Win a Winner!
Writers & Photographers
Berlitz Summer Camp
by Allen Rausch
By Activision for Xbox 360, PS3, DS, PC and Wii; $69.99 (Starter Pack) $19.99 (Adventure Packs); Rated E10+, ages 8 and up
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure is the kind of product that will get a parent’s shields up for the same reason it gets kids excited. While the game itself is an exceptionally well-done combination of video game, collectible action figures, and online community, at $69.99, the basic game is pretty pricy and the “collectible” aspect can run into some serious money.
The Starter Pack comes with the game, three Skylanders action figures and the “Portal of Power,” a USB device that can be hooked up to a game console or a PC. When you place figures on the Portal, they then appears in the video game.
The game itself is a delightful adventure where players cooperatively battle against an evil but bumbling wizard to defend Skyland. The game also has a mode that lets Skylanders battle each other or compete in well-designed mini-games. Even better, any rewards or powers or achievements a character gets in the game are actually saved in the figure. Take a Skylander to a friend’s house or play against others online and each Skylander action figure eventually becomes unique.
To continue your adventure, $19.99 “Adventure Packs” are available with new figures and new areas in the game world to explore. The number of “Adventure Packs” you eventually cave in and purchase is up to you (The basic game can be completed with the three characters in the Starter Pack.), but you will get your money’s worth out of Skylanders. It’s a great game and your kids will love it.
LeapFrog’s LeapPad inspired love in my kids the instant the unit came out of the box.
The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time|
If you or your kids have never played this masterpiece, Nintendo has you covered with this brilliant updating for the 3DS.
PushMo, an absolutely brilliant title only available through the eShop is easily one of the best shape-based puzzle games since the original Tetris.
Just Dance 3|
The Just Dance series turns dancing into a game, a game into a workout, and a workout into so much fun you won’t realize how much you’re sweating.
Game On! Nintendo 3DS|
The latest addition to the DS family, the Nintendo 3DS, is an extraordinary handheld gaming machine that produces 3D images you don’t need special glasses to see. It’s an amazing concept, even more amazing when you see it in action.
Game On! Babysitting Mama|
Some of the best video games out there don’t take place is a future world or a fantasy kingdom. They just let you experience something from real life with all of the boring parts pulled out.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess|
When looking for gaming options during tough economic times, it’s good to remember that many publishers will re-release excellent games a few years after their initial release as part of a line of value-priced classic games.
Pokémon Black & Pokémon White|
Pokémon Black and White essentially reinvents and reboots the series.