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Disney Infinity

Editor’s Note: This article was written and submitted to us by the owner over at Token Meeple. It’s a little out of their genre over there, but we sure loved the help! Head on over there for their take on grown up board games (including some great single player stuff)!

Today Disney presented us with the first edition of Disney Infinity Next. If this 12-minute announcement was any indication, there are big things in store for Disney Infinity 3.0 over the next few months and the remainder of 2016.

During the opening sequence we were reminded that Disney Infinity, for the 2nd year in a row, #1 in the Toys-to-Life category. The 3.0 release will be the largest collection of content inside of a Disney game and will remain compatible with the 3.0 base.

The next announcement focused around the upcoming release of the Zootopia movie this Friday. Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps bring a bit of a stylistic change from previous Infinity characters and look like they just walked off the movie set and into the game. They are available for purchase as of March 1st for the Disney Infinity Platform. Judy is the agile and quick character who will specialize in powerful kicks and will have her Tranq gun from the movie to help stun characters in game as well. Nick is a very strong melee character who will have his Popsicle stick referenced from the movie to help him out. He also has a friend “sidekick” who can help him out and use the Popsicle as well.

The next announcement was what really caught our attention. The Marvel Battlegrounds Play Set!! At one time we all have wondered who would win in a fight between say Captain America and Iron Man, and now we can find out! Also, for the first time, a Disney Infinity Play Set will feature 4-player play and it seems it will happen without another base. Battlegrounds will feature 8 arenas’ that take on a life of their own. The Arenas are almost a character themselves. They take damage leading to a lot of Environmental Destruction and potentially causing you to fall between levels or open up other new areas of the Arena. And lets not forget, the Marvel Disney Infinity 1.0 and 2.0 characters have been refreshed to include new abilities and super abilities within the Battlegrounds.

All of the Marvel Characters have been balanced within the Play set to make the combat more competitive. 4 new characters will be released at around the same time the Play Set is available. These new characters will consist of a new Captain America from Captain America: Civil War. This combat focuses much more around his shield in this version and his special ability is a Heli-Carrier strike that he deflects with his shield for a powerful AOE attack.

cap and iron man

The other new characters we will be seeing to hype this play set are Black Panther, who will be another character who excels in Martial Arts agile melee style. Vision, yet another quick character, changes it up with his special ability allowing him to phase into the ground, perform an uppercut and transition that into an air combo. This is a new ability type that hasn’t been introduced into Disney Infinity yet and shows that Disney is committed to pushing Disney Infinity to new heights.

Then we get one of my most wanted, Ant-Man. You read that right, we will finally have Ant-Man in Disney Infinity shrinking power included!! Ant-Man will be a very defensive character but because of his shrinking ability he will be able to surprise people and catch them off-guard.

The final announcement of the initial Disney Infinity Next featured the live action remake of The Jungle Book. Well now hopefully you are asking what does this do for Disney Infinity, and the answer is Baloo! This figure is modeled beautifully and you can picture Baloo dancing and singing Bear-Necessities when you lay eyes on it. In game, Baloo can swing a Palm tree as a melee weapon and throw various fruit at his enemies. Baloo also attacks his enemies with his belly and rear end, and we can see him being a favorite of many children.

I have to admit, this was a pretty exciting 12 minutes and Disney teased with just enough to have me looking forward to each new wave release. Even with all of this being announced, I would still expect a surprise or two from Disney on the Infinity side, after all there is still a lot of Disney left unexplored on the Infinity platform. I am still waiting for something from the Junior side of the house as well!


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Holiday shopping is getting more and more difficult every year. Parents used to have to worry about “the hot toy,” but now there are so many video games released each year that it can be very confusing for parents.

The following is a list of some of our recommendations for parents who need a little bit of help to make sure they make the most of their holiday dollars.

“The Games”

Below will be what we consider to be the most important family friendly games available.


