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Stephen Duetzmann

Disney Mobile

Reviewed on Android (also available on iOS)

Overall Review:

Just about everything that Disney has done recently has focused on the acquisition and marketing of characters. They bought Marvel and LucasFilms. They released Disney Infinity and put dozens of characters on store shelves. They have released multiple mobile games that were all built around Mickey and the gang. They have seemed intent on taking full advantage of their cast and trying to use them to help drive sales. I can’t disagree with the strategy. Its not as though they don’t have great characters to work with.

This makes it all the more peculiar that they would choose to quietly release Disney’s Lost Light on mobile platforms. It is a game that is filled with Disney charm, but is without any of the standard Disney trappings. There are no Mickey ears to be seen here.

We are treated, instead, with an adorable hand-drawn squirrel that looks like he might have gotten pulled from a scene with Sleeping Beauty. Our squirrel friend is along for the ride with us and helps to celebrate our success and lament our losses. He isn’t quite an avatar. We aren’t necessarily supposed to “be” the squirrel. But, he is a charming companion none the less.

Disney’s Lost Light is a touch screen puzzle game that will look familiar to anyone who has had a smart phone. Small bubbles rise from the bottom of the screen, each with a number in the center. Players are tasked with swiping across the different bubbles to link them (and have them grow accordingly). Bubbles are cleared when groups of matching bubbles equal in size to their corresponding number are all touching (two bubbles labeled “2,” three bubbles labeled “3” and so on).

The opening stages are very forgiving and spend a lot of time teaching and reinforcing the basics. As the game progresses players will experience different challenges that help to prevent the game from getting stale.

Family Gaming Assessment:

There is nothing here from a content perspective that should concern parents. The game involves popping bubbles on a forest backdrop and watching a squirrel either celebrate or be sad.

No one should be concerned here.

Playability Assessment:

This is a very challenging game. Players need to be able to recognize numbers and patterns very quickly and will need to adapt to the rising bubbles as they come. Children may grow very frustrated depending on how well they do with this genre, so you will want to watch them with this one until you are comfortable that they will be graceful in defeat.

Conclusion:

Buy it if you and your family enjoy the genre. It is hard to turn down a game of this caliber that is only $1.99.

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I’ll keep this one short and sweet.

The crew over at the Humble Bundle (a charity that assembles bundles of independent games and sells them to raise money for charity) has released a massive bundle designed to help cover the extreme medical costs of a beloved independent game designer and prolific games writer Brandon Boyer.

A donation of $25+ will net you a huge stack of independent games and soundtracks. I will admit that not all of them are family friendly, but this is worth posting when you consider the cause.

 

The games in the bundle are as follows (as of 03/12/2014): 
  • Actual Sunlight
  • AirMech
  • Auralux
  • Bagfull of Wrong
  • BitTrip Beat Soundtrack
  • BitTrip Fate Soundtrack
  • BitTrip Runner Soundtrack
  • Blocks That Matter + Soundtrack
  • Castles in the Sky + Soundtrack
  • Dynamite Jack
  • Ensnare Soundtrack
  • Ethan: Meteor Hunter
  • Fancy Skulls
  • God of Blades + Soundtrack
  • Goscurry + Soundtrack
  • Mazing
  • McPixel + Soundtrack
  • Paragon
  • POP: Methodology Experiment One + Soundtrack
  • Proteus
  • QbQbQb
  • Quixotica Soundtrack
  • Sepulchre Special Edition with eBook + Soundtrack
  • Shipwreck
  • Sokobond
  • Stacking + Soundtrack
  • Thomas Was Alone + Soundtrack
  • VVVVVV + Soundtrack
  • Waking Mars + Soundtrack
  • Warp Juggler
  • Wizorb + Soundtrack
  • World of Goo + Soundtrack
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Yesterday we took a brief look back to 2013 by listing our family friendly video games of the year. Today we are going to look forward. 2014 is shaping up to be a very interesting year, but I have some very specific things that I would like to see happen.

