Nicer weather is on the way, but what to do while you are still trapped indoors? Check out these new video games and devices you can play with the kids.
Skylanders Imaginators is the newest in the proud Skylanders line of games. Each game further expands on the previous, and lets real life toy-like figures meet and battle on the portal (game) and inside the game itself. Each character is unique and can be brought into the game with the included portal by simply placing the toy on the portal. This newest iteration brings in a character creation element which makes for great fun and increased interactivity in a unique way. The story follows the Skylanders as they try to defeat Kaos in his newest plan to destroy Skyland. Kaos has found a new power called the Mind Magic and is creating an army of Doomlanders. The leader of the good guys is Eon, and he calls upon Portal Masters to battle Kaos and his army. But this time there are Sensei’s as well. These sensei’s give you new powers for your Imaginators to use and be built with. The new Nintendo system Switch has received its own version of this fun game, and now includes further mobility. You can also save your Skylanders’ figure stats and abilities to the system so you can play Skylanders on the go with your characters but without a portal or figures in tow. This is a great new addition (and kind of a big deal) and makes Skylanders able to be an “on the go” game as well.
If you haven’t yet, you can also create your own Skylander that will be mailed to you in real life. My son flipped his lid over this, and your Skylanders fan will as well. It’s easy to do, just download the Skylanders Creator app from the iOS or Android store, and using the app, create an Imaginator character or transfer one from the Skylanders Imaginators console game to the app. Follow the directions, it takes just a few minutes once downloaded from start to finish. Any Skylander you created can be yours in real life- one of the cooler things we’ve seen in a while. Highly recommend.
Speaking of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has finally given us what we have been frothing at the mouth for, a new system! Their newest console is the Switch. It is both a portable as well as a use at home console, which I think is very neat. It is easy to switch between the two, even in the middle of your current game. The first thing you will notice upon opening up the Switch is there is not much in the box, a tablet and a stand, controllers, a few various controller accessories and cables. This is exactly the point of the system- portability. The tablet portion of the Switch is quite a powerhouse, with a crisp, gorgeous display. The controllers are very responsive and are solidly built as well. They do feel a bit small in Dad’s monster size hands, but are definitely still playable for long periods of time (especially when used in conjunction with the joy con grip, which turns the two small controllers into one bigger one for a more classic gaming feel). It’s actually kind of telling of current gaming, all the different ways the Switch is played in our house. My son loves playing portable, anywhere, from the kitchen to the bedroom, while dad loves the classic gaming feel with controller in hand on the TV. The Switch’ s joy con controller can also act as two separate controllers for two players, which make for fun for all with the accessibility of a small controller with fewer buttons. Non gamers will be easily drawn into multiplayer games with the small controller making for a more fun multi-player experience. The Switch is available now in stores and online retailing for $299.99.
The Legend of Zelda has always been a fun franchise, ever expanding and growing with each entry. The newest, Breath of the Wild, takes the player places they have never been in a Zelda game. As Link, you will explore the vast area of Hyrule full of shrines, villages, friends, and foes, with fights being less of a button mashing event and more of a strategic battle. What will strike the player in some of your earliest encounters will be how difficult this game actually is. Do not expect to run into a fight, slash some baddies and hop out. Each encounter is a lesson in sneaking, dodging, attacking, magic, and of course the ever important strategic get away (which does not always succeed). As you progress through the game, your armor, weapons, and shields get damaged and break, needing to be replaced. Link himself learns new powers, abilities, and and gains friends. This game also supports amiibos which can be a huge help. The Breath of Wind series amiibos are all compatible as well as Wolf Link, and the Zelda 30th Anniversary amiibo to name a few. When you use Wolf Link, you get a companion who will assist in battle and travel along side you. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is avilable now for $59.99 in stores and online as well as from the Nintendo eShop retailing for $59.99
Yarn Yoshi is back and this time he has brought his woolly buddy Poochy in Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World. Kamek the magikoopa has changed everyone into wool, and Yoshi and Poochy are here to save the day. This game is a retelling of Yoshi Woolly World on the Wii U, by including over 55 levels of fun while also adding some new Poochy levels. Every level has a craft feel where enemies are yarn and each texture and item is also craft based. There is also an ability to enter Mellow Mode where Yoshi sporty his signature wings and can float about, and adds Poochy’s 3 little puppies to help find secrets and hidden passages. This game is great for players of all ages, where experienced players will try to collect all the items available while beginners will be happy to beat each level. Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World is available only on the Nintendo 3DS and is available for download from the eShop or at retail locations. In addition to the regular edition there is also an amiibo bundle where the game includes a Poochy amiibo packaged with it.