battle of the bands.

 It may or may not make your grandmother a badass metalhead.

 

Mario series

Available on the WiiU

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Minimal

Gaming’s most iconic mascot has been the star of countless games that have entranced beginners and veterans alike for years. His newest games are no different. The newest titles on the WiiU are a step up in difficulty from the prior entries on this list, but they also have various modes for beginners and support for more than two players. Now grandma and grandpa both can get in on quashing Bowser’s plans!

 The Mario series is one of the longest-running and most iconic game franchises of all time, yet has managed to retain its charming simplicity throughout all of the years. The controls are simple to learn and easy to master, using six buttons at the most. The challenge comes not from the controls but being precise. However, the series has always been friendly for newcomers and remains welcoming to all.

 

Super Smash Bros

Available on the Wii U

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Moderate

Now this might be a confusing entry. The Smash series is known for its depth, and the skill displayed by pros at tournaments is mindboggling. The game still remains inviting for newcomers. I have hooked several unbelieving friends with a few rounds of Smash. The game is more complicated and has more controls than some entries here, but it remains a simple one to learn and enjoy.

This is easily the most complex game mentioned here in regards to controls. The game only uses about eight buttons (no matter which of the four controllers you choose to use), but there are multiple uses for many moves tied to these few buttons. Despite that, the game remains a frantic and enjoyable experience, even if you aren't sure exactly what is going on onscreen (which is me when playing most fighting games).

With all of the sheer chaos occurring onscreen, you may not be exactly sure what just happened, but you know it looked awesome and can’t wait to continue playing. The game allows up to eight people to play, and players can customize the amount of zaniness in matches and adjust things accordingly as needed. Just don’t complain when Great-grandma Anita wipes the floor with you.

 

Madden games

Available on anything. These games are literally available everywhere on every platform.

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Moderate 

Now before you question this choice, hear me out. During some summers, I would visit my cousin, and we generally ending up playing video games. One day my uncle expressed interest in playing. Giddy with excitement, we naturally started him with the worst possible choice, Mass Effect. He called defeat with a few short, but oh so hilarious, minutes.

Next, we tried Call of Duty, he fared a little better, but he could not grasp the concept of operating two joysticks simultaneously. After my cousin met many a death at the hands of his dad’s grenades, we admitted defeat. My uncle then laid his eyes on Madden and being the football fanatic he is, asked to give it a whirl. My cousin and I decided it couldn’t be any worse than the other games, so we gave it a shot. We have regretted it ever since.

My uncle’s knowledge of football outweighed his lack of gaming skills, and he managed to defeat us over and over again. Things got to the point where he was asking us to play him because he wanted to try more advanced tactics.

I mention this story because you never know which games newcomers will do well when first introduced to gaming. If your grandparent has any interest in football, give Madden a shot. The controls are relatively simple, and the commands are usually posted on the screen for quick reference. Plays are assigned to a button so you know which play you are picking. Actions such as running, stiff-arm, and juking are all tied to individual buttons which are usually displayed before the ball is snapped. Each receiver is also assigned a button, so you know which receiver you are throwing the ball to with every play. 

You can also play the game together on the same team to help ease newcomers into the game. It’s a great idea for those who love sports, and an excellent starting point for the world of games.

 

There are plenty of games grandparents can play with their grandchildren, or can be used to entice your grandparent to give the world of gaming a shot. Star Fox Zero for the WiiU has an invincibility mode for newcomers. Pikmin 3 for the WiiU allows two captains to cooperate and attempt to salvage their spaceship to escape a hostile planet. Rocket League is a more advanced title, but for those who want a challenging and entertaining cooperative experience, look no further. For the truly awesome grandparents, look into Portal 2 for some cooperative, puzzle-solving goodness!

All of these titles I’ve mentioned are barely a drop in the ocean of family/grandparent-friendly games available.  Give these titles a shot, and see what happens. You never know. Maybe your grandparents have mad player skills waiting to be unleashed! After all, I can count the number of times I have beaten my uncle in Madden on one hand. Do not underestimate your opponent!

Do you have any games you play with your grandparents or grandchildren? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Playing video games with your mom (in 10 easy steps!) https://www.gameskinny.com/k0xeq/playing-video-games-with-your-mom-in-10-easy-steps https://www.gameskinny.com/k0xeq/playing-video-games-with-your-mom-in-10-easy-steps Wed, 13 Jan 2016 09:49:24 -0500 Zanne Nilsson

So, you've finally convinced your mom to play a video game with you. Congratulations! Getting someone who's unfamiliar with video games to try them isn't easy. But now you have a whole new set of hurdles ahead of you. What game do you pick? How do you set everything up? How the hell do you steer a kart with a Wiimote? But don't worry - I've broken down the process into ten easy steps. (And if you're not going to be doing this with your mom specifically, don't fret - all this can apply to any friend or family member who hasn't played a video game before.)

Are you ready? Is your mom ready? Good! Let's go!

1. Pick a game to play

Now, if you've already gotten your mom two casual games for the Wii, the decision shouldn't be too hard. If not, well, just discuss it with her and in your own mind take into account the fun to difficulty ratio for a newcomer. When in doubt, overestimate the difficulty - especially if your mom hasn't played many video games in her lifetime.

2. Find a second working controller

Let's say our chosen game is for the Wii, and you already have a few extra Wiimotes lying around. So you open one up to make sure the batteries are working. In this case, the answer is no, one of the batteries has leaked all over the battery compartment. All right, we'll just go to the next one. Surprise! The battery contacts in it are corroded. Uh, okay, how about the third party one we never use? Good news, the batteries work fine! Bad news, the motion controls don't work. They've never worked. There's a reason you never use this controller.

3. Pick another game to play

So our search for a controller for mom to use has turned up nothing. It's time to start over. Let's see, we have one working Wiimote. Oh! Why don't we play Mario Kart 8? Yes, that will be great! It's fun and probably won't be too difficult, right?

4. Explain the controls

Okay, mom, so you hold the controller horizontally. No, the other way. No, wait, it's sort of horizontal but vertical at the same time. ...Yeah, that's close enough. Okay, now to maneuver you turn it like a steering wheel. Right. And you hold down the A button to go... I think. That's how I have to do it on my controller, so it's probably the same for you.

5. Re-explain the controls

Mom, why are you still at the start line?
"I'm not going."
Are you holding down A?
"Yes. It's not doing anything."
Crap, uh, hold on, let me see. Are you holding it like a steering wheel?
"I'm trying. It's turning the wrong way too."
Okay, let's pause this and figure it out.

6. Discover how the controls actually work

Ohhhhhhhhh, I had it backwards. Sorry, mom. You hold it the other way and hold down 2. Let's try again.
"The steering still isn't working right."
(You look at her half of the screen to see she's still at the start line, crashing back and forth between the walls on the sides.)
Stupid Wiimotes...

7. Use a different controller

But we don't have a different - oh, wait! We'll just plug in the Nunchuck attachment. Duh. A control stick will make this a million times easier.

8. Start the race over

Because honestly, there's no sense in trying to finish this one; you're both in last place anyway. Also, you forgot to explain how the items work.

9. Cheer her on

This isn't a race. Okay, well, technically in this case it is. But this is for fun and family bonding time, not bragging rights! Besides, this is the woman who cheered you on when you were still learning how to crawl. The least you can do is cheer her on while she's learning to play Mario Kart.

10. Have fun!

That's all you need to do! Just enjoy the game together, and be patient with the mistakes either of you make. Hopefully sharing something that's important to you will bring you closer together, and help her understand why you like video games so much. But for now, just have fun with it. This moment isn't going to last forever.

