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Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one of the biggest games of the year. LOTS of families are picking it up and it can be hard to figure out what to do next sometimes. The EFG staff has pooled our collective knowledge and put together a list of tips for new players. Take a look below (and comment if you think we should include something)!

You can also check out our multiplayer explanation and a story about sharing an island.

The Basics

  • Weeds grow on your island every morning. It can be tedious, but make sure that you pick them every day. They can be used for lots of useful things like:
    • Hay beds. 20 Clumps of weeds = one Hay bed that you can sell for 400 bells. 
    • Medicine (Weeds and a Wasp Nest)
    • Various crafting recipes
  • You can shake trees and gather the fruit that drops. You can then sell that fruit to Timmy and Tommy. Be aware that sometimes shaking trees will drop a beehive or a wasp nest. Be ready to run away (or catch them with a new!)
  • Make sure to go to the beach every day to gather shells and bottles. You can sell the shells to Timmy and Tommy. The bottles contain DIY recipes. 
  • More resource gathering becomes available after you craft your tools.  You can use your net to catch bugs, your fishing pole to catch fish, and your shovel to hit rocks and to dig up fossils. 
  • Make sure you are grabbing branches when you see them. They are very important for making simple tools (and replacing broken ones). All of your simple tools aside from the vaulting pole and ladder will break over time.  
  • Make sure you are grabbing branches when you see them. They are very important for making simple tools (and replacing broken ones). All of your simple tools aside from the vaulting pole and ladder will break over time.  
  • Try to make one of every recipe you have access to. This will help complete Nook Miles tickets. 
  • The first thing to spend your Nook Miles on is your initial home/tent loan. After that you should target increased inventory space. Having more room in your bags will make almost every part of Animal Crossing better/easier. 
  • You can hit rocks with an axe or a shovel. Hitting rocks will give you clay, iron nuggets, and sometimes gold. There is even a rock on the island every day that will give you bells. If you dig holes behind you when you hit the rocks, then you won’t be knocked back and it will help you get the resources faster. Nuggets and clay are important to craft DIY items and advanced tools.

Advanced Tips


  • Visit your friends and have them visit you! This is a great way to share resources and earn Nook Miles and bells. 
  • The first “loan” you have to pay off in Animal Crossing is paid back in Nook Miles. This forces you to participate in a wide range of different activities. You need to earn 5000 Nook Miles to pay it off the first time. After that the loans will be paid in bells (like in previous games). 
  • You unlock “Nook Miles+” after you pay off your first loan.  These are relatively small tasks/challengers compared to regular Nook Miles challenges. They are replaced upon completion so you can grind them for rewards if you need to. They also give you some sense of direction when you are overwhelmed with different activities. 
  • Talk to EVERYONE. Talking to your villagers every day will help you earn NOOK miles over time. They may even give you items like DIY recipes, clothing, or decorations. 
  • Visit the NOOK ATM every day.  Visiting the NOOK ATM every day will help you earn NOOK miles over time. 

Tips for Remote Island Tours


  • Prepare yourself before you go to a remote island using a Nook Ticket. Be sure to empty your inventory except for:
    • Vaulting pole
    • Shovel
    • Net
    • Fishing pole
    • Axe
  • Remote islands don’t belong to other players so it is alright to take all of the resources. So make sure you take everything that you can to make the most of your Nook Ticket (They’re expensive). You will also NEVER return to the same island twice. 
  • Keep in mind that you can craft replacement items for flimsy tools you break. 
  • If the remote island has trees that you do not have, then eat the fruit you have found on the island and use your shovel to dig the tree up. You can then plant that tree on your island. This will help you earn bells and Nook Miles.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know if we missed anything!

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Animal Crossing New Horizons was released on March 20 2020, and it was perfect timing with all of the stuff going on. I have played many, many hours and so have my brother and sister. Here is my opinion: The game is really good. The graphics are great, the gameplay loop is fun, and honestly we all need an escape from the real world. Animal Crossing provides that. 

The game is simple: you move to a deserted island with two other animals and you live together. You decorate your home and the island with cosmetic items that you craft with the resources that regenerate daily. 

While doing that you also pay off your debt to Tom Nook, expand your home, and just live a happy life with your neighbors. That is literally the game. 

Now.. that sounds like it would get boring, but the game has this nifty feature that gives you what are, essentially, quests to do that make it so you keep playing.  They aren’t lame either. They feel rewarding to do. 

