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GameFam

December 18, 2006

The GameFam 2006 "D'oh!-There's-Only-1-Week-Left" Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

If you've been keeping up with my recent posts, you know that there's no way that I can duplicate last year's GameFam Holiday Gift Guide. This one ain't gonna be nearly as comprehensive, well-organized, or visually delicious as the 2005 version.

So here are the games I recommend for your young kids this year. I'll link to the ones I've already reviewed, and I'll try to add some detail as the week goes on, but no promises.

6 Comments:

  • Hey, better late than never! :)

    If I might be so bold, allow me to add PopCap's Bookworm Adventures (PC) to that list, as well as Elebits (Wii). Really, nothing pleases me more than when my kids beg to play a game that requires them to improve their vocabulary and spelling.

    Elebits is just plain fun, and while there is some difficulty, most kids will just dig on tossing furniture around. It's very Katamri-esque, in that you don't feel rushed or pressured...you just play. I like that a lot.

    Oh, and I nearly forgot Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii). It's just so FUN. And Silly. VERY SILLY. It's one of the few games where losing is just about as much fun as winning. Go Figure. :-)

    By Blogger WizarDru, at 6:40 AM  

  • I went back and forth on Rayman RR for a while. The mini-games are indeed delightfully silly and great for kids. I played a little at work during lunch (pretty cool to work with so many people who also love games).

    The only thing that gave me pause was that what I saw of the story that strings the mini-games together was pretty dark and potentially scary for young kids. But if you've seen more of it and can vouch for it not being such an issue, than that would definitely put it back onto the list.

    We haven't played the newest Bookworm game yet, but we've played other ones in the past and the kids liked 'em.

    At E3, I liked Elebits for its potential, but I haven't seen enough of it to put it on the list yet.

    By Blogger Dan, at 9:16 AM  

  • Actually, there isn't much of a story to speak of in Rayman, per se. The opening isn't even the opening from the trailer. The story is thus:

    Rayman is having a picnic with these froggie things (called Globoxes, I guess), when suddenly a bunch of rabbids appear and kidnap them. Rayman is dropped into an arena full of screaming bunnies and force to play minigames. After completing four or five minigames successfully, he gets taken back to his cell.

    Interestingly, after four or five days worth of victories, the crowd begins changing their attitude. The bunnies stop jeering and eventually start cheering. Most of the game is no darker than a Warner Brothers cartoon...at least that I've seen.

    It's the first game I can recall where my son intentionally lost a minigame because the whole thing made him giggle so much.

    If there's anything I'd think some parents might objectionable, it's the light presence of mild toilet humor (one minigame involves slamming the doors on rabbits who don't latch them shut on their port-a-potties or the drawing game where the rabbid lets out a huge belch at the end of the game).

    I'm not ready to recommend Elebits unconditionally, but I've played it for about four hours and think it's 'sandbox' nature is really enjoyable for kids, even if they might need help with some of the goals. The game starts with simple 'just finish the level in time X' choices, then moves to 'explore as long as you want' and 'complete it with more restrictions (don't break stuff)' variants.

    By Blogger WizarDru, at 5:59 AM  

  • You should take a look at Toblo

    It's a capture-the-flag game which is very kid friendly. Just got nominated in this year's IGF

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:16 PM  

  • Oh...

    Forgot to mention that Toblo is free and can be downloaded from their website.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:17 PM  

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