]]>
Best mobile games based on your Kids favorite movies https://www.gameskinny.com/bq6u2/best-mobile-games-based-on-your-kids-favorite-movies https://www.gameskinny.com/bq6u2/best-mobile-games-based-on-your-kids-favorite-movies Sun, 20 Dec 2015 08:35:39 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/30b4b89201f8b9038eef82a0358d6a8e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/30b4b89201f8b9038eef82a0358d6a8e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7354","description":"

Disney's Cinderella Free Fall

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Ratings:
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    \n
  • Google: 4/5 - ‎94,900 votes
  • \n
  • iOS: 3.5/5 - ‎38 reviews
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  • Amazon: 4.2/5 - 47 votes
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  • Windows: 4.2/5 - 4,847 votes
  • \n
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Play as young Ella with her animal friends Gus and Jacqueline by completing over 100 levels of making matches with butterfly jewels on the game board. Each level has a move limit and a different requirement, from earning points to collect large quantities of gems, and more.

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Highlights:

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    \n
  • Unlock power-ups
  • \n
  • Unlock characters
  • \n
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Available on iOS, Windows, Amazon apps, and Android.
\n

I hope these great games satisfy your little one's gaming craves!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/62feb11444d6787958cf2fc2b81a1bab.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/62feb11444d6787958cf2fc2b81a1bab.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7353","description":"

LEGO: Harry Potter Years 1-4

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Ratings:
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    \n
  • iOS: 4/5 - ‎4,130 reviews
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Relive the world of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter by taking control of the LEGO renditions of Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they make their way through their first four years at Hogwarts. Explore, play puzzles, and duel in this mobile version of the PC and console game.

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Highlights:

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    \n
  • Tri-Wizard Tournament
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  • Quidditch World Cup
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  • Basilisk battle in the Chamber of Secrets
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  • Encounter Aragog and Voldemort
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This game is available for $4.99 on the mobile app store.

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Available on iOS and Android.
"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3821321aa691e7970ab711d423698434.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3821321aa691e7970ab711d423698434.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7352","description":"

Disney's Frozen Free Fall

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Ratings:
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    \n
  • Google: 4.5/5 - ‎1,287,058 votes
  • \n
  • iOS: 3.5/5 - ‎127 reviews
  • \n
  • Amazon: 4.2/5 - ‎8,824 reviews
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  • Windows: 4.3/5 - 16,000 votes
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Enjoy a puzzle matching adventure in the Kingdom of Arendelle. Play as the memorable Elsa, Olaf, Anna, and more while sliding gems to create matches of three or more like-symbols, destroying ice crystals, and earning points to complete each level’s goals.

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Highlights:

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    \n
  • Unlock power-ups
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  • Unlock favorite characters
  • \n
  • Explore loads of icy puzzles
  • \n
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Available on iOS, Windows, Amazon apps, and Android.
"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/13bfcd4e28a53e40294669efc34a4dbb.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/13bfcd4e28a53e40294669efc34a4dbb.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7351","description":"

qInside Out Thought Bubbles

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Ratings:
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    \n
  • Google: 4.5/5 - ‎370,677 votes
  • \n
  • iOS: 4.5/5 - ‎71 reviews
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  • Amazon: 4.2/5 - 889 votes
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  • Windows: 4.5/5 - 12,000 votes
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Relive all the emotions of Inside Out's delightful characters in this "shoot and match" memory game. Play as Riley’s emotions: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness in over 125 levels. The game features multiple themed areas from the film, including Family Island, Dream Productions, and Imagination Land.

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Highlights:

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    \n
  • Unlock characters
  • \n
  • Over 200 levels
  • \n
  • Unlock power-ups for each emotion
  • \n
  • Challenge yourself and friends
  • \n
  • Journey through Brain Freezes and Brain Storms
  • \n
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Available on iOS, Android, Amazon apps, and Windows.
"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/51ab6fdb23c9bc798d1b7c407b3e1d9a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/51ab6fdb23c9bc798d1b7c407b3e1d9a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7347","description":"

Minions Paradise

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Ratings:
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    \n
  • Google: 4/5 - ‎449,682 votes
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  • iOS: 4.5/5 - ‎528 reviews
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Create a tropical paradise for the Minions after Phil ruins their cruise and strands them on a chain of islands. Complete quests by constructing buildings and sending the Minions to complete tasks around them. Collect coconuts from a palm tree, or even bamboo from a bamboo grove to craft into building materials. Send minions to play various mini-games like Fishing Frenzy: help a Minion jump over obstacles as it 'alligator skis' (water skis) around the island.

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Available on iOS and Android.
"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/03246907110b878484292eadaa1ad6e8.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/03246907110b878484292eadaa1ad6e8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7348","description":"

Peanuts: Snoopy's Town Tale

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Ratings:
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    \n
  • Google: 3.9/5 - 1,006 votes
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  • iOS: 3.5/5 - ‎48 reviews
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Celebrate the holiday season with Snoopy and his pals. Become the new kids in the neighborhood and help Snoopy build the town from the comic, including Charlie Brown's house. Many buildings and decorations can generate resources to be used in crafting recipes to create new items. Complete the quests and earns tons of rewards.

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Highlights:

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    \n
  • Unlock Christmas decorations
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  • Unlock characters
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  • Unlock character costumes
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  • Unlock animations, levels, and more
  • \n
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Available on iOS and Android.
"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/94cd90d73893a82e908ebc270ecf16e3.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/94cd90d73893a82e908ebc270ecf16e3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7349","description":"

Despicable Me: Minion Rush

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Ratings:
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    \n
  • Google: 4.5/5 - ‎8,124,869 votes
  • \n
  • iOS: 4.5/5 - ‎642 reviews
  • \n
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Gru’s loyal minions need to collect exotic fruit to make jelly. Play the game by controlling a minion, either Dave, Carl, or Jerry, in fun, fast-paced challenges. Jump, roll, dodge, and scramble against other players. Encounter secret areas, boss fights, power-ups, ride Gru’s rocket, destroy things as the 'Mega Minion,' or collect fruit while riding the Fluffy Unicorn.

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Highlights:

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    \n
  • Jelly Lab Mode
  • \n
  • Global Events Mode
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  • Special Mission Mode
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  • Races Mode
  • \n
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Available on iOS and Android.
"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3714ee612e6d87de8ba79d1152d6f94e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3714ee612e6d87de8ba79d1152d6f94e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7350","description":"

Disney-Pixar's The Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing

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Ratings:
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    \n
  • Google: 4.3/5 - 3.546 votes
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  • iOS: 4.5/5 - ‎34 reviews
  • \n
  • Amazon: 4.5/5 - 20 reviews
  • \n
\n

Join Arlo, a young Apatosaurus, and a young human boy named Spot as they travel throughout the world. Help them survive against the environment and other inhabitants by tapping on the screen to move; similar to Frogger. Tap on the screen to make Arlo or Spot move forward one line in the world, and swipe to move their character left, right, or backward to avoid obstacles or collect berries.

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Highlights:

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    \n
  • Journey Mode
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  • Endless Mode
  • \n
  • Berry Bonanza Mode
  • \n
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Available on iOS, Amazon app store, and Android.
"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/9/2/1925cbbf1cd6f820a06e5692c3030299.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/9/2/tiny_1925cbbf1cd6f820a06e5692c3030299.jpg","type":"slide","id":"96795","description":"

If you're looking for great mobile games for your little ones, here are some suggestions based on their favorite films. From Disney-Pixar's The Good Dinosaur to Disney's Cinderella, to the Minions!

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Kids will benefit from the memory matches and timed levels to enhance their problem solving skills. This is important as they will learn to develop critical thinking skills and strong memorization. It won't feel like they are busy on a boring educational tutorial, since these games are plain fun. Plus, the games are guaranteed to keep them occupied on a long car ride or on a trip shopping.

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These games are available on Windows, iOS, Amazon apps, and/or Android devices, and most are free (unless indicated).

"}]]]>
Skylanders: SuperChargers shopping guide https://www.gameskinny.com/osoz0/skylanders-superchargers-shopping-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/osoz0/skylanders-superchargers-shopping-guide Wed, 21 Oct 2015 09:31:22 -0400 Addison Blu

Skylanders: SuperChargers offers hours of fun on its own, but you need certain vehicles and characters to get the most out of the game. For everything Skylanders, Amazon.com has the most products and the most competitive pricing, and the links will take you to product pages.

