I know the situation you’re in. You’ve just realized there’s less than a week until Christmas, and you’ve gotten that special little girl or little boy in your life nothing. You’re not being cruel, it’s just you have no idea what to give to her or him. Well, fear not. Gamer Girl has come to your rescue! If you have or know a child who just loves to game, these are my top ten video games to give your little boy or girl this Christmas:
1. Epic Mickey – This is a brand new one-player game for the Wii. I know this is going to be a huge hit, because I waited two hours in a massive line at the Comic Con to see it (and I still didn’t get inside the panel). The game features Mickey Mouse entering a world called Wasteland, where failed Disney projects live. You must use Mickey to re-create these discarded characters and their world into something beautiful. Of course, be warned, every decision comes with their consequences, which can be good or bad. Thus far it has gotten great reviews, and it’s as much fun to watch as it is to play. Of course, since it does feature Mickey Mouse and an “E” rating, you can rest assured that there won’t be any blood, gore, sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll, or anything else that is not appropriate for children. If you really want to be impressive, you can purchase the collector’s edition, which contains a five inch Mickey action figure, a special faceplate for the Wii remote, skins for the Wii console, plus a whole lot more.
2. Kinect games – Kids will absolutely love just about any Kinect game you give them. It gets them off the couch and gets them moving. There is no controller necessary, because your body is the controller. Most of the games allow up to four-players and range from dancing games, sport games, and even exotic virtual pet games. They really are a lot of fun and help your kids get in that sixty minutes of activity they need to stay healthy. Trust me when I say some of these games can really make you sweat! I encourage you to research which of these games would be best suited for your child. Of course, you can only play these games with an Xbox 360 and a Kinect. If you do not have either one of those items, you cannot play Kinect games. However, you could be the greatest mom, dad, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, uncle, aunt, or cousin if you bought a Kinect bundle, which comes with a Kinect plus two games. Think how many cool points you could earn!
3. Super Scirbblenauts – This game is a sequel to its predecessor, Scribblenauts, but you don’t need to know anything about the first game to enjoy this one. It is available on the Nintendo DS and is for one-player. You play as Maxwell, who is attempting to capture something called the Starite. When Maxwell encounters a challenge, whether it be a bully or a broken bridge, you must write out something that can help him overcome it. You can write anything, and I mean anything! You can say something logical, like a helicopter to cross the bridge, or bizarre, like a red flying two-headed fire-breathing rabbit with orange stripes. I love this game, because literally anything you imagine comes to life. Even the most bizarre creation you can think of (i.e. a purple teen zombie with telekinesis) becomes reality in the game. Kids can get really creative and will laugh for hours at the absurdities they can generate.
4. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Miniland Mayhem – You can never go wrong with anything Mario. This is a one-player game and currently a best seller for the Nintendo DS. The premise is that Mario and his Mini Me’s—ahem, I mean Mini Marios—have opened a new theme park and have given free Pauline dolls to the first one-hundred guests. Of course, Donkey Kong arrives to receive his doll, but—alas!—he is guest one-hundred-one. Infuriated by this loss, the enraged overgrown ape steals the next best thing: the actual Pauline. He grabs her and runs into the park. Of course, Mario and his lackeys—I mean Mini Marios—will have none of that and go in after Donkey Kong to rescue Pauline, who—even after having this same incident happen to her at least four or five times previous—can’t seem to learn how to escape from the monkey’s grasp. This game is fun for kids that like Mario, and there’s a lot of problem-solving involved. It forces children think critically while still being fun to play.
5. Lego video games – It’s true that I have chastised Lego for making so many video games that are straight up rip offs of movies. However, as a reader pointed out to me, theses are great games for kids. Again, there’s isn’t anything that’s really inappropriate for children. The games are pretty easy to play, plus there are humorous scenes that both kids and adults will find funny. Most of the games allow up to two-players and are available on practically every console. Lego has something for everyone: Star Wars fans, Batman fans, Indiana Jones fans, and even fans of Rock Band. They even have games from original Lego ideas, such as Bionicle. Lego’s most recent venture is Lego Universe, an MMO (massive multiplayer online) for PC’s and Mac. It’s like WoW (World of Warcraft) for kids, except everything is made of Lego blocks and it’s definitely “kid friendly.”
6. How to Train Your Dragon – I know this game was released a long time ago, but this game is worth buying, especially if your kids liked the movie and/or books. It allows one- to two-players and is available on all platforms. I liked this game so much that I have written an entire article on it! Click here to read the said article and get a detailed version of this game. I’ll just say it’s not a rehash of the movie. It’s original and clever without taking away from the characters or the storyline from the film. Plus, the gameplay is great!
If all else fails and you can’t find anything to get for junior, then let him or her decide for himself or herself by getting a gift card to his or her favorite video game store. However, if you are the type that doesn’t like giving money or gift certificates, an accessory for their gaming console is always appreciated. Items like an Xbox Live Gold card, Marketplace points, wireless headsets, and headphones specialized for gaming are guaranteed to put a smile on your little gamer’s face. Good luck shopping and good luck gaming!