Fun New Video Games for Families

Nicer weather is on the way, but what to do while you are still trapped indoors? Check out these new video games and devices you can play with the kids.


Skylanders Imaginators is the newest in the proud Skylanders line of games.  Each game further expands on the previous, and lets real life toy-like figures meet and battle on the portal (game) and inside the game itself. Each character is unique and can be brought into the game with the included portal by simply placing the toy on the portal.  This newest iteration brings in a character creation element which makes for great fun and increased interactivity in a unique way.  The story follows the Skylanders as they try to defeat Kaos in his newest plan to destroy Skyland.  Kaos has found a new power called the Mind Magic and is creating an army of Doomlanders.  The leader of the good guys is Eon, and he calls upon Portal Masters to battle Kaos and his army.  But this time there are Sensei’s as well.  These sensei’s give you new powers for your Imaginators to use and be built with.  The new Nintendo system Switch has received its own version of this fun game, and now includes further mobility. You can also save your Skylanders’ figure stats and abilities to the system so you can play Skylanders on the go with your characters but without a portal or figures in tow.  This is a great new addition (and kind of a big deal)  and makes Skylanders able to be an “on the go” game as well.

Skylanders Imaginators

If you haven’t yet, you can also create your own Skylander that will be mailed to you in real life. My son flipped his lid over this, and your Skylanders fan will as well. It’s easy to do, just download the Skylanders Creator app from the iOS or Android store, and using the app, create an Imaginator character or transfer one from the Skylanders Imaginators console game to the app. Follow the directions, it takes just a few minutes once downloaded from start to finish. Any Skylander you created can be yours in real life- one of the cooler things we’ve seen in a while.  Highly recommend.

Nintendo Switch

Speaking of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has finally given us what we have been frothing at the mouth for, a new system!  Their newest console is the Switch.  It is both a portable as well as a use at home console, which I think is very neat.  It is easy to switch between the two, even in the middle of your current game.  The first thing you will notice upon opening up the Switch is there is not much in the box, a tablet and a stand, controllers, a few various controller accessories and cables.  This is exactly the point of the system- portability.  The tablet portion of the Switch is quite a powerhouse, with a crisp, gorgeous display.  The controllers are very responsive and are solidly built as well.  They do feel a bit small in Dad’s monster size hands, but are definitely still playable for long periods of time (especially when used in conjunction with the joy con grip, which turns the two small controllers into one bigger one for a more classic gaming feel).  It’s actually kind of telling of current gaming, all the different ways the Switch is played in our house.  My son loves playing portable, anywhere, from the kitchen to the bedroom, while dad loves the classic gaming feel with controller in hand on the TV.  The Switch’ s joy con controller can also act as two separate controllers for two players, which make for fun for all with the accessibility of a small controller with fewer buttons.  Non gamers will be easily  drawn into multiplayer games with the small controller making for a more fun multi-player experience.  The Switch is available now in stores and online retailing for $299.99.

breath of the wild
The Legend of Zelda has always been a fun franchise, ever expanding and growing with each entry.  The newest, Breath of the Wild, takes the player places they have never been in a Zelda game.  As Link, you will explore the vast area of Hyrule full of shrines, villages, friends, and foes, with fights being less of a button mashing event and more of a strategic battle.  What will strike the player in some of your earliest encounters will be how difficult this game actually is.  Do not expect to run into a fight, slash some baddies and hop out.  Each encounter is a lesson in sneaking, dodging, attacking, magic, and of course the ever important strategic get away (which does not always succeed).  As you progress through the game, your armor, weapons, and shields get damaged and break, needing to be replaced. Link himself learns new powers, abilities, and and gains friends.  This game also supports amiibos which can be a huge help.  The Breath of Wind series amiibos are all compatible as well as Wolf Link, and the Zelda 30th Anniversary amiibo to name a few.  When you use Wolf Link, you get a companion who will assist in battle and travel along side you.   Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is avilable now for $59.99 in stores and online as well as from the Nintendo eShop retailing for $59.99