Without further ado here is my 2014 video game Wish List! (I’ll do a wrap up article towards the end of the year to see how well I made out!)

1.The Virtual Console service on WiiU and 3DS needs an update.

Nintendo’s biggest strength is its extensive catalog of amazing games that have released over the last several decades. Many of these games are timeless and some of them are regarded among the best games ever made. Sadly, Nintendo has yet to capitalize on these titles to any real degree on the WiiU.

I sincerely hope that they wake up and recognize the potential income from this service and start a regular cadence of releases. They could very easily hire and assign a team of developers tasked with the job of porting as many of their older titles as possible over to the newer platforms. They don’t even really need to think too hard about what games to bring. I am certain they have HUGE amounts of sales data that they could mine to determine the most commercially viable games. Simply compare those numbers versus the amount of effort to port the games… and voila. Why does this matter for parents? Its simple. Older games are often JUST as good as newer titles and their lower price point and digital availability makes them great purchases on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Please Nintendo. Take my money.

2. Mario Kart 8 needs to blow the doors off of this joint.

Look. I know that I could sit here and say that I “wish” for every game to be good. But, this is different. Mario Kart Wii is one of the best selling titles in Nintendo history. This franchise has mass appeal, and if any franchise has the chance to push more people over the edge into buying a WiiU it is Mario Kart. So…. the pressure is on Nintendo. Don’t let us down.

 3. Skylanders 2

We have seen two iterative updates to Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure in the last two years, but with Toys for Bob (the original developer) back at the helm we have a chance to finally see some real innovation. I would love to see them release a full on sequel to the game that still makes use of the same figures, but uses them in different ways. If you think about it, all of the toys we’ve purchased are basically memory cards. Toys for Bob knows everything that they could ever have on them. There is no reason that they couldn’t come up with some new and interesting ways for those stats to matter.

Another option (and one that would likely be very lucrative for Activision) would be to develop a series of smaller games to be released digitally at a smaller price point that make use of the portal and the figures but with completely non-standard game play. What about a Kart racer or a soccer game? Perhaps a side scrolling platformer a la Super Mario Brothers. The options are endless, but I could see some of these smaller games are automatic purchases in my house in an effort to squeeze every ounce of game out of this massive pile of figures we have been building.

—-

What about you folks? What is on your wish list for 2014? Sound off in the comments!

 

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Engaged Family Gaming Logo

By: Stephen Duetzmann

We are a few months late to the party, but we would be remiss if we didn’t take the opportunity to highlight our favorite family friendly video games of last year. There were a LOT of games that came out in 2013, but two of them rose above the rest as absolute must purchase games.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – 3DS

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was released on the SNES and is regarded by many as one of the best games in the franchise. A Link Between Worlds is a 3DS sequel that is so similar to the original that it feels like putting on a good pair of running shoes. Link even swings his sword with the same sweeping arc. This game just “feels” good.

LBW isn’t just a great source of nostalgia though. It is just short of a work of art. The animation is beautiful despite its simplicity and the score is top notch. I have a tendency to play a lot of 3DS games with the sound turned all the way down. This is simply not an option here. The orchestral soundtrack is one to be enjoyed and stands up to some of the best soundtracks I have ever heard. Trust me parents when I say that you will NOT grow tired of this music like you might think you will. It is just that good.

I may be a sucker for bringing my favorite games into the modern era, but Nintendo made a number of adjustments to LBW to help make it more accessible to a newer audience. They accomplished this through removing most of the rigidity found in other Zelda titles. They abandon the standard dungeon formula that players had grown used to over the last few decades. Instead, players are allowed to tackle dungeons in virtually any order that they choose. This is aided by the ability to rent all of the different items and weapons early on. This is a brilliant change that encourages experimentation and exploration early on in the experience

If you and your family don’t own any systems in the 3DS family, then this game alone makes the purchase worthwhile.