Here is a shopping guide for the essential figurines to buy to have the most fun possible with Skylanders: SuperChargers!

The Portal

If you bought the game alone, you need a portal and characters in order to even play. The portal is a peripheral that plugs into your console and tells it which figurines you have when you place them on the portal. Without a portal, your characters are unusable.

That said, don't buy the game without a portal.

The Skylanders: SuperChargers Starter Pack with a portal starts new around $49.99 on Amazon.com and the portal runs about $5-$10 alone.

Vehicles

We'll actually start with the vehicles because, in SuperChargers, there are areas of the maps you can't enter without certain types of vehicles. The three types of vehicles are land, sea, and sky, and you'll want to have at least one of each.

Hot Streak

Hot streak actually comes in the starter packs for both Xbox and PlayStation, so this should be easy to come by. Hot Streak is a land vehicle, which you'll need to play the majority of the game.

If you bought the game without the starter pack figurines, that's okay: you can still buy Hot Streak separately online.

Whether you get Hot Streak or not, you will need a land vehicle to even play the main storyline! This is why a land vehicle comes in the starter pack.

The reason Hot Streak is so essential is that it goes perfectly with Spitfire, another one of the main starter figurines. Spitfire is cool, easy to play, and improves Hot Streak's features.

Hot Streak comes in the Starter Pack at no additional cost, but if you want to buy it separately, it can cost anywhere from $14 out of the package to $29 new.

Dive Bomber

Tons of the side missions in Skylanders: SuperChargers require a sea vehicle, and Dive Bomber is the most basic sea vehicle you can get. Dive Bomber matches up with the figurine Dive-Clops for maximum coolness, and since they've both been out since launch, you can find them all over the place.

Sea and sky vehicles can't be purchased in starter sets, so look for them individually to round out your collection. Dive Bomber runs new for the standard $14.99 price point.

Sky Slicer
 

Just like sea vehicles, sky vehicles are required to play certain side quests, but not to finish the main storyline. Sky Slicer matches up with a main pilot, the Skylander Stormblade, and has also been available since launch as the go-to sky vehicle.

For about $14.99 you can get Sky Slicer as a standalone.

SuperChargers Drivers

For the three main vehicles, we have three main drivers that pump up the appearance and stats for their matching vehicles. Here they are:

Spitfire (matches Hot Streak)

Spitfire comes free with the Starter Pack, but costs much more individually at around $29 online.

Dive-Clops (matches Dive Bomber)

Dive-Clops doesn't come in the Starter Pack, but you can add him to the collection for about $15.

Stormblade (matches Sky Slicer)

Another non-starter character, Stormblade can be added to your team for about $15.

Elemental Types

So you've got a land, sea, and sky vehicle, and you can play almost any of the fun missions the game has to offer. There's still more you can do to maximize in-game rewards and play various missions in new ways with advantages that matter at higher difficulties.

Since getting the absolute most out of Skylanders: SuperChargers means owning one of every element type for both Skylanders and vehicles, let me put it all out there for you!

  • Magic
  • Tech
  • Earth
  • Air
  • Water
  • Life
  • Light
  • Dark
  • Undead
  • Fire

Even though vehicles would intuitively be labeled Earth, Air, and Water to correspond with land, sea, and sky, this is not always the case. For example, the vehicle Stealth Stinger is an air vehicle, but its element type is Life. Eventually you'll be able to collect vehicles of every element as well as every type.

Also, there are some vehicles that have the same element and type as another vehicle. What this means for you: not every new figurine purchase will diversify your collection!

For example, you could buy both Hot Streak and Burn Cycle, but neither one of them would add new content or rewards. They're both land vehicles with a Fire element. Of course, they will play differently, have different stats, and look totally unique, but they fill the same role for your collection.

Bundles

Bundles are a great way to expand your collection quickly. The Starter Pack is the best bundle to start with, but a few of the others will save you money over adding individual character figurines.

  • Triple Pack #1 saves you about $15 (costs $30 for 3 figurines)
  • Dual Pack #2 costs about $5 less than solo pieces (spend $25 for two)

Some bundles cost more than buying a couple individual characters, but these bundles offer special trophies, tracks, and characters that can't be bought alone:

Pace Yourself

Don't try to buy all the SuperChargers at once. Start with getting at least a land, sea, and sky vehicle. Then, try to buy one of each SuperCharger element type.

Also, some of the most fun and unique SuperChargers aren't even out yet, and their release dates haven't been set. If you spend your whole Skylanders budget on the existing figurines, you'll be out of luck when a better option comes out!

Sources suspect that the next wave of figurines, Wave 3, will be released in December 2015 for the Christmas rush!

]]>
Two New Board Games from Catan Publishers https://www.gameskinny.com/mf6t9/two-new-board-games-from-catan-publishers https://www.gameskinny.com/mf6t9/two-new-board-games-from-catan-publishers Fri, 23 Jan 2015 07:38:49 -0500 Rachael Johnston

Mayfair Games, the publishers of Settlers of Catan, have announced two new board games available for preorder now. While Catan is Mayfair's flagship game, with a prolific library of editions and expansions, the company does regularly introduce new IPs to the market.

Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra! puts players in the journalism world by creating their own newspaper, each with its own specialty. Players use limited resources to grab attention from their rival papers (other players) by grabbing the right headlines and photos that help sell papers.

Winning requires strategies for managing everything from headlines and reporters to advertising and money. Players construct their newspaper layout to complete the issue as quickly as possible, but the winner will have the most complete paper with the best stories. 

The game is designed for ages 12+, 2-6 players, and about 90-120 minutes of playtime. Extra! Extra! will be available March 30 and is available now for preorder for $65.

Flea Market

Flea Market is a dice game where players delve into a flea market to see what treasures they can find. As a buyer's agent, each player's goal is to buy cheap and sell for a big profit. First player to earn $45 wins. 

The game is designed for ages 8+, 3-5 players, and about 30 minutes of playtime. Flea Market will be available in late February and is also available now for preorder for $21.

]]>
Gamer Gift Guide: For the Family https://www.gameskinny.com/dhfr0/gamer-gift-guide-for-the-family https://www.gameskinny.com/dhfr0/gamer-gift-guide-for-the-family Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:51:16 -0500 Kathryn Baker

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f6346a004e52580d1a54217679c15378.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f6346a004e52580d1a54217679c15378.png","type":"slide","id":"54663","description":"

Super Smash Bros. - Nintendo Wii U

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Rating: Not Available

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Price: $59.96

\n

Buy it: Amazon

\n

Up to 8 players can battle in Super Smash Bros for Wii U, meaning your whole family can join the melee at once. Play as some of your favorite Nintendo characters and fight using speed, strength, and special attacks. Your Mii and amiibo can feature in the game as well! This game will be a fantastic way to passive-aggressively take out your frustration on receiving socks again for the holidays without hurting anyone's feelings.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4cf20b5cc2be3b35fabc6a90eba50172.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4cf20b5cc2be3b35fabc6a90eba50172.jpg","type":"slide","id":"54653","description":"

Little Big Planet 3 Launch Edition

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Rating: None Available

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Price: $59.99

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Buy it: Amazon

\n

In LittleBigPlanet, you're a tiny Sackboy that explores a very big world. In this sequel, you can play as 3 additional characters: OddSock, Swoop, and Toggle, who each have their own specialties. Cutesy meets creepy in this platforming, puzzle game suitable for the whole family. Children especially enjoy customizing their own characters and levels, so you can have a unique playing experience each time.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b6608afaf7d8ffbf41db2d26b628ec18.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b6608afaf7d8ffbf41db2d26b628ec18.jpg","type":"slide","id":"54662","description":"

I GAME T-Shirt

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Rating: Not Available

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Price: $12.00 - 24.00 (based on size)

\n

Buy it: Once Upon a Tee

\n

Nothing says family unity like matching t-shirts! Once Upon a Tee offers various fandom shirts, but the "I Game Therefore I Am" design tells everyone that your family is full of gamers. If you're looking for fashion that fits everyone, then look no further. Maybe you could all wear this design for your next family Christmas card!