It rewards you for picking the weeds and gathering materials.  There is a rock that literally gives you money somewhere on your island! Why wouldn’t you want to play every day. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons encourages appointment gaming, where you stop by once a day to gather resources and check the shop. It rewards you for picking the weeds and gathering materials every day.  There is even a rock that literally GIVES you money somewhere on your island every day. Why wouldn’t you want to come back? 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons also has a multiplayer mode where you visit your friends islands and they visit yours. This experience is honestly one of my favorite parts. I love going to my brother and sister’s islands and helping them make money or sharing cool new crafting recipes.

Can a kid play it? 

Yes most definitely. The game is simple, there are no moments that are difficult, there are no complicated button presses to pull off a jump and or anything like that. You just walk around, pick things up, and sell them. 

There is a little reading involved, but if they are not able to read then the parts of the game that they will be playing, running around the island and picking stuff up, don’t involve reading.

Should a kid play it? 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

This is a simulation game in which players explore a deserted island, interact with animals, and engage in various activities (e.g., fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting). Some bugs can sting players, causing them to become dizzy and collapse. Players can bonk characters on the head and/or push them into holes. One character is seen with mucus dripping from his nose; the dialogue also contains comical references (e.g., “Whoever smelt it dealt it.”).

ESRB.com

Should you buy it? 

Yes and no. It depends on your family. 

If you are an adult buying the game for yourself and a young child then yes! This is a great game to share! You should make sure that the adult (or whoever is most game savvy) boots the game up first though. This way they become the main player on the island and aren’t held back by the other player. 

If you live in a household with more than one Switch, then we definitely recommend buying a copy for each Switch. Each Switch will have separate islands and there will be no issues sharing resources. The different players in the house will be able to play multiplayer together. 

However, if you are buying the game for two kids that are around the same age and gaming ability who also share a Switch, then you may want to think about it. Each Switch only has one island, and this can lead to frustration. The first person to play the game and name the island is the Island Representative, and is the only person who can do some of the quests and activities. You’ll definitely want to have a plan for how they will share the island. 

Conclusion

All in all Animal Crossing: New Horizons is amazing. Anyone can play it, there is no inappropriate content, and the game is just fun. Even though there are some issues with players who join after the game has started being able to make decisions about the island and all that, the game is great!


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Check out our review here!) released on March, 20, 2020. One of the features that players are bound to be excited about is the multiplayer. There is just something about teaming up with your your friends and running around a village in Animal Crossing and it looks like New Horizons is going to give players some great options.

There are two different ways to play with other people. Take a look below to see how they work.

One Switch

Each Nintendo Switch can have a single Animal Crossing: New Horizons deserted island. Each account can have a different island resident with their own home. Up to four of those players can play on the island simultaneously (with separate joy-cons and controllers) using the local multiplayer option.

This is accomplished by one of the players starting Animal Crossing, accessing their NookPhone (Using the ZL button) and “calling” the other players who live on the island using the “Call Islander” app.

The player who does the calling is the Leader and everyone else is a follower. The leader controls the camera, and can access menus while the followers have to stay on the same screen as the leader. Likewise, the leader is the only one who can access their pockets. Followers can catch fish, bugs, fruit, and wood but those items end up in the recycle bin near the Resident Services building to retrieve later.

This seems limiting, but it is very easy to change who the leader is using the NookPhone menus.

Up to Eight Switches

Up to eight people can play Animal Crossing: New Horizons using separate Switches. This can be done locally using the Local Play options or Online.

Players access this option by visiting their deserted island’s airport and talking to the Dodo bird. He will give you multiple options for opening up your island to visitors.

All my friends!

If you select the “All My Friends” option, then anyone that you are friends with on the Nintendo Switch that also has a Nintendo Switch online membership will be able to visit your town.

Only my Best Friends

You can designate visiting players as Best Friends using the Best Friends app on your in game Nook Phone. If they are Best Friends, then they CAN use tools like axes and shovels. Be sure to explain this difference to your kids to avoid trolling or innocent accidents.

Once you have people on your Best Friends list you can choose the “Only My Best Friends” option which limits the people who can come to your island to just Best Friends.

Invite via Dodo Code!