yoshi and poochy

Yarn Yoshi is back and this time he has brought his woolly buddy Poochy in Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World.  Kamek the magikoopa has changed everyone into wool, and Yoshi and Poochy are here to save the day.  This game is a retelling of Yoshi Woolly World on the Wii U, by including over 55 levels of fun while also adding some new Poochy levels.  Every level has a craft feel where enemies are yarn and each texture and item is also craft based. There is also an ability to enter Mellow Mode where Yoshi sporty his signature wings and can float about, and adds Poochy’s 3 little puppies to help find secrets and hidden passages.  This game is great for players of all ages, where experienced players will try to collect all the items available while beginners will be happy to beat each level.  Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World is available only on the Nintendo 3DS and is available for download from the eShop or at retail locations.  In addition to the regular edition there is also an amiibo bundle where the game includes a Poochy amiibo packaged with it.

Need a last minute Halloween costume? Love #Skylanders ? Look Here!

Just in case you are still looking for that perfect Halloween costume for your Portal Masters, Skylanders costumes are back with fan-favorite characters like Spyro, Jet-Vac, Snapshot, Wallop, Chop Chop, and the most evilest, evildoer of all, Kaos. You can find your favorites at retail locations and online nationwide.

Additionally, if you want to spook up your Skylanders gameplay, pick up a Candy Coated Chopscotch, the latest holiday themed character for the newest addition to the franchise, Skylanders Imaginators, on sale now! The highly anticipated game empowers players to unleash their imaginations by giving them the freedom to create their very own Skylanders characters.

kids costume


  • Kaos

o   Package includes robe and mask

o   $27.99

o   Available at, Walmart

  • Spyro

o   Package includes jumpsuit with attached chest piece and wigs, hand and shoe covers and mask

o   $39.99

o   Available at and Party City

  • Crusher

o   Package includes jumpsuit with body armor and shoe covers, shin guards, gauntlet and mask

o   $39.99

o   Available at and Party City

  • Jetvac

o    Package includes jumpsuit with chest piece, shoe and hand covers, belt and mask

o    $39.99

o   Available at and Party City

  • Snapshot

o   Package includes jumpsuit, mask and inflatable weapon

o   $34.99

o   Available at, Party City, Walmart

  • Wallop

o   Package includes jumpsuit, mask and inflatable weapon

o   $34.99

o   Available at, Walmart

  • Chop Chop

o   Package includes jumpsuit, mask and inflatable weapon

o   $37.99

o   Available at Amazon and

Candy Coated Chopscotch

The only thing that ever mattered to Chopscotch was mastering her weapon of choice, the giant axe, while rocking out to her favorite musical idol, Wolfgang. It never bothered her that she was short in stature or that all of the other ghouls in the Underworld laughed at the way she spoke in rhymes as she made up her own lyrics to Wolfgang’s guitar jams. So when Wolfgang joined the villainous Doom Raiders, she was devastated. But instead of letting it destroy her, she chose to put her axe skills to good use, and fought Wolfgang and his Moon Goons when they attempted to curse her entire town during an evil concert. Her willingness to stand up to her long time hero came as a surprise to everyone, and soon all of the villagers were speaking in rhymes in her honor. Soon after, she met Master Eon, who was so impressed at her fighting abilities and positive outlook that he recruited her as a Sensei for the Smasher Class. Now she teaches new Skylanders how to fight… and how to rhyme!


Skylanders® is bringing another trailblazing innovation to the #1 kids console franchise(1) with the launch of Skylanders® SuperChargers on September 20, 2015 in North America. Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) and the leaders of the toys-to-life category it created, expands upon the franchise’s signature gameplay to introduce vehicles-to-life — an entirely new way for fans to experience the magic of Skylands.

At the helm of powerful, tricked-out land, sea and sky vehicles, Portal Masters can engage in a high-octane action-adventure videogame like never before. Kids can speed across Skylands’ roads in vehicular combat, race down roaring rapids and engage in aerial dogfights as they barrel-roll through enemy swarms for the first time. Developed by Vicarious Visions, Skylanders SuperChargers offers a rich story-driven gameplay experience, filled with vehicle-based and on-foot adventures, combat, puzzles, mini games, activities and platforming, set within a variety of all-new compelling environments.