\n

If you're looking for designs that match but still capture a person's individuality, check out the Pokemon Gym T-shirts here.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5d3f5cb9187c6c0487cebe909e3189c3.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5d3f5cb9187c6c0487cebe909e3189c3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"54664","description":"

Pikmin 3

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Rating: 4.5/5 (219 Customer Reviews)

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Price: $64.24

\n

Buy it: Amazon

\n

In this continuation of the Pikmin universe, you can command a legion of pikmin to solve puzzles, fight monsters, and repair your ship. The game offers a multi-player option, but sometimes it's just fun to cheer on the player as they navigate the alien world.The graphics are beautiful and the gameplay is addicting.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e572b580dc6dbcec4082c36b84913259.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e572b580dc6dbcec4082c36b84913259.jpg","type":"slide","id":"54652","description":"

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

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Rating: 4.6/5 (317 Customer Reviews for PS4)

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Price: $14.82 - $19.99 (Varies by Game System, Excludes Bundles)

\n

Buy it: Amazon

\n

 The LEGO franchise has always been very family-friendly, but it's become even better with the introduction of the Marvel superhero cast. Smash as The Hulk, swing with Spider-Man, and battle your favorite Marvel villains. Like the other LEGO games, there are solvable puzzles, unlockable content, and fantastic voice-acting. With over 100 different characters, this game is easy to replay, and enjoyable for adults and children.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b5482b19b8410d3b0603c2ca059c01da.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b5482b19b8410d3b0603c2ca059c01da.jpg","type":"slide","id":"54660","description":"

GeekDad - Geeky Projects for Dads and Kids

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Rating: None Available

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Price: $16.99

\n

Buy it: ThinkGeek

\n

Bonding with family doesn't just have to happen beside a television. GeekDad contains multiple projects for the whole family (not just dads). Chapters of the book cover everything from outdoor adventures to arts-and-crafts to geeky games. While it's not your traditional gaming experience, this may add a little welcome change to your family's festivities.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6f3fbf7afa977ad9846159bf9388f4ed.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6f3fbf7afa977ad9846159bf9388f4ed.jpg","type":"slide","id":"54650","description":"

Just Dance 2015

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Rating: 4.3/5 (3 Customer Reviews)

\n

Price: $39.38 - 49.96 (depending on system)

\n

Buy it: Amazon

\n

Nothing screams "family fun" more than watching your relatives flail along to popular songs. Just Dance 2015 is rated 10+, so even the young ones can sing and dance to the songs they hear on the radio. Gameplay is dynamic and addicting, so get ready to rock out to the newest music. Only downside: the potential humiliation that will be revived at every family reunion in the future.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/da51fceb9084411a15b2d05fc88b7998.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_da51fceb9084411a15b2d05fc88b7998.jpg","type":"slide","id":"54637","description":"

Minecraft Foam Diamond Sword and Pickaxe

\n

Rating: 4.2/5 (40 Customer Reviews)

\n

Price: $38.99

\n

Buy it: ThinkGeek

\n

Whether you want to admire these Minecraft tools or hold a battle royale throughout your house, this Minecraft Bundle puts the fun in functional. Both the sword and axe are made of durable EVA foam, so they're sturdier and longer lasting than your typical foam weapons. The lightweight material makes it easy to carry for any Minecraft fan in your family, no matter how small. Prepare for battle!

\n

If you want to purchase more weapons, you can buy each item separately. Iron versions are also available.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ad2fd96af43d37ca6ada736c49017f0f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ad2fd96af43d37ca6ada736c49017f0f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"54644","description":"

Mario Kart 8

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Rating: 4.7/5 (1162 Customer Reviews)

\n

Price: $48.15

\n

Buy it: Amazon

\n

Mario Kart has been a family staple since the original was launched in 1992. The newest installment in the franchise is on the Wii U and features underwater levels, gliders, motorbikes, and more. If you're feeling nostalgic, some of your favorite levels from previous games return with beautiful high-definition graphics.

\n

The controls for Mario Kart 8 are simple enough for the smallest gamer to learn, and the endless variables in the game ensure a long-term video gaming experience for the entire family.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4d55d739f90d2be1dbc107ac9de11777.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4d55d739f90d2be1dbc107ac9de11777.png","type":"slide","id":"54639","description":"

Gaming is no longer limited to a certain generation or gender; there's now something for everyone, no matter how big or how small. However, with the plethora of games out there, how are you going to find something both fun and appropriate for your entire family?

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Look no further. This gamer guide will help you in your holiday shopping as you strive to find something to help with your geeky, family bonding.

\n

The family that games together, stays together.

"}]]]>
Swatting Zombies in Garden Warfare https://www.gameskinny.com/l3w2q/swatting-zombies-in-garden-warfare https://www.gameskinny.com/l3w2q/swatting-zombies-in-garden-warfare Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:02:55 -0400 Bob Nat

Plants VS Zombie: Garden Warfare is a third person shooter from PopCap and EA. You play as the brain hungry zombies or the vine growing, pea shooting, sun ray spraying Plants. This is a play by-play of a match I played of the game on the PlayStation 3. This isn't a review of the game. It's more of a retelling of my experience. Think of it as a written Let's Play. If your interested in my review of the game you can check it out here.

“Pea shooter, yea Ice Pea class sounds good,” I thought to myself.

I clicked the button to select him. The little blue guy, with a mouth the size of a vacuüm cleaner was pivoting in place on the map as the time counter clicked down. 

A chomper spawned next to me. The big-headed plant reminded me of the Venus-fly trap from Little Shop of Horrors. As a kid that movie gave me nightmares. Thankfully, I grew out of my fear of being eaten by man-eating plants.  

The rest of the plant team spawned and the match was underway. This map has a spooky looking building with a long porch area; spanning half the map.  It’s an early habit to run out in front of the building toward the center of the map and try to pick off the enemy team.

Though as I learned time after painful time you do not want to run off and separate yourself from your fellow vegetables (team mates) in this game. So the team strategy was to go around the back of the scary tall building and try to flank the mangy group of Zombies, we were up against. 

Boys and Girls we been spotted!

About halfway through the match, an engineer bot interrupted our plans. The engineer class has a drone in the shape of a flying robot head, and he can use it to take out the enemy team. That’s us!

I was fling peas (Pea shooters shoot peas instead of bullets) at that thing as quick as I could spot it. Luckily, I took it down.

I pressed the triangle button after the drone blew our cover. That Zombie whom manned the flying mechanical head knew where we are on the map and I was sure he would bring friends with him.

I pressed the triangle button, releasing one of my character’s special moves. This move plants the pea shooter in the ground and turns it into a Gatling gun.  Each class has three special moves that takes an amount of time to replenish.

The Engineer, the one I’m sure had the mechanical drone, came barreling over a small hill toward us. He wasn’t the only one, he brought friends.

I was able to mow down the Engineer sending him back to the re-spawn screen. I saw the little skull pop up, that’s how you know you got a kill in this game. I had the biggest Cheshire cat grin on my face.

“Yes, I got him” I said to myself.

Though I wasn’t out of the woods yet, his football player class teammates both pointed their football launchers at me. Footballs took me out in an instant. The sunflower (teammate) beside me tried to revive me though was soon overwhelmed by the attackers. The poor thing soon was picking daisies on the ground next to me.

No worries a quick re-spawn and I was back in the match.

There is a small perch, over the battlefield where the other plants where holding their ground and I soon joined them.  I turned into the Gatling gun once more. I sprayed peas (bullets) over the landscape trying to disperse small pockets of zombies. Players playing as chompers went after a fleeting zombie by tunneling under them and (gulp) eat those guys up like tasty pepperoni pizza. 