Super Mario 3D World – WiiU

Super Mario 3D World is pure multiplayer perfection. Mario games have included 4player game play for years, but they have always been more about spreading chaos and dissension than about fun. Those days are over. Super Mario 3D World gives up to four players the chance to step into Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad’s shoes without stepping on each other’s feet. The switch to a 3d plane helps here. The levels are all large enough for everyone to do their own thing without impeding each other; this is all but impossible in side scrolling levels in more traditional 2d Mario games. This is excellent for allowing players of varied skill levels to participate in their own way. I have spent a lot of time playing with both of my boys and we have been enjoying ourselves immensely.

It also needs to be noted that 3D World is likely the most gorgeous Mario game I have ever played. Simply put, anyone who said that Mario wouldn’t benefit from sharper and more colorful visuals is proven wrong here.

The WiiU has struggled to find a foothold in the world market and has thus far failed to move the kind of units that its predecessor, the Wii, did. Super Mario 3D World may not be ‘the solution’ to that problem, but the only thing Nintendo can do is improve the quality of its WiiU library as quickly as they can. Super Mario 3D World certainly helps with that and is a must own for anyone with a WiiU.

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By: Stephen Duetzmann

ESRB: E for Everyone

3DS exclusive

Overall Review:

I know I am late to the party with reviewing Mario Kart 7 since it came out well over a year ago, but I could not help but put a review out for this one as part of race week!

Nintendo’s success is driven by the games it develops and publishes on its own. Mario Kart is one of the best franchises they have and Mario Kart 7 is one of the best. (In case you were wondering… This review is going to include a lot of high praise. I am a huge fan of this game.)

Nintendo went to great lengths to avoid being repetitive here. They wanted this to be a top notch experience to help introduce Mario Kart to a whole new generation of players. The track list is superb, the character variety is great, and the Kart customization options are a new twist that will keep players experimenting for a long time.

One might think that a go kart racing game would be the video game equivalent of a one trick pony, but Mario Kart 7 features enough variation in its game modes that there will always be something to bring you and your family back in. This is a great value.

I could continue to rave about this game, but I think you get my point by now. This game is great, and is a great idea if you and your family own a 3DS.

Family Gaming Assessment:

I’ll keep this section short and sweet.

Mario Kart 7 is a game about cartoon characters riding go karts around fantasy environments. There is nothing that could be considered questionable here.

Mario Kart 7 does feature online game play, but I don’t believe that the standard online disclaimers for children apply here. They may grow frustrated with the skill of online opponents, but there is nothing to fear regarding the online content.

Playability Assessment:

The true beauty of Mario Kart games is their simplicity. They hardly need instructions to be able to play.

With that said, Mario Kart 7 does have a bit of a learning curve. Younger players will struggle until they learn to keep their karts on the track.

Conclusion:

If your family owns a 3DS then this is one of the best games available. I could not recommend it more.

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By: Stephen Duetzmann

Polyphony Digital

ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

December 6th, 2013

Available for PS3 (exclusive)

Overall Review:

Every family has a “thing.” Some families go camping. Some watch sports. Other families may enjoy reading. If your family enjoys talking about, watching, or driving cars then this game is just about perfect for you.

Gran Turismo 6 is the twelfth game released in the series and commemorates its 15th year as one of the premiere racing franchises in the video game industry. Polyphony Digital has been doing this a long time, and it shows. The visuals are absolutely stunning and the sound was immersive. There is no PS3 game on the market that presents racing so beautifully.

Gran Turismo 6 is full of different challenges and game modes that will present players with different challenges. I never found myself bored with the same cars and races before being able to move on.

The there are over 1200 cars available for purchase that range from the Honda Fit and nine different varieties of Mini Cooper all the way to the Ferrari Dino 246 GT ’71. If you couple that with 29 tracks, Go-Karts, and a mission that involves the lunar rover you have a LOT of variety on your hands. My sons had a lot of fun knocking down cones during the Coffee Break missions. Win or lose; they didn’t care.

