Got gamers? We do, too. Here are a few of the latest titles that will be keeping our kids (OK, and maybe us as well) occupied during the coming rainy days and cold nights.
– "Lightseekers," TOMY
You can play this unique game using just the app or with what the company calls "connected play," which "fuses augmented reality, physical trading cards, digital action figures, and more." The figures are especially cool and can be used as actual game controllers, something we've never seen before. There's no portal – all you need is your tablet, the app, and Bluetooth to link everything together, and you're good to go. The interactive trading cards bring features into play and into (virtual) reality as you use them. Starter packs are about $40 at your favorite retailer. https://www.lightseekers.com
– "Metroid Samus Returns," Nintendo
Never miss a local story.
If you're a Nintendo 3DS fan, you'll want to check out what is essentially Part II of the 1991 Game Boy classic game. Bounty hunter Samus Aran is back to finally rid the planet of the menace known as Metroid. And because the world has changed a lot since 1991, he's got new moves, upgraded weaponry, and of course foes who just won't quit. If you don't remember Samus (or weren't even alive in the 1990s), not to worry. You'll have a blast anyway. This game itself runs $40 and is for the 3DS family only. A two-pack of amiibo (Samus Aran and Metroid) is about $30. https://www.nintendo.com/
– "LEGO NINJAGO Movie Game," LEGO
"LEGO" and "NINJAGO" fans have been eagerly awaiting the newest in film in the LEGO franchise. And gamers have been just-as-eagerly awaiting the game based on the brick flick. You'll have tons of fun battling enemies as you take on the persona of your favorite Ninjago heroes, like Kai, Cole, Zane, or Master Wu and you fight to defend your home from Lord Garmadon and the evil Shark Army. The game retails for about $40 on many gaming platforms. https://www.lego.com
"LEGO Dimensions," LEGO
If you're a LEGO fan, you'll want the newest "LEGO Dimensions." Already in Wave 9, some of the latest buildable interactive toys are the Beetlejuice Fun Pack and other Fun Packs based on popular TV shows "Teen Titans Go!" and "The Powerpuff Girls." Place the figures on a portal and they magically appear into the game you're playing. However, unlike similar figures in other systems, in true LEGO form, you have to build these. According to our in-house gaming experts, the Packs give you more "DLC" (downloadable content) than some other games. There are also a variety of licenses, universes, and characters to choose from, which makes game play that much more interesting. https://www.lego.com
– "Monster Hunters," Nintendo
In this fun, exciting game from Nintendo, you become an explorer, warrior, and zoologist as you make your way through the world. During your travels, you'll hunt and care for eggs–which you'll hatch–and you'll befriend a variety of monsters with different skill sets, and will customize your own monster. The scenery varies greatly, from desert to tundra, and there are plenty of battles to keep you on your toes. The game retails for about $40.Compatible amiibo figures are sold separately. https://www.nintendo.com
"Mario & Luigi SuperStar Saga + Bowser's Minions," Nintendo
Yes, that's quite the mouthful of a title. Mario and Luigi are back, battling familiar bad guys to save Beanbean Kingdom, rescue the Princess, and even Bowser. The storyline takes place in one of Mario and Luigi's more classic settings, but as you play, you'll discover plenty of new details, new attacks, familiar friends and foes, and plenty of challenging puzzles. Great for fans and newbie alike, this is a terrific game for all ages and abilities. It's available for about $40 at most retailers. Compatible amiibo are sold separately. https://www.nintendo.com
(Armin and Samantha are the authors of the popular parenting blogs: http://www.mrdad.com and http://www.havesippywilltravel.com.
For more reviews of toys and games, visit http://www.parentsatplay.com/)