Teens, Parents, & Family
Teens are tricky to shop for, but we’ve created a list of games that will encourage family time even as your son or daughter starts spending more time with friends than family.
What it is: Fleece plush toys that come in endless shape, color, and size combinations.
Why we like it: Each ugly doll has a tag describing the doll’s unique personality. These dolls are durable and fit well into a teenager’s bedroom. For a list of dolls, visit here.
Super Mario All-Stars
What it is: he player has several translucent, oddly-shaped pieces and a book of puzzles of scrambled letters. The player must lay the pieces over each puzzle in such a way that words are identified – but there must be no letters left out.
Why we like it: This challenging brainteaser will please fans of crossword puzzles and Tetris. Truly tricky.
What it is: A fast-moving, fast-thinking word game where players or teams race against the timer to create five words of varying lengths: one each of a six, five, four, three, and two-letter word out of twenty randomly chosen letter tiles.
Why we like it: We particularly liked Dabble, because it encourages a lot of quick thinking, vocabulary recall, flexibility and strategy. We especially enjoyed the variation of the game where all players can receive bonus points for coming up with certain subject words in a category (such as “clothing”), whether or not they win the round.
What it is: Every level of Super Scribblenauts is a puzzle featuring the main character Maxwell. To solve the puzzle, players type in an object that will be placed in the scene or played with by Maxwell.Super Scribblenauts adds a new dimension to this gameplay with the addition of adjectives. Now, not only can you create a robot and a zombie, you can make a robot zombie.
Why we like it: With Super Scribblenauts, it’s clear that the game designers focused on what was working in the original title, while eliminating most of what wasn’t. Though it’ll be most enjoyed by younger kids, it’s a fun game for older siblings to play with younger ones, as older ones will be able to come up with more items to draw.
Disney Epic Mickey
What it is: An action adventure game with role-playing game elements starring, of course, Mickey.
Why we like it: The amazingly imaginative plot of this strange and dark Disney videogame will interest diverse players: Disney goes well beyond its smiley-face persona and creates a “Dark Knight” version of Mickey’s animated reality. A fun treat for fans of games like Final Fantasy.
What it is: Game cards picturing various multi-colored patterns are dealt out to up to ten (yes, I said ten!) players who are seated around a bright yellow totem. As each player takes his turn flipping a card face up, everyone keeps an eye out for matching patterns. Once two of the same pattern are revealed on the table, players race to grab the totem in order to discard their extra cards. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins. This is the most basic way to play, but there are instructions for additional variations as well.
Why we like it: If you are looking for a new fast-paced, exciting game to add to your family game night, Jungle Speed might be for you. Multiple gameplay variations mean that the replay value with this one is high, and difficulty can be adjusted for various skill levels.