In play

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

I've created lists in three categories: Kids, Teens and Family. For each category, I've listed five games, in no particular order, that are worth checking out. Plus there's a brief description about each one. So without hesitation, here you go:


Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (Nintendo DS)

The sequel to the original Pokemon Ranger promises to be as amazing as its predecessor. With touch screen controls and the addictiveness of the Pokemon series of games, Shadows of Almia is a real winner. Play as a Pokemon Ranger and use your Pokemon to save everyone in trouble.

Toontown Subscription Card (PC, Online)

For kids, Toontown is an amazing online game. It sports multiplayer minigames and social interaction, set in a Disney world. Run around with Mickey and Goofy while battling cogs, and save the day! Toontown is a free download at but requires a monthly paid subscription for all of the game's benefits.

Monster Lab (Wii, PS2, DS)

Take on the role of an apprentice scientist and create monsters to save the world. With the unique monster generation system, Monster Lab boasts that you'll never have the same monster twice. Take on challenges with your monster or battle with your friends to see whose monster is the best!

My Sims Kingdom (Wii)

My Sims Kingdom is a game based in the popular Sims World. Players take control of King Roland, the tiny leader of a new world. Use your Wii remote to help King Roland build up his kingdom by constructing buildings for your royal subjects and even furniture for said houses.

Cooking Mama: World Kitchen (Wii)

A sequel to the popular Cooking Mama, World Kitchen continues the fun with new recipes and new game modes. Using the Wii's motion control features, you create culinary masterpieces step by step, minigames style. Cut vegetables by using the Wii remote like a knife or stir sauces by using the Wii remote as a spoon. Cook dishes from all around the world, showing kids all different ethnicities of food.


Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades (DS)

In this installment of Guitar Hero for the Nintendo DS, you can play through songs starting with today's rock and roll hits and going all the way back to hits from the 70s. The game features 28 master tracks with 21 of them exclusive to Decades. Plus, by linking up with a friend wirelessly, you can play through songs from both Decades and the original Guitar Hero on Tour.

Need for Speed: Undercover (360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS, PC)

Need for Speed: Undercover is a racing game where you play a good guy, trying to bring down a criminal racing group. Collect amazing cars, race on street tracks, and go for the win in this new saga in arguably the greatest racing series ever.

Da Blob (Wii)

Play as Da Blob, a paint absorbing, rolling, bouncing blob and bring back color to a colorless world. Using Wii's motion control and simple-to-understand gameplay, Da Blob is a truly addicting title for hours of fun.

Disney Sing It (PS3, 360, PS2, Wii)

Pick up the mic and sing away to 35 songs from Disney Channel Series and movies. Disney Sing it is a karaoke game where you can take the role of a Disney Channel recording artist. Sing for the high score, or sing with or against a friend for the ultimate experience.

Nerf N-Strike (Wii)

Nerf N-Strike comes as a bundle with a real Nerf gun which can also double as a controller for the video game. The actual video game is pretty ingenious, with players using the Nerf blaster as their controller. The game sports 30 different Nerf blasters for use in the game with four-player multiplayer compatibility.


Rock Band 2/Guitar Hero World Tour (PS3, 360, Wii)

I lump them together because they're pretty much the same game. Rock out to almost 90 songs (in either game) with plastic guitars and smack away on plastic drums. Get the band together for four-player rock and roll goodness. In the 360 and PS3 versions, you can download a number of new songs via the online marketplaces (usually available on Tuesdays).

Hasbro Family Game Night (Wii, PS2)

Get the family together for a board game-on your TV! Play Hasbro classics like Yahtzee, Battleship, Connect Four and Sorry! With new versions of classic board games, Hasbro has hit a homerun with this one.

Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party (Wii)

Minigames, minigames, minigames. TV Party has lots of minigames, and does them they way minigames are supposed to be played. Use the Wii remote and the Wii balance board and help Rayman escape from the evil Rabbids. With up to eight-player multiplayer action, TV Party is sure to be a family hit.

Family Party: 30 Great Games (Wii)

Using the Wii's motion control, take control of your player and take part in track and field games, shooting gallery and playground games.

You're in the Movies (360)

Using the Xbox live camera, up to four players can star in their own movie. Pick between choices like kung-fu, horror or sci-fi, pick a script and away you go. Get the family together and film away!

So there you have itmy best suggestions for this year's holiday gifts. Happy holidays!