The Dodo Code is essentially a password that you set up to let people enter your game that you might not already be friends with on Switch. Anyone who has the Dodo Code can enter the island so you definitely want to make sure that your kids only use it sparingly.

Why Play Online With Other People Anyway?

At first glance, Animal Crossing: New Horizons doesn’t look like an online game. You’re just a cute little person running around a deserted island. But, its definitely not intended to be a purely solo experience.

Playing with other people is helpful for a few reasons beyond just being social and seeing other people’s creations.

  • You and other players can trade decorations, tools, resources, and fruit
  • Each fruit that you plant on your island will help you complete a Nook Miles ticket.

What do you think? Were these descriptions helpful? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Nintendo released an Indie Showcase video today. It lasted around 20 minutes, but was FULL of great game announcements. I had a lot of fun watching it, but I grew more and more excited with each passing announcement as the number of family friendly games that were announced grew. Take a look below for a list of the highlights (and buckle in, because there were a BUNCH of them).

Baldo – Summer 2020

If you had told me a year ago that I would see a game get announced that combines Legend of Zelda and Studio Ghibli-esque animation I would have told you that you were crazy. Baldo (not to be confused with Balto. That one is about a dog) is an open world action adventure RPG that looks like it will be a wonder to behold. The colors are bright. The action looks sharp. I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.

B.ARK Bio-Interstellar Ark – Late 2020

B.Ark is pretty much made for us. It is an adorable couch co-op game where you play as adorable animals piloting cute spacecraft while battling aliens.

Play as Barker, a loveable and friendly pug who heals his friends and turns his enemies into frenemies! Or Felicity, a fierce leader who’s cat rage can really boost her firepower. There’s also Walker, the Bear with a protective spirit and Marv, the speedy rabbit that can zip around in his enemies with ease! Choose your fighter’s wisely, as different tactics can help your odds against the evils that await!

https://www.tictocgames.com/

Look at me with a straight face and tell me that doesn’t sound awesome?

Summer in Mara – Spring 2020

I love farming games and Summer in Mara looks like its going to be a great one! It features all of the farming, crafting, and ranching that we have come to expect. But, it also includes underwater exploration, light seafaring, and the ability to explore a large city nearby.

I had seen this game before in Facebook advertisements, but this was the first time I was able to see some of the colorful characters (many of whom are anthropomorphic animals). This one is coming soon and I cannot WAIT to give it a try.

The Last Campfire

The Last Campfire is a 3d adventure game being designed by a small team within Hello Games, the people beyond No Man’s Sky. We don’t know all the details, but after watching this trailer I desperately want to help these little pillow people.

Wingspan

Wingspan, from Stonemaier Games, has been a massive hit in the board game world. Each of its print runs has quickly sold out as soon as it hit North American shores. And now? A digital version of the bird watching engine builder is on the way to the Nintendo Switch. They didn’t give us a release date (or a release window for that matter), but the fact that it was announced is good enough for me. I love that game so I can’t wait to get my hands on it for my Switch!


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Nintendo has done it again. They have iterated on one of their devices and created confusion among parents. We’re going to break down the differences and similarities between the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite. 

The Games

We’ll start with the most significant point. There are no games that are exclusive to either the original Switch or the Switch Lite. You don’t have to scrutinize labels on this one. They all work. 

The Dock

The biggest selling feature for the Nintendo Switch at launch was the docking technology. Each Switch that was sold included a dock that you could use to have the Switch… well… switch from handheld console (like the 3DS) to a home console (like the PS4).

The Nintendo Switch Lite does not include a dock, and, in fact, it can’t be connected to a television at all. It is a handheld only console. That does mean that it is less flexible that the original Switch. 

The Controllers

The original Switch came with a pair of Joy-Con controllers. They can be removed from the sides of the Switch and used as a pair of controllers or combined with a Joy-Con grip into a single controller. 

The Switch Lite is an all in one device. There are no detachable controllers. Instead, they are permanently built into the side of the machine. The Lite is compatible with devices like the Switch Pro controller in the event that you wanted to use them. This is key for games like 1, 2, Switch (a party game). 

Size

The original Switch is a larger device than the Switch Lite. It measures in at 4 inches tall and 9.4 inches long. It also has a 6.2-inch screen. The Lite, on the other hand, is 3.6 inches tall and 8.2 inches long. 

