- Epic Mickey 2 – The Power of 2: Designed by Warren Spector, one of the most acclaimed game makers in America, this fantastic game allows you to play as Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit—Walt Disney’s first cartoon star. Gamers follow the heroes as they go on an adventure to Wasteland, the sad homeland of characters and theme-park rides that the company has scrapped over the years. Players can restore the world by using paint to fill in missing gaps or erasing obstacles with paint thinner. Each decision has an impact on how the game plays and how non-player characters view the drawn duo. Suitable for Disney fans of all ages.
- Just Dance – Disney Party: If you (or your kiddo) is blasting Radio Disney all day long, this Just Dance installment might be for you! With a mix of 25 songs from classic Disney flicks and Disney Channel original programming, there’s something for everyone to groove to. And with four player gameplay, the entire family can get in on the fun.
- Go Vacation: The whole family can get together and play as they travel to their family vacation spot, Kawawii Island. There are lots of games and activities for the family to do together, like carnival games, horseback riding, surfing, island exploration and more. It may not be quite the same as a family island getaway, but a virtual vacation is better than none at all.
- Kirby’s Return to Dreamland: Kirby is back in this fun-filled adventure. This time, he’s trying to pick up the pieces from an alien spaceship that has crashed in his world of Pop Star. Players of the game try to help Kirby gather all the pieces that are scattered about and also help Kirby’s friends join in on the crusade.
- Wii Party: A Mario Party game minus Mario, this collection of 80 quick and simple activities is spread over a group of grander games that take between 10 minutes and an hour to play. For example, a dice-based board game has players dashing up a mountain between pit-stops that could have them racing to deliver pizzas or trying to keep a tall stack of presents from falling, while a vacation game might see players jumping over logs or solving simple two-piece puzzles on their way to collecting international souvenirs. Skill plays a role, but games are often random enough that kindergartners can compete on the same level as teenagers or parents.
- Mario Galaxy 2: The most critically acclaimed Wii game of all time, this brilliantly imaginative platformer has Mario traveling through scores of galaxies that range from candy-themed planets to giant wooden sliding puzzles that float in the sky. There are also loads of new Mario suits — our mustached plumber can turn into a rolling rock to flatten enemies or become a bee to gain the ability to float — that help ensure no two levels feel the same. It may prove a bit difficult for younger ones, but a helpful princess shows up to offer hints and demonstrations when players run into trouble.
- Kirby’s Epic Yarn: Nintendo’s popular pink blob has been transformed into a pink string in Kirby’s Epic Yarn, his first adventure on the Wii. Once he morphs into the strange new textile form, he begins exploring a beautiful, two-dimensional patchwork world filled with buildings and landscapes composed of sheets of stitched fabric. New abilities include a yarn whip that he can use to snag his foes and the capacity to transform his yarn outline into various useful shapes, like a car or a submarine. Expect loads of clever play mechanics — like stepping behind the sheet-like facade of a house — that children as young as five will enjoy.
- U Draw Game Tablet: This third-party peripheral (made by THQ) is such a good match for the Wii that it seems strange Nintendo didn’t come up with it first. A slate and stylus that lets kids create works of art on their television screens, it comes with a graphics-editing suite called uDraw Studio that lets users save masterpieces to a memory card so they can be printed from a computer. Other uDraw software not included in the box includes Pictionary and a game called Dood’s Big Adventure that lets players create their own animated characters and environments.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns: The first new Donkey Kong game in half a decade, this side-scrolling platformer has players taking control of the game’s star as he swings on vines, launches out of barrels, dodges pirate ship cannon fire, and scoots along in a mining cart. Older players will appreciate how the game stays true to the franchise’s roots — collecting bananas is still a key element, and series favorite Diddy Kong plays an important role — but the action also appeals to those who have never played a Donkey Game before. Plus, two people can play together, making it a great option for parents to enjoy with their kids.
- Dance Dance Revolution Disney Grooves: Dance Dance Revolution, the video game that requires players to stand up and tap out dance moves on a special floor mat controller, has been a cult favorite for years now. But it has never been more appealing to a younger audience than with this Disney-fied version.
- Wii Music: Wii Music eschews the cover band format of other music simulation games for one that focuses on casual jam sessions. Up to four players can grab their Wii remotes and “play” them as they would normal instruments, replicating the sounds of guitars, keyboards, percussion, and dozens of other instruments. Best of all, the game automatically analyzes and adjusts to the group’s ability, so there are no “bad” tunes; your virtual band can play off key and still rock.
- Warioland – Shake it: The latest entry into the Wario series receives a literal shake up, as players are required to hold the Wii Remote sideways and shake it to attack enemies and perform special moves. By grabbing onto most anything and shaking the controller, Wario can shake powerups and money out of objects, which can then be used to buy maps that reveal additional area for even more hop-and-bop action.
- Hasbro Family Game Night: Does Battleship, Boggle, Connect Four, or Sorry evoke warm memories game nights with your family when you were growing up? Give your clan similar precious moments with Hasbro Game Night, the videogame versions of classic board games. Optional rule variations keep gameplay fresh, and gamers can build a virtual game room, earn trophies, and play various mini-games once they grow tired of screaming “Yahtzee!”
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