Family Gaming Assessment:

You would be hard pressed to find anything inappropriate for families in Gran Turismo 6.

If I was forced to choose something that some parents might take issue with it is that the depiction of driving is accurate, but that there are, obviously, no serious consequences for driving erratically and crashing into things. But, that’s it.

The online portion of the game comes with the standard online warnings. Some people who play games online are not people I would want my children to talk to. Take that into consideration if you choose to have your kids race online.

Playability Assessment:

We’re not talking about an “easy” game here. It is part of the simulation racer family of games that puts a stronger emphasis on the mechanics and physics of driving than it does with the racing.

Realism is the hallmark of the Gran Turismo series. Driving these vehicles is very complex. Frustration can mount even faster when you realize that the best looking cars are among the hardest to drive. This can make the game a laborious process for children who aren’t familiar with racing games.

To be frank, if your child’s only racing experience so far has been Mario Kart, then this is going to be a significant adjustment for them. The game does have some assists that can be turned on in the options section that can help drivers who tend to over-steer or brake incorrectly. But, they won’t drive the car for you.

Another tip: The game provides a racing line that shows the best path to take while racing each individual track. This line is turned off by default after you leave the novice levels, but can be turned back on in the options menu.

Parents who enjoy racing should give this multiplayer mode a shot with their children:

  1. Set up a multiplayer race and choose a higher number of laps (5-6 is a good number)
  2. Let your child pick the fastest, most gnarly looking racecar they can find. You should choose an average car.
  3. Tell your child that they only need to complete half (or less) of the required laps while you have to complete them all.

That will add a pretty significant challenge for you as even the least experienced drivers will find a straightaway.

Conclusion:

This is a great addition to your collection if you and your family like cars or racing games.

My family had a lot of fun just looking at the different car options and taking turns driving (or crashing) on the different courses. 

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Children everywhere have already written their Holiday Wish Lists and parents everywhere are being asked to make difficult decisions. This holiday season has presented parents with a new and unique problem to solve.

Skylander’s Swap Force or Disney Infinity?

Now, parents have had to make decisions before, and have either depended on reviews to make their decision (or just gotten both). This is a problem because getting both is a significant investment (that will only grow), and the review scores for both games are close enough that there is no clear winner.

Below are some pieces of information that should help parents make their decisions. If you have further questions, or opinions, on the matter sound off in the comments!

Platforms

Skylander’s Swap Force

PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, WiiU

3DS – The 3DS version is a different game that comes in a separate starter pack with different figures.

 

Disney Infinity

PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, WiiU (Disney Infinity came out too early in the year to have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version.)

3DS – The 3DS version is a different game. It has no Toy Box mode. Instead it is a collection of mini-games to help level up characters.

Wii – The Wii version is the weakest of the bunch. It does not include any of the online features or multiplayer in the different playsets. The Toybox mode is also reduced in scope with smaller worlds to play in and fewer tools available. (Note: If all you own is a Wii console, then Disney Infinity is not a very good idea.)

PC/iOS – The PC and iOS versions of the game feature the Toy Box mode, but use web codes included in each figure’s packaging as opposed to the figures themselves.

 

Pricing

 

Skylander’s Swap Force

Starter Pack – $74.99

Swap Force Character – $14.99

Standard Character – $9.99

“Lightcore” Character – $12.99

Battle Packs, Triple Packs, Adventure Packs – $24.99

 

Disney Infinity

Starter Pack – $74.99

Standard Character – $12.99

3-pack of Characters – $29.99

Power Discs (blink pack) – $4.99

Playsets – Varies $29.99 – $34.99

 

Content

Both Skylander’s Swap Force and Disney Infinity have been rated E 10+ by the ESRB for their “Cartoon Violence.” It is worth noting, however, that Disney Infinity allows players to go online and play other people’s creations. Online content is NOT rated by the ESRB because it is unpredictable.