The strategy was working till a soldier Zombie took me out from the hilly terrain on the other side of the map. 

Oh, well a quick re-spawn and I was back.

Deploy the Onion

This time I decided to change things up. I switched to the cactus class.

I stood behind my plant buddies and deployed the onion drone; it has a big eye like a Cyclopes in the middle of its body. It takes a bit till it gets airborne. Lucky I was up high enough when I reached enemy lines. Laughing “ha, silly zombies”.

an Onion droneI soon started to see a group of soldier zombies dodging behind the cliffs that was directly opposite of the plant team’s hold out on the porch. I was shooting one, draining his health. With the drone, unless they spot you, you can secretly pick at them. Usually they think the person they are firing at is doing the damage. My team was keeping them distracted for the time being.

I been spotted! A zombie looked up and murmured something foul in that zombie grunt they speak in. To be honest their voices remind me of a murloc from World of Warcraft

I was able to dodge the fire of the soldier class’s rifle for a bit but soon, puff, my drone was no more.

My onion drone was gone but I knew where my enemy was. With the Cactus character class I went on the little porch where my team was holding ground.

This character class is great at long-range. She shoots needles, fitting for a cactus. I zoomed in on a few of the enemy zombie players. Picking them off one by one, watching their green bodies spin around as they flopped to the ground. The death animation is so comical in this game.

Teamwork makes for an enjoyable experience

The events of this match and many matches before and after this one taught me to prize team work in the game. Many multiplayer shooters have an emphasises on kill streaks with the true goal of helping your team win on the back burner. This is backwards.

PopCap designed this game with team players viable to gameplay. The different abilities and strength of the classes complement each other. 

In the end my team was victorious. It was a tight match, though we (the plants) ended up winning. After the victory I couldn’t help but smile and sit back on my couch. The world was a bit safer from the zombies that day. 

With all that said I hope you have a better idea of what a Plants VS Zombies Garden Warfare match is like. In the comments bellow let me know if you found this type of documentation of a match informative, entertaining, or just a waste of time. This is something new I'm trying out and the more insight I get into how people responds to it, the better. 

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy set for Disney Infinity 2.0 https://www.gameskinny.com/2fm8i/marvels-guardians-of-the-galaxy-set-for-disney-infinity-20 https://www.gameskinny.com/2fm8i/marvels-guardians-of-the-galaxy-set-for-disney-infinity-20 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:46:50 -0400 PencilPusha

Disney Infinity 2.0 is getting more and more populated with newer Disney characters. That's right - Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (GoG) will be joining the Disney Infinity 2.0 realm this fall, according to Polygon.com. Gamora, Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord, Rocket, Drax, and Groot are the newest 'playset', full of action, adventure, and conflict. Ronan, a villain who seeks to take down the GoG team and then some, stirs up trouble in the game, leaving it up to players to take him down using the Guardians.

According to Marvel.com, only Star-Lord and Gamora will be included with the playset as figurines while the other three Guardians will be sold separately. That doesn't mean that having only two of the five GoG characters will make the game any less fun. The Guardians will be a part of the 'Toy Box' feature of Disney Infinity, which means that players can "make [their] own worlds, create games with [their] own rules, or build places that only exist in [their imaginations]", according to the official Disney Infinity website. The in-game virtual world is vast, exciting and ever-changing as players battle enemies and make it their own. It's a great family game and it's getting better and better as the year goes on!

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Let's Play Together! 15 Games To Play With Kids https://www.gameskinny.com/09v9w/lets-play-together-15-games-to-play-with-kids https://www.gameskinny.com/09v9w/lets-play-together-15-games-to-play-with-kids Thu, 27 Feb 2014 14:45:40 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

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Mario Party 9 is a party video game for the Wii. It is the second Mario Party game for the Wii, the ninth in the home consoles, and the twelfth overall. Like previous Mario Party titles, two to four players move around a virtual board and play minigames. A new gameplay element in all of the boards is that all four players move around together in one vehicle. The number of spaces the player moves is determined by a roll of the dice block found within the game. Instead of trying to collect coins to buy stars, players receive Mini Stars if they pass by them. Minigames have a larger focus on the gameplay than they did in the previous game. However, the minigames don't appear after everyone moves, but only when a player ends up on any of the spaces or events that triggers a minigame. A person can play on solo mode to unlock the final stage, as well as two playable characters. Another new feature is that each board culminates in a boss battle that is played with all players in the vehicle. There is also a boss battle at the halfway point of a board. There are 82 minigames in Mario Party 9, divided into five categories: Free-for-all, 1-vs.-Rivals, Bowser Jr., Boss Battle, and Extra. At the end of each stage, the number of Mini Stars the player collects is converted into Party Points, which can be used to buy new stages, constellations, vehicles, difficulties, and sounds in the museum.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8cd65deaa96f4f075b08ca0749862584.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_8cd65deaa96f4f075b08ca0749862584.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34576","description":"

Disney Universe is a co-operative action-adventure video game, published by Disney Interactive Studios available to play on Xbox 360, Wii and PS3. It features the ability to suit up as characters from multiple Disney franchises, including the full-length animated feature films like The Lion KingPixar feature films like Monsters Inc., live-action films like Pirates of the Caribbean and television series like The Muppet ShowThe game resembles Lego games or Little Big Planet, with a few notable additions. Up to four friends can connect through local multiplayer and play through 6 different worlds to defeat enemies, and collect power-ups and coins. One unique feature is that the enemies actively try to hinder a player's progress by setting up traps or hiding key items. The two main attractions of the game are that players can travel to 6 worlds from classic and contemporary Disney and Pixar properties, consisting of Alice in WonderlandPirates of the CaribbeanThe Lion KingWall-EMonsters Inc. and Aladdin and acquire 45 costumes based on numerous other Disney franchises, such as The Little MermaidTronMickey MouseLilo & Stitch and Tangled.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/35e125a5948dfbf6a87d04f18cf3ecee.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_35e125a5948dfbf6a87d04f18cf3ecee.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34575","description":"

Just Dance 3 is a music video game released on the WiiXbox 360, and PS3 with Kinect and Move support respectively for the latter two. It is part of the Just Dance video game series published by Ubisoft originally on the Wii. Like its predecessors, up to four players can play to mirror on-screen dance choreography from over 40 songs, as they are judged on their ability to follow a dance routine to a chosen song. Along with solo and duet modes, Just Dance 3 features a Dance Crew mode which allows 4 players to dance together, each with their own unique choreography, as well as playlists that group songs into different categories. Players can unlock gifts such as new songs, game modes, as well as Dance Mashups which combines different dance routines in this game and the second Just Dance game into one song. Returning features in the game include Non-Stop Shuffle, Speed Shuffle, and Just Sweat Mode.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4bff962e2c1889cd53ecf5852f3c9fe5.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4bff962e2c1889cd53ecf5852f3c9fe5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34573","description":"

Rayman Legends is a 2013 platform game developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft. It is the fifth main title in the Rayman series and the direct sequel to the 2011 game Rayman Origins. The game was released for PCXbox 360, PS3Wii U, and PS Vita. The game carries on the style of gameplay from Rayman Origins in which up to four players (depending on the format) simultaneously make their way through various levels. Lums can be collected by touching them, defeating enemies, or freeing captured Teensies. Collecting Teensies unlocks new worlds, which can be played in any order once they are available. Along with Rayman, Globox, and the Teensies returning as playable characters, players can now control new female character Barbara and her sisters, once they are rescued from certain stages.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2a45adee71c79c4cb08a5c7f6eebb4e7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_2a45adee71c79c4cb08a5c7f6eebb4e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34572","description":"

Nintendo Land takes place in an amusement park setting, which serves as a hub for the twelve minigames, which are depicted as the park's attractions. A robotic creature named Monita guides the player through Nintendo Land's features and attractions. The twelve minigames of Nintendo Land are based on popular Nintendo franchises. This game is exclusive to the Wii U.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5bd49d6360f4325122da86bbe3243632.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5bd49d6360f4325122da86bbe3243632.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34571","description":"