  • Minecraft (If you are buying your child a new Non-Nintendo console this should probably be the first game you buy to go with it.)
  • Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
  • Skylanders: Trap Team
  • Disney Infinity 2.0
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

Nintendo WiiU

Mario Kart 8 or Super Smash Bros. For WiiU

Nintendo 3DS

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or Pokemon Omega Ruby

Microsoft Xbox 360

Forza Horizons 2

Microsoft Xbox One

Forza Horizons 2

Sony PlayStation 3

LittleBigPlanet 3

Sony PlayStation 4

LittleBigPlanet 3

Sony PS Vita


Board Games

Squashed Family Board Game 

Full Disclosure: We have no reviewed this game yet, but a full review is on the way!

This is an interesting strategy game that involves moving pawns around the outside of a cube. The goal is to outmaneuver your opponents as the cube rotates. You want to be the last player with a pawn on the board. This one looks interesting just for the unique game board itself.

Robot Turtles

We reviewed this one earlier this year and it is still one of the coolest learning experiences you can play with your kids. It actually manages to teach some of the basics of coding while playing a simple board game. We highly recommend it!


This strategy game intended for players six and older is simple to learn and will remain fun for a very long time. In it players place wooden tiles on a flat play area and match them up in rows by either color or shape.

There is even a travel version that is great for parents on the go (and is great for teaching colors to even younger players)!

Spot It!

This game is simple, inexpensive, and portable. Oh! And your Preschooler has a decent shot at beating you in it.

Ticket to Ride

This was one of the first board games we reviewed. It is among the best family games on the market. If your family has been entertaining the idea of starting a family game night, then this is, bar none, the best game to start with.

Forbidden Island

Most board games that families are used to playing are competitive. Forbidden Island bucks that trend by being a perfect entry point into the realm of cooperative gaming.

Minecraft Stuff

LEGO Minecraft

Minecraft is a phenomenon. It has been described as “digital LEGOs” since it arrived on the scene. It actually stunned me that it took so long for LEGO to actually get in on the action. There are tons of different sets out there.

Minecraft Hoodie

I know the stereotype is that kids hate to be given clothes for presents, but this hoodie from ThinkGeek might just fix that.

Minecraft Sheet Magnets

There is a ton of Minecraft merch out there and I dug through a lot of it to make this list. I don’t know why but something about these really sung to me. Nothing screams “perfect gift” than something that will result in lots of little magnet squares attached to the fridge. This is probably most Mom’s personal nightmare right? Aunts and Uncles looking for vengeance gifts take note. (Full disclosure: My wife made me add that last bit since she basically hates these things.)

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection

The various Minecraft handbooks are a great way to encourage kids to get excited about reading by engaging with Minecraft while they aren’t at the keyboard. The information in these books is very useful. Some of the details will likely be out of date relatively quickly as the game is patched, but the theory will be useful.

Miscellaneous Gaming Gifts

LeapFrog LeapTV Educational Active Video Gaming System – $149.99

No one should call this a knockoff. The LeapTV won’t be able to unseat any of the big name consoles, but its games are guaranteed to be child appropriate.

This may be a great option for households with a significant separation between older and younger siblings. This would be one way to keep the younger sibling away from a teenagers games.

The Bag of Holding (ThinkGeek.com) – $59.99

If you get this reference… you will want to buy this thing.

Parents: It’s ok if you don’t get this reference. This will be hysterical to your son or daughter if they play Dungeons and Dragons. Trust me.

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Each year Toys “R” Us releases their “Hot Toys List” to help parents identify what some of the best new toys are for each holiday shopping season. The following are the highlights of the list that are relevant to us here at Engaged Family Gaming. The rest of the list (including a pretty awesome NERF Bow and a very cool new ImagiNext play set) can be found here.

Kurio Xtreme

The Kurio Xtreme is a Toys“R”Us exclusive 7” Android tablet that comes with a suite of motion based children’s apps. It is built with children’s web safety in mind. This is straight from the product description: “Parents can rest assured their kids are web surfing safely with the Kurio Genius technology, which includes time controls, app management and allows for up to 8 individual user profiles.”