 

Business Model

 

Activision has published a new Skylander’s branded game during each of the last three years. The last two games have each come along with a new game play mechanic and a new wave of figures.

It is safe to assume at this point that this pattern will continue. This makes Skylander’s a fairly safe purchase because it is easy to predict what your future purchases will be like.

Disney Infinity, on the other hand, is an unknown element. We only have about six months worth of history to go by. We’re not completely in the dark though. We can infer some things based on Disney’s behavior in the video game space since Disney Infinity was released.

Historically, Disney would contract with a developer to release movie tie in games across every platform imaginable for its animated films. Sadly, most of them have been awful.

That appears to have changed with their most recent film Frozen. They are still releasing a licensed game, but it is an epilogue featuring one of the characters (Olaf the Snowman) and is only being released on handheld platforms. They are, however, releasing an official Frozen playset for Disney Infinity.

If this continues it would seem that Disney Infinity would be less of a stand-alone game than it is an ecosystem within which to purchase Disney/Pixar related games. If you think about it that way, the cost of the starter pack is more of an entry fee to pay the playset prices for future licensed products.

Verdict?

These two games may look similar to the outside observer, but it is almost impossible to give a final answer regarding which of these two games is “best” for your family. They are just too different.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help decide:

  1. Does your family end up buying, and enjoying, all of the licensed Disney movie games? (If yes, then Infinity is probably a good decision.)
  2. Which of the two games do your children’s friends have? (The biggest draw for these games is the social aspect of being able to share figures and play with friends. Matching games is critical for making that work.)
  3. Are you limited to a Wii or a 3DS console? If you are, then that makes the decision for you. (The Skylanders series works just fine on the Wii and it is an actual game on the 3DS as opposed to a collection of mini-games.)

Good luck! Post your decisions in the comments! What did your family buy?

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The Holiday Shopping season has officially begun and with it comes four weeks of insanity.

We simply hate the idea of anyone going crazy during the holidays so we took the time to create lists of some of the best games to come out recently for every console so parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles would have a place to go for ideas.

 

All of our gift guides include links to Amazon . If you use these links to purchase your games (or anything else for that matter) we will get a small amount of ad revenue to help keep our site active and the information flowing. (So please use them if you decide to buy any of these games!)

Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL/2DS

Microsoft Xbox 360

Sony PlayStation 3

Nintendo WiiU

Sony PlayStation 4

Microsoft Xbox One

We even included a list of suggestions for PC games!

We hope all of you have a Happy Holiday Season!!!!

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Here we go folks! You asked… and I have delivered.

I combed the web for some of the best deals in family gaming. Below is a list of deals available on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and the weekend beyond at several major retailers.

If you are going to be braving the stores on the busiest shopping day of the year, then this list should help you draw up your battle plans!

Walmart 

– Starting Thursday 6pm (see flyer for details)

PlayStation 3 12gb console – $149

Xbox 360 4gb (No kinect) – $99

Nintendo 2DS – $99

RCA Dual Core Android Tablet – $49 (1 hr in stock guarantee)

  • This tablet isn’t going to be anything to write home about. But, it will play tablet games, and watch Netflix well enough. This might not be a bad idea if your kids are asking for a tablet, but you aren’t quite sure you want to jump on the iPad mini.

Nabi 2 7” tablet – $99

LeapFrog LeapPad 2 – $54

Disney Infinity OR Skylander’s Swap Force Starter pack – 38.96

Video games priced at $10, $15, $25, $34

  • The images on the flyer are tough to see, but there are usually several displays with dozens of games to choose from.

Board games priced 8.88 or 3.88

  • Note: Gator Golf is 3.88. That is outright robbery!

Best Buy

– Starting Thursday 6pm

WiiU Black Friday Bundle : $319.97

  • Includes Deluxe WiiU console, NintendoLand, and two Mario and Luigi themes WiiMotion Plus controllers.