Rayman Origins is a side-scrolling platform game developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft for PS3, PS Vita, WiiXbox 360, Nintendo 3DS and PC. It's playable with up to four local players who may drop in or out at any time. Players can choose to control either Rayman, Globox or two Teensies, with additional costumes available as the game progresses. Players travel through each level, fighting enemies and rescuing imprisoned Electoons. As the game progresses, players gain new abilities such as running up walls, gliding in midair, swimming and shrinking in size to reach new areas.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/df8d2e7ffd30015d57605155e1360153.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_df8d2e7ffd30015d57605155e1360153.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34570","description":"

Worms 2: Armageddon is an artillery strategy game developed by Team17 and part of the Worms series. The sequel has several new features and modes, as well as popular returning weapons from past games in the Worms series. It also has an all new single player campaign mode with 35 missions and the multiplayer with Beginner, Standard, Pro, Fort, Rope Racing and Crazy Crates modes. It's available to play on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ce2be66d323af55b7cbf622d8ace482f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ce2be66d323af55b7cbf622d8ace482f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34569","description":"

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a platform video game, the sequel to Epic Mickey. It takes place in a world based on classic and retired Disney characters and attractions. The story begins sometime after the conclusion of the original Epic Mickey, with Oswald and the other Wasteland characters starting to rebuild their world. A series of earthquakes threaten to undo the work, but the Mad Doctor appears and convinces Oswald to join forces and combat the new menace. So Gus, the leader of the Gremlins, and Ortensia, Oswald's girlfriend/wife, contact Mickey Mouse and bring him into the world. Mickey and Oswald team up to save the forgotten world (since only their combined powers can restore it). This game is available to play on Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/00e65a492a433ccbe1e287cc84fbaeaa.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_00e65a492a433ccbe1e287cc84fbaeaa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34568","description":"

Lego Rock Band is a music video game and part of the Rock Band series developed by Harmonix, but also incorporates elements from other Lego video games as developed by Traveller's Tales. The game is published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and MTV Games. The game is available on Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Lego Rock Band is based primarily on the same gameplay as the main Rock Band series, though it includes aspects of collecting and building with Lego bricks as in Traveller's Tales' other Lego-themed games. Up to four local players can play lead and bass guitar, drums, or vocals across the songs in the game using specially designed Rock Band or Guitar Hero controllers. During each song, players attempt to match notes (shown as Lego bricks) as they scroll on-screen in time with the current song. On lead and bass guitar, notes are hit by holding down the frets indicated on-screen and using the controller's strum bar when the note passes through the target area of the track. Drummers simply hit one of the four colored drum pads indicated as the notes cross the target area, with wide orange notes indicating kick drum notes. Singers have to sing in relative pitch to the song's original pitch.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3a851ba00d85f55f0b64b0bbcd82ae42.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_3a851ba00d85f55f0b64b0bbcd82ae42.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34567","description":"

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One is a four-player cooperative video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Unlike previous games in the series which were mostly single-player-only games, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One focuses on a four-player cooperative multiplayer mode which allows for drop-in and drop-out online as well as offline multiplayer. Players can each take the role of one of the four main characters of the game, namely RatchetClankQwark and Doctor Nefarious

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f88a22d609bf0873feee0caf0e20505c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f88a22d609bf0873feee0caf0e20505c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34566","description":"

Little Big Planet 2 is a puzzle-platformer video game, centered around user-generated content. The game is developed by Media Molecule, published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for PlayStation 3. While retaining the three-layer, 2.5D nature of the original title, with the player controlling their Sackboy characters, players are not restricted solely to platforming levels, and can now choose to create many types of levels including racing, puzzle and role-playing games. The player may also choose to create and customize their own heads-up display to accommodate their game type. New animation recording options are available and players are able to create full-motion cut-scenes to go with their level design, manipulate the camera for both cut-scenes and gameplay, and record their own sound effects for use in the level. As well as including a wide selection of original and licensed music, the game also includes a robust music sequencer. Multiple levels can be linked together, so that finishing one level immediately takes the player to the next in the series.

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Players continue Sackboy's journey after the events of the first game and the portable version are brought to an end. An inter-dimensional vacuum cleaner called the Negativitron appears over the skies of Little Big Planet and begins to suck up its inhabitants, including Sackboy.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/13d95c5b1f5bd1fd43d90ecd691ff78a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_13d95c5b1f5bd1fd43d90ecd691ff78a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34564","description":"

Skylanders: Swap Force is a platformer video game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision. It is the third main game in the Skylanders video game and toy franchise, following 2012's Skylanders: Giants, which was a direct sequel to 2011's Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure. The game is available to play on Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, PS3 and PS4.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cc964eb693aaf7a49e829837ef792105.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_cc964eb693aaf7a49e829837ef792105.png","type":"slide","id":"34563","description":"

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is a hilariously fun cooperative third-person shooter and tower defense video game. It's part of the Plants vs. Zombies series, developed by PopCap Games and published by Electronic Arts. The game is now available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The game features co-op along with competitive multiplayer modes where players can control the zombies as well as plants.

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"Put down the shotgun. Pick-up a dolphin," the new phrase now being used in a funny live-action trailer. Does anything else need to be said?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/05df98a9400a4427566d6d6f9e8eb68d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_05df98a9400a4427566d6d6f9e8eb68d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34562","description":"

Lego Marvel Super Heroes is a 2013 action-adventure video game that is developed by TT Games and is published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, for the PS3Xbox 360Wii UPS4Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Gameplay alternates between various action-adventure sequences and puzzle-solving scenarios by allowing players to control approximately 150 characters from the Marvel Universe, each with their own unique abilities.

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The game begins as the Silver Surfer is being pursued by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Iron Man, and is knocked out of the sky by Doctor Doom with his surfboard shattering into several 'Cosmic Bricks' that fall onto the Earth. With these blocks containing immense power, Doom forges an alliance with Loki and gets together a band of villains to make the powerful "Doom Ray of Doom". However, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury calls upon the superheroes of the Marvel Universe to retrieve the bricks before they can be captured by Doom and his army.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/de542e1923b01cf8bfca65993114d434.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_de542e1923b01cf8bfca65993114d434.jpg","type":"slide","id":"34561","description":"

Minecraft is a wonderful game to play. The creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, gathering resources, crafting, and combat. Gameplay has two principal modes: survival, which requires players to acquire resources and maintain their health and hunger; and creative, where players have an unlimited supply of resources, the ability to fly, and no health or hunger. A third gameplay mode named hardcore is the same as survival, differing only in difficulty; it is set to the most difficult setting and respawning is disabled, forcing players to delete their worlds upon death. Minecraft is available to play on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7bbaf01f6642ed32c306e0b6e54ef976.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_7bbaf01f6642ed32c306e0b6e54ef976.png","type":"slide","id":"34582","description":"

Some of us may be parents, aunts, uncles, cousins or siblings to younger kids. Perhaps more than once, these little kids have asked to join in on playing a video game with you.

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Here's a few games that are great to play with kids that are all rated 'E' by the ESRB.

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Kickin' It Old School With Your Kids: Guide to The Perfect Retro Consoles for your Growing Gamer https://www.gameskinny.com/9jws8/kickin-it-old-school-with-your-kids-guide-to-the-perfect-retro-consoles-for-your-growing-gamer https://www.gameskinny.com/9jws8/kickin-it-old-school-with-your-kids-guide-to-the-perfect-retro-consoles-for-your-growing-gamer Mon, 30 Dec 2013 12:25:50 -0500 Marco.Bishop

So, now you have kids. Time for video games is slipping away from you minute by minute, day by day. What if I told you it didn't have to be that way? Because it doesn't! You can turn around and get your fill of nostalgia 'til green mushrooms are falling out of your ears and spend some quality time with your kids. What's that? Is that you yelling to me "HOW!?"? 