Kid friendly tablets aren’t all about web services though. The Kurio Xtreme comes with a rubber bumper that is designed to help protect it from the inevitable drops.

LeapFrog LeapTV Educational Active Video Game System

The LeapTV is a new video gaming system built to teach through motion. “With a library of 100+ LeapFrog educator-approved game cartridges, game downloads and videos, kids never run out of fun!”

The LeapFrog system is built around educational programing. It features over a hundred educator approved cartridges designed to teach reading, writing, and mathematics. Game types include:

Body Motion: No controller required – the Microsoft Kinect-ish camera captures kids’ moves as they explore Disney Sofia the First’s world or dance in LeapFrog Dance Party.

Pointer Play: Swivel one end of the controller out to transform it into a wand controller to let your children play as Jake from Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates, or bowl a strike in LeapFrog Sports.

This system does its best to capture some of the magic other other gaming systems at a fraction of the cost. I am hard pressed to believe that it will be as high quality as the other systems, but it’s collection of purely educational games is hard to match.

Lego Fusion Town Master

Ok. Real talk. This sounds real cool. Lego Fusion Town Master is a Toys”R”Us exclusive playset that lets kids build a town and then scan it building by building into an iOS or Android app. This takes all of the random free to play city building games on the market and turns then on their head. I am a very big fan.

Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack

Of course Skylanders are on the list. This year’s release isSkylanders Trap Team. This iteration of the title gives players the ability to capture villains and fight with them alongside their (likely massive) collection of figures.

The new release will come with a set of new figures that your children will want to add to their collection including new Skylanders Minis.

If your family hasn’t taken the Skylanders plunge for lack of a home console there is even atablet edition.

Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Edition

Disney Infinity was new to the toys-to-life model last year, but it was a massive success. We knew from the outset that this was intended to be a platform for all of Disney’s properties and it only took a year for them to unleash Marvel superheroes on the world.

Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Edition  features the Avengers as well as Spider-Man, the Guardian’s of the Galaxy, and multiple villains. More will certainly be released throughout the year, but the starting lineup is excellent. If your children are Marvel fans than this will likely be a must-own.



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Question: My nine year old daughter has been begging me to buy Disney Infinity for our Nintendo Wii so she can play as Elsa and Anna from Frozen. I’ve resisted so far, but the holidays are coming around again. Should I cave? She really loves those characters. I don’t really know anything about video games though. Please help!

Disney has been on a roll recently. Disney Infinity was the biggest name in the relatively new toys to life market and Frozen is the highest earning animated film in history. It only makes sense that the Frozen characters would make an appearance in the game. Parent’s wallets just haven’t been safe since.

Your question is actually more common than you think. Video games are huge and they are getting bigger every year. There are plenty of parents who grew up without video games who are finding themselves in the position where their children want them… and badly. That’s the entire reason this site exists in the first place!

My answer might be different if you had a different console, but if your only gaming device is a Nintendo Wii then I would recommend against it at this point. The biggest draw for Disney Infinity is a toy box mode that lets players create their own landscapes and even go online to download other people’s creations. This mode is absent in the Wii version of the game because it doesn’t have the same power as the rest of the consoles on the market.

My answer doesn’t shift completely if you were to own a different console though. Disney Infinity is a difficult game for a younger child to understand and play on their own. They might be able to run around the toy box as Anna and Elsa, but they wouldn’t necessarily be able to do much else without a significant amount of help from you. This really would need to be a “together” activity as opposed to a distraction. If that isn’t what you are looking for then I would probably pass.

You had mentioned in your question that you weren’t much of a gamer yourself, so this is definitely something you would want to consider. If you aren’t looking for something to do together, then I would again recommend against it in your situation.

With all that said, if she is really interested in those two figures because she loves the characters (what nine year old girl doesn’t right now?) there is no problem picking up the figures themselves without the game.