The numbers don’t paint the full picture regarding the size comparison though. The Switch Lite is also significantly lighter.

The Cost

The original Nintendo Switch costs $299.99 and includes a dock, 2 Joy-Cons, and a Joy-Con Grip. 

The Nintendo Switch Life, on the other hand, will set you back $199.99.

Which one should I buy?

This is a tough decision, but it is ultimately going to come down to how you imagine your family using it.

If you don’t think that there will ever be a circumstance where you will want to put the Switch in a dock and play the games on the TV, then the original Switch is likely overkill. There is no reason to spend an additional $100 for a fancy charging dock for your Switch.

However, if you think that the opposite is true, even to a relatively small degree, then you will need to determine if it is worth that additional $100 charge for the ability to use it on the TV.

What do you think? Which would you want to buy? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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The Nintendo Switch is wildly popular, and Nintendo is pairing it with an online subscription service similar to both Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus. Their service, called Nintendo Switch Online, launched in the fall of 2018 and is a great value for families looking to get more out of their Switch experience. 

The Pitch

Nintendo Switch Online is an annual subscription service that is required into order to play Nintendo Switch games like Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online. It also includes bonus features like access to cloud saves, and access to a suite of NES and SNES games. Subscribers also get access to exclusive sales offers and Switch online exclusive games like Tetris 99. 

Nintendo Switch Online is an annual subscription service that is required into order to play Nintendo Switch games like Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online. It also includes bonus features like access to cloud saves, and access to a suite of NES and SNES games. Subscribers also get access to exclusive sales offers and Switch online exclusive games like Tetris 99. 

How Does it Work? 

Nintendo Switch Online is a subscription based service that can be purchased annually, or in smaller increments. The service needs to be maintained in order to continue the benefits and maintain access to the features. 

The service includes: 

Online Play – Online multiplayer gaming using the Nintendo Switch Online platform

NES and SNES – Nintendo Switch Online – Nintendo Switch Online members have access to curated library of more than 60 NES and Super NES classic games. The collection initially only includes NES games, but was updated a year later to include SNES titles. The curated library of games will grow over time. These games also include online competitive/cooperative play with friends. Certain games (like Super Mario Bros.) even include the ability to virtually pass the controller back and forth.

Save Data Cloud – Subscribers can back up their save game data to the cloud. This makes it easier to retrieve their save data if they lose their Switch or start to use a new one. It is worth mentioning that some games aren’t compatible with cloud saving. The most noteworthy examples are Pokemon Sword and Shield and the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

Smartphone App – Nintendo has released a smartphone app (available for iOS and Android). It syncs with the subscriber’s Nintendo account and includes some minor enhancements for different Switch games. You can also use it to use voice chat with your Nintendo friends as you play. (Certain games, like Fortnite, circumvent Nintendo’s app and allow voice chat through the game software itself. This isn’t universal though.)

Special Offers – Subscribers will have access to exclusive sales and product offerings. They have included controllers, discount game vouchers, and even an exclusive game (Tetris 99). 

How Much Does it Cost?

Nintendo Switch Online can be purchased annually, quarterly, or monthly. The service also has a 7 day free trial. 

Annual Subscription: $19.99

3 Month Subscription: $7.99

1 Month Subscription: $3.99

Nintendo Switch Online also has a Family Membership option where up to 8 Nintendo Accounts can share an online subscription for $34.99 annually. 

Advice

This service is a great value for families. The cost is relatively low at $20 a year and it includes a wide array of free games to play.

If your kids aren’t interested in the NES/SNES games and only play Fortnite, then this is a service you can likely avoid. Fortnite doesn’t require an active subscription to play.

Other Guides

There are a ton of other premium video game services out there so we wrote guides for all of them.  Take a look below:

A Parent’s Guide to EA Origins Access

A Parent’s Guide to EA Access

A Parent’s Guide to the Xbox Game Pass

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Now

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Plus

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Dragon Quest Builders was a title that first came across our radar as a humble PS4 title with big ambitions. The game utilizes the beautiful art style of Akira Toriyama (Of Dragon Quest, Dragon Ball, and Chrono Trigger fame), blending it with Minecraft style construction and level design, on top of Dragon Quest RPG. The sequel was debuted at Square Enix’s E3 2019 presentation and seeks to top even those lofty goals. Dragon Quest as a series has always been a mainstay in the RPG genre, being one of the few games with a lineage going all the way back to the original NES.