The media and society at large push the latest and greatest consoles down your throat. It doesn't mean that you need to buy those! A little bit of old school for the generation of gamers-to-be is both exciting and easy for toddlers. With more and more games lacking local Co-Op, nothing makes my three year old happer then holding a controller just like daddy, with two simple buttons on an old NES controller. 

I have broken down some classic systems into age groups with my top five games, to resurrect some old memories for you and to create new ones with your kids. 

Atari 2600: Age 18 months - 4 years old

With a easy to use joystick and only one button to worry about your toddler can easily navigate these older games and do pretty well (for a kid!). All while you have to chance to revisit some of the classics that will make you appeciate that PS4 or Xbox One even more:

  1. Pacman
  2. Pong 
  3. Frogger
  4. Space Invaders
  5. Galaga 

NES: Age 3-5 years old

Ah, the original D-Pad controller that revolutionized video gaming for generations to come. Armed with that and it's two buttons, it is no wonder why this classic and first to many gamers, myself included, would be the perfect fir for young toddlers and those wishing to save the Princess just like they used too. So pull out that light gun and get zapping!

  1. Super Mario Bros 
  2. Duck Hunt 
  3. Guerrilla War
  4. Super Mario Bros 3
  5. Gyromite

Sega Genesis: Age 4-6 years old

We've graduated to three buttons! Let's pull out some of the classics here and help your toddler put on those bright red sneakers, because all of us with kids know that colors are what helps things go fast. Sit down and enjoy some good old Sega titles and drool over what we use to play:

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  2. Power Rangers the Movie
  3. Altered Beast
  4.  Ghouls n' Ghosts
  5. Great Waldo Search

SNES: Age 4-6 years old

Four whole buttons! Not that you will ever use all four... but it looks nice. Time to hop on Yoshi and start eating random things. Disclaimer: I am not responsable if your kids try and fit the eggs out of the fridge in their mouth, though I would love to see a picture when that happens. 

  1. Super Mario Bros
  2. Yoshi's Island
  3. Kirby All-Star
  4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past
  5. Tetris & Dr. Mario

Nitendo 64: Age 5-8 years old

Ah, we all remember swinging Bowser around in circles, but the more open world concepts that came with the N64 is sure to be a winner for your kids. I am sure even younger kids would enjoy running around in circles and exploring the worlds. Meanwhile, you get to look cool and show them all the secrets you remember and crush them in some classic Kart action, before you pwn them in some Goldeneye. 

  1. Mario Kart 64
  2. Super Mario 64
  3. Pokemon Snap
  4. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
  5. Golden Eye 007

Playstation: Age 6-10 years old

Time to bring out the big guns. Your kids'll be asking for your help on the harder games that you spent hours trying to figure out and remember because it is forever burnt into your memory. Then take them on in some classic Tekken action and wind down with some nonsensical Ape Escape craziness. 

  1. Metal Gear Solid
  2. Final Fantasy 7
  3. Tekken 3
  4. Soul Reaver
  5. Ape Escape

That's my personal breakdown, but your kids may be ready for more sooner.

What classic titles would you love to play with your kids?

All the images used are stock images, even the one with kids. Especially the ones with kids. Mine are filled with much greater awesome sauce. 

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The Gamer Gift Guide: 10 Family Friendly Games For The Holidays https://www.gameskinny.com/7scrt/the-gamer-gift-guide-10-family-friendly-games-for-the-holidays https://www.gameskinny.com/7scrt/the-gamer-gift-guide-10-family-friendly-games-for-the-holidays Tue, 17 Dec 2013 00:51:17 -0500 Coatedpolecat

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The Behemoth outdid themselves with this fine 4 player action/adventure, beat 'em up in Castle Crashers. Published by both Microsoft and PlayStation respectively, this gem is up to four players and something the whole family can enjoy.

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Steam, Amazon, and other online retailers are more than happy to sale you this piece of side-scrolling history.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a1b118c97c99ebb1e569df4846f40c83.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a1b118c97c99ebb1e569df4846f40c83.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28617","description":"


The Cave, another game by Double Fine was published by Sega, and created by the one and only Ron Gilbert. The puzzle/platformer is surprisingly more fun with just one player using a controller and everyone else yelling at that one player what to do. The game just oozes charm and humor, and would be a great light-hearted game you can enjoy with adults and kids alike.

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You are allowed to purchase this game through Steam, iTunes, and all other platforms even Ouya.

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I'm a fan of Marvel, and though there are many great LEGO games, TT Games really warmed my heart with all the fan service in this great co-op action/platformer. Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Studio, LEGO Marvel's co-op one way to make you smile through the cold day spent inside.

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Wal-Mart, Amazon, and many other outlets will have this game at different prices, as it is a multi-platform release, even the 3D's (that's a joke, it's 3DS).

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d68919400888662466bc51d574fcfd85.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_d68919400888662466bc51d574fcfd85.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28620","description":"


The Rock Band series was once a staple for family fun in the living room. Why not go ahead and dust those plastic instruments off and get ready to piss off your neighbors? Developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games and Electronic Arts, we all know this is a fun way to spend time with people you don't actually want to talk to.

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Rock Band spans 3 core titled games, Rock Band, RB 2, and RB 3. These games and others of the series not mentioned are available for Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 and can be found for varying prices from many different outlets, please shop wisely.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f35f530fdc31bcc99df409915e6a7bc0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f35f530fdc31bcc99df409915e6a7bc0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28625","description":"


Created and published by Uber Entertainment (Xbox 360 version is published by Microsoft), Monday Night Combat is one of my first experiences with a MOBA as a console player. You have a handful of classes and small maps for intense 4v4 bouts of combat (pun intended) from the third-person perspective.

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This 3 year old beauty is available on Steam and Xbox Live. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ad59198e1ce03193940968fd8f75159c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ad59198e1ce03193940968fd8f75159c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28621","description":"


Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse has simply got to be one of the most pleasant remakes from the 90's NES era. Though no co-op or multiplayer is built into the game, the lack of any real loss from dying, this begs for the controller to be passed around after each failed attempt. Created by Sega Studios Australia and published by both Sega and Disney Interactive Studios, this is one of my favorite walks down memory lane.

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This nostalgia trip is available on Steam, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4bbdc396c0fc6a92c173c58c866be6c2.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4bbdc396c0fc6a92c173c58c866be6c2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28626","description":"


This unmistakable trivia game was developed by Jellyvision Games, Iron Galaxy Studios, and Webfoot Technologies. You Don't Know Jack was published by the former THQ and is possibly the most fun you'll have with two other friends.

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This game is available on Steam, eBayAmazon, and other fine retailers. 

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Double Fine Productions brought those who own a Kinect one of the best apps for the device in Kinect Party. Published by Microsoft Studios, this six player hodge-podge of genres and games is just flat out fun. This game, according to Raptr.com, has given my family over 80 hours of entertainment since its release.

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This is strictly sold on Xbox Live and is occasionally free.

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Carcassone was developed and published by Sierra Online and is a graphical version of the classic board game. Vying for control of roads, pastures, castles, and churches makes for an intense and fun way for 2 folks to have fun.

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The only version available I could find was on Xbox Live only.

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Made and self published by PopCap games, Peggle is one of the most addicting games out there. With bright colors, charming characters, endless puzzles, and a versus mode to boot. Whether passing around the controller or trying to out play your buddy, this game is a must for the holidays.

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You can purchase or download the game for free any just about any device/platform.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/562f383f616770f6f5183f2a019e12b5.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_562f383f616770f6f5183f2a019e12b5.png","type":"slide","id":"28655","description":"

As most of us know, some games are meant to be played with other people. For some reason being able to sit side by side with someone, a friend or family member, enhances certain games and the enjoyment derived from them. I have complied just a few games that are great to play with the family, both young and old. These are easy to pick up and play games with tons of replay ability. Enjoy!