3DS Luigi’s Mansion Handheld Bundle: $149.99

Skylander’s Swap Force Starter Pack: $49.99

Video Games priced $11.99, $14.99, and $29.99

Skylander’s Swap Force single characters: Buy 2 Get 1 Free

Target

– Starts Thursday 8pm

Video games priced at $10, $15, $25, $35

Free $10 Gift card with purchase of Just Dance 2014 and Mario and Luigi Dream Team (3DS)

Xbox 360 4gb Kinect Bundle – $189.99

  • Includes Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports

Skylander’s Swap Force single characters and accessories: Buy 2 Get 1 Free

Disney Infinity Starter Pack: $49.99

Select “new” board games: 25% off

“Classic” Board games: $5

Toys R Us

– Check their flyer as many deals are time sensitive

Xbox 360 E 4GB with Kinect Holiday Bundle: $199.99

  • Includes Halo 3 for Xbox 360. This isn’t a “family friendly” game by any means, but the deal with worth it even without the game. Although it doesn’t make the bundle even better for families who have older children (or parents) who enjoy video games but missed out on the Xbox 360.

WiiU Skylander’s Swap Force Bundle: $249.99

  • If you are looking to get a WiiU AND get in on the Skylander’s phenomenon then this is probably the best priced option for you.

Nintendo 3DS Luigi’s Mansion Bundle: $149.99

Skylander’s Swap Force Starter Pack: 50% off

LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer: $39.99

LeapFrog Leapster GS Explorer: $29.99

Board games priced at $5, $8, and $10 (and other price points)

Disney Infinity Figures, Power Discs, Accessories: Buy 1 Get 1 50% off

Skylander’s Swap Force Starter Pack: $49.99

Skylander’s Giants or Skylander’s Spyro’s Adventure Starter pack (3DS): $9.99 with purchase of 3DS XL

  • Keep in mind that the Swap Force figures will not work with these older games. The figures show what game they will work near the bottom of their packaging.

R” Super Buy Video games: Buy 1 Get 1 for $1

  • There are tons of games to choose from. But, a lot of them are bargain bin games for a reason. If the game isn’t on your child’s list do yourself a favor and look it up on Metacritic.com on your smart phone while you are waiting in line and make sure it isn’t rated too horribly.
  • When in doubt: LEGO branded games and “Classic Game Collections” are a decent stand-by. They may not be “perfect,” but they aren’t as likely to be terrible as some unknown titles.

Skylander’s Giants and Skylander’s Spyro’s Adventure Figures: Buy 1 Get 1 Free

  • This is a great deal for parent’s looking to pick up older figures to help enhance their kid’s collection.
  • If you a parent who plays with your child, then I would make sure to dig through these piles to try and find a Whirlwind figure. Whirlwind is unique because it has a healing ability available once you level it up enough. This is great for helping your kids muscle their way through difficult levels.

Skylander’s Swap Force Single Character Packs: Buy 1 Get 1 70% off

All Video Games: Buy 1 Get 1 40% off

GameStop

– Starts Friday at Midnight

GameStop has NUMEROUS gaming deals. I can’t list them all (because I would just be typing out their flyer), but I will highlight the deals that I think are the best of the best for families.

PS Plus 1 Yr Membership – $29.99 (Friday only)

  • This is a great deal for people who own a PS3, a PSVita, a PS4 or any combination of those three. The free games every month are worth FAR more than the $50 that is usually charged.
  • Families with younger kids might not get to take full advantage of this deal, but families with older children or parents who play games should get a TON of value out of this purchase.

Used Products – Buy 2 Get 1 Free

  • GameStop is known for their used games, and their buy 2 get 1 promotions are a great time to pick up some great games without breaking the bank.