The Dragon Quest Builders series paints itself in a much lighter tone than the Dragon Quest series.  Specifically, Dragon Quest Builders 2 integrates co-op multiplayer that shows promise for both epic exploration, combat, and construction to put it in league with Minecraft in terms of its possibilities. Unlike Minecraft though, the story of Dragon Quest Builders 2 is meant to also serve as a tutorial and narrative focus for its block based construction.  This is in contrast to the much more open world that is traditional Minecraft. The play dynamic will give some structure to keep the sprawling options presented in a meaningful way and keep the more casual fan engaged in the gameplay.

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is slated to be released on all major platforms on July 12th to both the PS4 and the Switch. It is built for a very specific audience in mind, but for that audience, this looks to be a stellar experience.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Nintendo’s E3 2019 Nintendo Direct was full of fun announcements and surprises! Take a look below for five things that parents need to know!

Animal Crossing: New Horizon Delay

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was unfortunately delayed at the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct.  And while all of us were saddened by this news, we’ve already been waiting 7 years for a new Animal Crossing game, we can wait a few months more.  With its charming design, relaxing atmosphere, and neverending hours of fun, we’ll have plenty to enjoy when it hits the shelves in March 2019.

Two New Smash DLC Characters

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is still rolling out the characters in its fighter pass. The first character was Joker, from Persona 5, which made just about any character to ever be a part of a video game possible. Nintendo revealed two characters during their direct: The Hero from Dragon Quest XI, and Banjo-Kazooie!

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is without a doubt, one of the greatest games ever to come out of Nintendo.  It’s got action, puzzles, story, amazing visuals, and so much more. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t enjoy their time in this version of Hyrule.  So when Nintendo announced that the sequel is in development, jaws around the EFG war room dropped. We all suspected, but now we know its coming. Whenever its ready, we’re bracing for what might be a very different look at Hyrule, and we are 100% OK with that.

Secret of Mana Collection

Let’s see… we’re getting Final Fantasy Adventure (actually part of the “Mana” Series), Secret of Mana, and Trials of Mana, which is actually hitting the US for the first time in history.  Trials was previously known as Seiken Densetsu 3 in Japan, and fans of the “Mana” series have been wanting a US port for a very long time. This collection is available today on the Nintendo Switch eShop for $40.  Additionally, a full 3D remake of Trials of Mana will be coming to Nintendo Switch in 2020. All aboard the Mana Hype Train!

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3 was announced for later this year. Nintendo revealed a ton of gameplay details during their Direct. This looks like it is going to be a great game for families to enjoy when it comes out later this year.

Honorable Mention: Dark Crystal Tactics

On the same day that Netflix is releasing “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” prequel TV series, they’re dropping “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics”.  Yep. It’s a Dark Crystal turn-based tactics game, borne out of a partnership between Nintendo, Netflix, and Bonus XP (The developer behind the Stranger Things games).  You’ll be controlling squads of soldiers from the Dark Crystal universe, on a grid based map, and fight using a combination of swords and sorcery. The aesthetic, while simplistic, looks stylized and appropriate for the game.  The animations also look a bit simple, but this was never going to be a graphics powerhouse. If it delivers a sound strategy game, dripping with personality from the world of The Dark Crystal, I think we will all be very happy.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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This week Stephen and Amanda have another cozy fireside chat as they talk about all of the news to come out of the CRAZY Feb. Nintendo Direct.

This podcast is now a joint co-sponsored effort with SuperParent.com!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Check out this episode!

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The Holiday season is fast approaching! Games are coming out so fast that it can be very difficult to keep track. We take  time every year to list the very best family games of the year that came out on every console.

Take a look below for our list of the best video game gifts for Nintendo Switch owners!

(Full disclosure: These Amazon links are affiliate links. Purchases made using these links will help us earn revenue.)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Nintendo Switch

Fans of our podcast will know that this is one of our most hyped games of the year. We haven’t been able to play this game a great deal so far, but everything that we have seen points to Ultimate being a great Smash experience. If your family has enjoyed Smash Bros on other platforms and owns a Switch, then this should be under your tree.

 

 

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee

Nintendo Switch

The next Generation of Pokemon games won’t be out until next year. But, younger players and players who have come to the Pokemon fandom will have their own game this year. Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let’s Go Eevee! Are coming out just in time for the holidays. They are different versions of the same story, but they each feature a different partner Pokemon for your trainer. 