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Five Games To Help You Get Through Thanksgiving https://www.gameskinny.com/c20fu/five-games-to-help-you-get-through-thanksgiving https://www.gameskinny.com/c20fu/five-games-to-help-you-get-through-thanksgiving Tue, 26 Nov 2013 01:24:23 -0500 Brian Armstrong

Ah yes, Thanksgiving is almost here. It's that great American holiday that gives us permission to eat as much food as we want, watch ridiculous amounts of football, and spend quality time with family. But when are we supposed to fit in some epic Battlefield battles or endless hours of exploring in Assassin's Creed?

Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you there, but I do think I can help get your gaming fix so you at least don't go through withdrawals. Try the five games below on Thanksgiving. I selected them because they are (or at least can be) very short, yet provide an entertaining experience every time you play them. Even better, some of them are family friendly, so even those pesky nieces and nephews can have their turn playing with you if they get tired of annoying the grown-ups. This will help you get in gaming without needing to spend hours in the basement being anti-social playing your hardcore next-gen games.

So grab a slice of pumpkin pie, maybe a cousin or two, and get to work playing these five great games you'll certainly have time for on Thanksgiving.

The Stanley Parable

Truth be told, this game could be over in a matter of seconds. That said, it could also last you years. Imagine one of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books from when you were a kid, apply it to a video game setting, and you've got The Stanley Parable.

The game unfolds through the direction of a narrator, but you are free to obey or ignore his thoughts as you wish. The more you play, the more you'll discover. But considering that the game "ends" in an unfathomable amount of ways, and you can proceed in a different combination of ways each time you play it, one playthrough may not really be enough. Put this in your rotation liberally on Thanksgiving.

The Wolf Among Us

This one is not so kid-friendly, and it carries an M rating, so keep that in mind. But for the mature crowd, this one should go over really well. Since only one episode from Telltale's newest interactive thriller has been released so far, Episode 1 of The Wolf Among Us seems like a perfect fit for squeezing in a short game before settling in for dinner.

Following the story of the sheriff of Fabletown, Bigby Wolf (the Big, Bad Wolf), The Wolf Among Us unfolds like a murder mystery, and it's up to you to figure out what's going on. It's a simple point and click sort of game, and the writing is nothing to get excited about, but the acting and story itself make this an instant holiday classic (right?). Get lost in the first of what is sure to be many great episodes of this graphic adventure.

Super Mario Bros.

We're going back in time a little bit with this one, but what's better on a family holiday than a game the whole family can get into? And considering that the record for beating this game in one sitting comes in at just under five minutes, it won't take much time away from watching football or fighting over turkey legs.

An all-time classic, Super Mario Bros. has just enough secret passage ways, glitches, and invincibility stars to make this game one of the quickest and fastest ways to get in your gaming this holiday season.

Resogun

If you have a PlayStation 4 and you are not subscribing to PlayStation Plus, you're doing it wrong, and it's games like Resogun (which is currently free for PS Plus subscribers) that make paying the $49.99 annual fee worth it.

Resogun is a futuristic, side-scrolling sci-fi thrill ride. You control one of three ships, and you are tasked with "saving all humans." It sounds like an easy enough task, and it is, provided you can fend off the endless stream of enemies, flying space objects, and massive bosses the game throws at you.

Assuming you manage to stay alive, the game itself is rather short (you might spend two to four hours working your way through it), and it's well worth the ride. This one would make for a great way for kids and adults alike to cozy up to the warm glow of the LED while digesting a massive feast and take turns trying to beat each other's high score. 

Gone Home

Probably my favorite game on this list, Gone Home is a game that gets your mind working and heightens your senses, constantly teasing you with what's around each turn. I can't say much without spoiling the ending, but trust me when I say the game unfolds in a way that will captivate you, challenge you, and leave you wanting more.

By the time I finished the game, I was truly attached to the characters and cared for each and every one of them, even if in different ways. Your initial playthrough will probably last you about two-and-a-half hours, but there is enough exploring (and item rearranging, for those of you that like that sort of thing, like me) to keep you hooked and coming back for more. It's probably a great one to throw on at the end of the night, when the kids are in bed and the lights are down low. 

Well there you have it, five games you should make sure to squeeze in this Thanksgiving before the clock strikes midnight. Mostly family friendly, these games are sure to be a hit with even some of your family members who think an Xbox is some sort of Xerox machine. Whether you have the whole day to play as many games as you want, or you need to squeeze in some games around other family activities, this list will make sure you don't have to go too long without getting your gaming fix.

Happy Gamesgiving everyone!

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China Lifting Console Ban: Blessing or Curse? https://www.gameskinny.com/89pjg/china-lifting-console-ban-blessing-or-curse https://www.gameskinny.com/89pjg/china-lifting-console-ban-blessing-or-curse Mon, 30 Sep 2013 22:07:46 -0400 Corey Kirk

There are many things in the U.S. that we place a level of importance on during the course of our American lives. Our families are our number one priority, or at least they should be. After that, we also place our jobs, freedom, and overall happiness near the top as well. In fact, I could probably list about 20 things that we feel are important to our ways of life, but the sad truth is that sometimes we don’t always place our family at the top and therefore we don’t always have a healthy family structure. For example, sometimes we work too much. Sometimes we focus on ourselves instead of others. And other times, we turn on the video games as a pseudo-nanny for our children.

This is a problem that those in China will have to face now that the console ban has been lifted and a new age of gaming is ushered into Chinese culture.

Up until now, Chinese culture has been very structured. Specifically, Chinese grandparents often supported their children in raising the grandkids while the parents were working during the day. You can read about it here. And while this system has worked for many many years, it may just be disrupted.

I am not an expert on Chinese culture, but there are some things I do know. I know that video games are a great way to spend time with your kids. It can be both a bonding experience and a fun time. Your kids will love being able to reminisce years later about you and them playing a game of Mario together.

However, video games can’t become a substitute for a human being.

We cannot use video games as a replacement to grandma. No amount of The Legend of Zelda or Pikmin will replace the feelings of warm, freshly-baked cookies or blissful hugs. My fear is that even though video games are great and it is awesome that console makers can now get the hardware into the hands of Chinese families, moms and dads may start to use games, instead of family, to watch the kids. If that were to happen, their family structure as they know it could become in danger. Let’s hope that is not the case.

Do you agree? 

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Valve Will Hinder SteamOS and Steambox? https://www.gameskinny.com/qhafx/valve-will-hinder-steamos-and-steambox https://www.gameskinny.com/qhafx/valve-will-hinder-steamos-and-steambox Wed, 25 Sep 2013 14:59:29 -0400 Corey Kirk

Look, I know everyone and their mothers are gushing over Valve’s announcement of SteamOS and Steamboxes. There is a lot to be excited over and I, for one, am looking forward to the day when I can permanently ditch windows for my PC gaming needs. I am waiting with much anticipation to be able to game on an OS that gives me the performance boost that Valve is promising.

But I just can’t see how it will take over the living room. Here’s why.

Remember my article on the flaw with the new Steam Family Sharing feature? If you haven’t read it yet, click here and then come back. Good? Ok. So with that knowledge of Steam only allowing one user to play a game from your library at a time, how exactly will a Steambox take over my living room?

When I game on a console, these days it’s almost always with someone else. We laugh, find secrets, and share the game experience together. One of the main reasons I own an Xbox 360 is for the times when my sister and I can sit down and play some one on one soccer or play some co-op Call of Duty (We stopped playing CoD after Black Ops by the way). My point is that the only reason I still have my Wii is because I can play bowling with all of my family.

With a Steambox, if it uses the same family sharing feature that current PCs will have, that kind of multiplayer will may not be allowed.

It’s not even that I mind having a single player machine. I don’t. I’m a PC gamer and I am used to playing games alone. With the restrictions to family sharing however, a Steambox, which is trying to be a living room console, will may not give us the choice to game alone or with a friend. My choice of playing alone is one thing. Making me play alone is a whole other issue. Microsoft found that out first hand.

All that said, I am excited about SteamOS and Steamboxes, I just hope that the Steam Family Sharing program will not be a hindrance. 

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