The figures themselves are gorgeous and well made so they are worthwhile even if she will only ever put them on a shelf. The hidden advantage to that is that if she has a friend at school or a family member with the game all she needs to do is grab her figures and brings her own team!

Let us know what you decide to do!




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Interactive games toys are taking over the video game space! Skylanders may have brought the genre to the mainstream, but Disney Infinity killed it during its first year on the market with 3 million starter packs sold and $500 million in retail sales. That is a HUGE figure for a new game series. So huge, in fact, that a follow up was inevitable.

Here are 5 things that we learned from the Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes announcement event:

1. Compatibility

Players can continue to use their favorite characters, power discs, toy boxes, and even the original BASE! This doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise, but it is welcome news. Parents shelled out a lot of money for Disney characters, so far, and it would be a shame for them not to work with the updated version (Besides, now we might get to see who would win: Thor vs Mr. Incredible!).


2. 18 Marvel Characters (At Least!)

They showed us six of the playable characters and their requisite figures.

  • Iron Man
  • Captain America
  • Thor
  • The Hulk
  • Black Widow
  • Hawkeye

Spoiler Alert: These figures are going to be a hot commodity this fall. I expect that collectors will be buying these figures up even if they don’t play the game. They are just that amazing.

More of the characters will be announced in a month at E3 (Don’t worry! We’ll have you covered there).


3. “Toy Box Games”

One of the biggest complaints made about the original game was that there weren’t enough game experiences outside of the play sets. The Toy Box itself was there, but a lot of kids struggled to build anything meaningful with it. Toy Box Games are the answer to that problem. They are essentially power discs that include pre-made, bite-sized game experiences. They will be based on different game genres and themes within the Disney Infinity game engine. The starter pack will come with a “tower defense” game and a “dungeon crawler.” This is an excellent value add because Toy Box Games can be released on their own down the line as mini-expansions. This has a lot of potential!


4. The Toy Box mode has been DRASTICALLY improved

One of my biggest frustrations with the original Disney Infinity was with the Toy Box mode itself. My sons struggled to build even the most basic environments, they would dabble for a short while, get frustrated and move on to something else.

The new Toy Box mode includes a number of improvements that will likely make it possible for even the youngest gamers to get in on the action.

“Brush Mode” is the most significant improvement. This setting lets players select an environment and paint an area of whatever size they choose, the game will then procedurally generate that environment! You want a big ol’ city? Sure. Select the city option and brush it onto a large open space in the Toy Box. BAM! The city will create itself. This is huge for young players just looking for a fast and easy experience.


5. The Starter Pack

The Starter Pack will include:

  • The Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes disc
  • Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow Figures
  • The Avengers play set
  • The Tower Defense and Dungeon Crawl Toy Box Games

The key difference here is that players will be able to play multiplayer inside a play set right out of the box (The Iron Man figure is also absolutely amazing).


We know that we’re excited here at Engaged Family Gaming, but what about you? Sound off in the comments!

Black Widow riding the roof of a car
Black Widow is a fast melee character whose moves will match her style!
Black Widow kick
Black Widow is a strong female character who can get in even the biggest bad guys faces!
Black Widow Kick
Black Widow does not mess around!
Iron Man ground punch Iron Man slamming a car
Hulk isn't the only Avenger with strength!
Iron Man repulsor blast
Iron Man will have his signature repulsor blasts!
Captain America Jump
Captain America is a brawler. He has his shield to give him some range though.
Captain America shield throw
Captain America's shield will be great for keeping enemies at bay.
Hawkeye's ranged attacks will do a lot of damage, but you'll need to be careful to stay at range!
Hawkeye can take advantage of the high ground like no one else!
Hawkeye won't be afraid to charge in though!
Hawkeye is a ranged character, but he can mix it up if enemies close in on him.
The Hulk ground pound
The Hulk is a brawler character. (Surprised? Neither were we)
Thor hammer
Thor, and his hammer, will be joining the action as well!
Thor Lightning
We can't forget that Thor is the God of Thunder!
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