I have several nieces and a nephew in addition to my own two kids to buy for this season and I wanted to find out what games (both video and old school “board” games) are new and hot this holiday season. I thought I’d share what I came up with in case you have gamers to buy for as well.
Ubisoft has eight new titles being released before December 1st including Rocksmith for PS3 and XBOX 360 (MSRP $79.99 for game and cable). Rocksmith is the first and only video game that plugs into any real guitar and features gameplay that automatically adjusts to the player’s skill level. Rocksmith engages experienced musicians and those who are picking up guitar for the first time. The game includes a sizeable library of music from classic rock bands to current artists, such as The Animals, The Black Keys, David Bowie, Interpol, Nirvana and The Rolling Stones.
The company also recently released Just Dance 3 (MSRP $39.99) for all platforms which has a new line-up of 50 popular songs each with unique choreography. Following the first two installments which sold more than 12 million units worldwide to date, Just Dance 3 Kinect players can dance simultaneously for the first time as well as have the chance to create their own unique choreographies.
Xbox 360 “Kinect Sports” was one of last year’s top-selling games, so you can imagine that the sequel, with updated gameplay and features, is highly anticipated. Rated E for everyone, Kinect Sports: Season Two (MSRP $49.99) features six full, new, team-based and individual sports; tennis, golf, American football, baseball, skiing and darts with unique challenges and activities for each.
An exciting new release on November 15, 2011, was the Kinect Disneyland Adventures game (MSRP $49.99) The first title coming out of a licensing agreement between Microsoft Studios and Disney Interactive Studios, children, parents and Disney fans can explore Disneyland park from Main Street U.S.A. to Critter Country, joining Peter Pan in battling Captain Hook, high-fiving Mickey Mouse or hugging Snow White using their full bodies and voices.
While electronics dominate the market, good-old fashioned board game fun is also popular. Fastrack by Blue-Orange Games has recently hit the market and already voted a top toy by ASTRA. A classic wooden game, Fastrack (MSRP $22.95) is a simple battle game for those ages five and older. Players shoot checker-type pieces at each other to score points.
Another new game out by ThinkFun, the makers of Zingo, is Cartoon It (MSRP $22.95). Players have 30 seconds to memorize a cartoon character with six specific features shown on the Character Card. When time is up, all players draw their cartoon character from memory using hints from the Features Board.
Perfect for three to seven players ages 13 and up, Faux Cabulary (MSRP $29.99) came out last spring and is very popular. A crazy definition is read to the group and players use the wacky word parts to create funny new words to fit the definition. Each new word is read out loud, and the “Wordmeister” picks the best one.
If you are hosting a get-together this holiday season, The Game of Things (MSRP $26.99) is the perfect adult party game from Hasbro. Players are presented with topics such as “Things a chimp thinks about when he sees you at the zoo…” or “Things that you’ll say to get out of a speeding ticket…” and asked to write down the first things that come to mind – from the practical to the downright silly.
Remember the iconic 80‘s game, Simon? I remember the year my cousins got this for Christmas (it was the same year I got a Merlin game from Santa!) We played this game all night and thought it was the ultimate in high-tech games.
Hasbro put a new spin on the classic light-up game that challenges players to conquer the colors by repeating the patterns of the four jewel-toned cubes as they light up in four different games of memory and logic.
My kids played with Simon Flash and loved it. There are four ways to play.
1. You can choose to play Simon Flash like you did in the 80’s by successfully repeating the sequence of lights.
2. You can play Simon shuffle where you have a pattern of lights but then they shuffle and players have to get them back into the original pattern.
3. You can line up all the cubes in the correct order to make all the lights turn off…a 90 second game!
4. You can keep rearranging the cubes until they all light up in the same color.
We love the cool carrying case the tiles fit neatly in and Jackson has already taken it to his friends house to play. While Simon Flash (MSRP $29.99) is recommended for those ages eight and up, my almost six-year-old daughter loved it, too!
Would Simon Flash be a hit with someone you know and love this holiday season? One lucky Still Living The Dream reader is going to win one! All you have to do is leave me a comment with who you’d give it to if you win. A winner will be selected at random on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Open to those in the U.S. only.
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