Pre-Owned Nintendo DS Lite – $39.99

  • The 3DS is all the rage in recent years, but the Nintendo DS is one of the best selling consoles of all time. As a result there are a lot of games available for sale. If you bought one for your child and they are looking for an inexpensive replacement (or if you are looking for one for yourself) then this is a great deal.

K-Mart

(Thanks to a reader for the submission!)

Thanksgiving (6AM – 5PM)

BOGO Board Games Leap Pad Ultra $149.99 (+$20 in Member Points)

Leap Pad Games – BOGO XBox 360 – $179.99

New Games – $20 off

3DS $149.99 ($20 Member Points)

Games for 3DS and other platforms on sale (Can’t read it!)

Friday(6AM-Noon) –

Select PS3 Games $10-$20 off

2 DS – $119.99

$15 off Featured 2DS Games

Innotab 3S Sophia the First Bundle – $79.99

$15 for Tabletop Pool or Foosball

50% off Select Board Games (Angry Birds, Apples to Apples, Rock ‘Em Socke ‘Em Robots)

Swap Force Starter (Wii/WiiU) – $49.99

Buy two get one free SWAP Force figures

Disney Infinity Starter (All Platforms) – $59.99

Buy two get one free Infinity figures

Just Dance Kids 2014 (Wii/XBox360) – $19.99

Big Lots

(Thanks to another reader for the submission!)

(6AM Friday) –

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ Calling All Turtles or Hasbro® Funglish™- $10

Yahtzee Cassic – $7

Chutes and Ladders or Don’t Break the Ice – $10

My First Uno® or Phase 10® – $5

Disney® Duck, Duck, Mouse – $13

Golden Tee Golf – $20

Assorted Xbox 360/Wii/PS3/DS Games – $18.88 (Including: Batman™ Arkham City for PS3™, Super Mario Galaxy™ For Wii™, Plants vs. Zombies™ For Nintendo DS™,Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection™…)

 

I can’t have caught everything! Sound off in the comments if there is a deal I didn’t find!

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I’ve gotten a lot of feedback over the past week from people that don’t own consoles. PC gaming is alive and flourishing so I had no intention of leaving non console gamers out in the cold. The vast majority of major console releases are also released on PC as well, but I have listed some game ideas for families looking to find something unique.

The vast majority of these games are available on Steam.

Minecraft

It’s getting to the point now where I am convinced that the President plays Minecraft. This game is available on every non-Nintendo, non-Sony device on the market. Every where you go you will find school ages kids talking about Minecraft and what they have built.

If, somehow, you have missed out on it so far all you need to know: It is a Digital LEGO building game. Players are encouraged to explore and discover combinations of different materials as they find them. This game is everything that you make of it. Kids who love to express themselves creatively will fall in love with this game.

(Ok. You caught me. This one isn’t unique. But, it is a very good idea. Your PC gaming kids will love this one.)

Lilly Looking Through

Lilly Looking Through is an adorably animated point-and-click adventure game. It was brought to us thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign and was a beautiful experience.

It is on the short side, with only 10 different “scenes” to explore, but the storybook art-style and interesting story will keep your kids going.

Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program is an “early access” game, which means that it is regularly being updated as the developer installs more features to the game. It is *technically* not ready for a full retail release.

With that said, there is a lot to do with the game right now that children and families can enjoy. KSP is built around the idea that the player is in control of the space program for a cute race of creatures called “Kerbals.” Players are responsible for building rockets and space shuttles while they try to achieve things like orbiting the planet, landing on the moon, and colonizing other planets. The game is complex, and any number of things can go wrong (to hilarious effect).

Kids, and parents, who enjoy science and exploration will likely find a lot of value here.

Reach for the Sun

Reach for the Sun is yet another science themed game that hides a lot of learning behind some addictive game play. Players control a flower as it grows by balancing three key ingredients (starch, nutrients, and water) as they attempt to grow and reproduce before the winter chill.

 

These are some of the PC games that I have been able to find. What about all of you? What suggestions do you have? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

acai berries
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