 

 

Dragon Ball  FighterZ

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the best fighting games and the best Dragon Ball game of the year. It is a three on three tag team brawl with a character roster than pulls from the deepest corners of Dragon Ball lore. It was developed by Arc System Works, a company known for high quality animation and flashy combat. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a beautiful game to watch thanks to its tag and assist system, but the real fun starts when you take the controls yourself. This is a very accessible fighting game that is great for tweens.

 

 

Kirby Star Allies

Nintendo Switch

Kirby games have always been great for kids, but Kirby Star Allies is just as great for families to play together. It features up to four player co-op so whole family can get in on the action (most of the time). My favorite part of Star Allies is the theme. It’s all about love, cooperation, and friendship. Your family is in for a lot of fun together if you pick this one up.

 

 

Nintendo LABO

Nintendo Switch

Who doesn’t want a cool activity to do with your family on a Holiday morning? The advantage to Nintendo LABO kits is that they are both a game AND a STEM construction activity. There are three kits available right now. The Variety Kit includes several smaller kits including a fishing rod, a piano, and a house. The Robot Kit includes a massive backpack powered device that lets you control a giant transforming robot. The Vehicle Kit includes materials for three steering devices; one for a car, one for a plane, and one for a submarine.

 

 

Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and 2

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Mega Man is a well loved character and Mega Man 1 through 10 are the reason why. These two collections include 10 devilishly challenging platformers that have inspired a generation of gamers. This is a must own for families that have an interest in gaming history.

 

 

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Mega Man X is one of the best platformers on the Super Nintendo and it spawned a series of sequels that kept ramping up the action. Capcom released two Mega Man X collections this year. The second collection falls flat, but collection 1 included Mega Man X through X4 and is a great value.

 

 

 

Mario Tennis Aces

Nintendo Switch

Mario Tennis was a huge disappointment on the Wii U. I was super nervous about whether or not Mario Tennis Aces on the Switch would be a repeat. Fortunately, it wasn’t. Aces is gorgeous, mechanically sound, and full of multiplayer fun. This one should definitely be on your radar if your family has (or will have) a Switch.

 

 

 

Sonic Mania Plus

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Sonic Mania was a big deal when it came out initially. Many critics lauded it as the best Sonic the Hedgehog game in decades. (Some went so far as to say it was the best Sonic game of all time). Sonic Mania Plus is a re-release that also includes two new characters: Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. They both move differently from Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles and have different powers.

 

 

Valkyria Chronicles 4

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the spiritual successor to the popular PS3 title after two offshoot titles launched for the PS Vita. The game is a tactical strategy game set in an alternate, and more fantastical, version of Europe during the Second World War. The game unfolds in a series of journal entries placing the battles in context of a series of well told cut scenes and storyboards. Game play alternates between battles where you control each character in a unit as you advance and fight your way to an objective, and coordinating and upgrading your ever increasing squad in an offstage headquarters. This is a family friendly title that bridges the gap between the popular title XCOM (and XCOM 2) and [Mario and Rabbid’s Tactics battle?] and also has a playable demo with a save that can be rolled over to the full title. A strong title for strategy or warfare fans.

 

 

Mega Man 11

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

It’s been eight years since the release of a new official Mega Man game and we have been long overdue. Mega Man is one of the essential franchises that gave birth to the platforming genre, and this newcomer to the Mega Man family is a most welcome addition. It promises new mechanics and challenges that will push the series to new heights. If you are a fan of the series or a fan of retro platforming games, then Mega Man 11 is a no brainer.

 

 

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Starlink: Battle for Atlas was my game of the show at E3 this year. I was stunned to see a toys to life game (not called Skylanders) in 2018 and I loved it.

This is releasing this holiday season on all three major consoles and on PC, but the best place to play Starlink is going to be on Switch where it will feature exclusive content based on the legendary Star Fox franchise.

 

 

Just Dance 2019

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

What is there to say about Just Dance that hasn’t been said before? This is becoming one of the most venerable franchises in gaming. Just Dance is released every year with new dance routines and new songs to very little coverage from gaming sites. Just Dance 2019 has a large audience and you’ll know if your family falls into it. Do you love music? Do you love dancing? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then this should be on your radar.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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