“We created the toys-to-life category and have continued to lead it by bringing new innovations and new magic to the genre with each and every game. First we brought action figures to life, and now we’re bringing vehicles to life with Skylanders SuperChargers,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “We love making these games because in order to do it well, you have to constantly tap into your inner kid. What kid hasn’t imagined epic vehicles with amazing powers and dreamed about the adventures they could have with them? Skylanders SuperChargers makes those dreams real.”

Skylanders SuperChargers features a brand-new class of heroes, called SuperChargers who are distinct with fresh moves, powerful attacks and all-new weapons.  These SuperChargers also have special in-game abilities that help Portal Masters fight Kaos.  Twenty new SuperChargers character toys and 20 new vehicle toys will be available.

Players will have the ability to customize all vehicles in-game with super cool modifications and upgradeable weapons. For the ultimate gameplay experience, players can pair a SuperCharger Skylander with its signature vehicle to create a SuperCharged combination, unlocking an exclusive mod that revs up the performance of both the vehicle and character. Not only are the vehicles playable in the game, but also many feature moving parts, making them fun to play with outside of the game.  Additionally, Skylanders SuperChargers supports all 300+ Skylanders toys from previous games, enabling all Skylanders characters to pilot land, sea or sky-based vehicles.

“Since first partnering with Activision to bring the original Skylanders® Spyro’s Adventure to our stores, we have believed whole-heartedly in the magic and innovation of this brand, as well as the company’s ability to reimagine and redefine play experiences with the toys-to-life concept,” said Richard Barry, Global Chief Merchandising Officer, Toys”R”Us, Inc. “With each new introduction, Activision never disappoints its highly loyal fans of the franchise, and we are thrilled to continue to offer the broadest assortment of all Skylanders® merchandise, including the newly introduced Skylanders SuperChargers.”

The game’s storyline focuses on Kaos’ latest attempt to rule Skylands. In his efforts to take down the Skylanders, Kaos has unleashed his most sinister weapon ever – a massive “Doomstation of Ultimate Doomstruction” capable of eating the sky itself!  Fortunately, Master Eon has seen the warning signs and assembled a special team of Skylanders to pilot an unstoppable fleet of land, sea and sky vehicles with the power to travel through the reign of destruction to stop Kaos!

To support the game’s announcement, motorsports champion Travis Pastrana stars in the Skylanders SuperChargers trailer. Check out Pastrana having a blast with the Skylanders! Fans can pre-order Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs beginning on June 3 at select retail destinations worldwide for the suggested retail price of $74.99 in North America, which includes two new Skylanders characters, a first-of-its kind Skylanders vehicle, newly designed Portal of Power®+ and the full AAA game. Skylanders SuperChargers will be available on Xbox 360™ and  Xbox One™video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PlayStation® 3 and PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment systems, Nintendo’s Wii U™ system, and a different, unique adventure will be made available on Nintendo’s Wii™ system and the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system. Additionally, the complete Skylanders SuperChargers experience will be available on iPad®. The game will be available on September 20 in North America, September 24 in Australia/New Zealand; and on September 25 in Europe.

Skylanders Trap Team

Disclosure- We received the below in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own and honest.

Skylanders are here again?  Still? Either way the new Trap Team game is a blast to play.  Not only for adults but also for kids.  This is one of those games that will bring parents and children together in the same game with the same goals and game play.  The controls are simple, jump, attack, explore, with special powers unlocked the more you play.  Trap Team takes this familiar game play of the previous Skylanders games and adds a new element, the traps.  Traps come in many different types all of which can be used to capture enemies in the game and change them into your own playable characters.  This includes for the first time Kaos himself.  This element doesn’t sound like much to the uninitiated but it is actually great fun with added sound effects and voices which come from the portla itself as your new conquests are sucked into the trap crystal.
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New Skylanders SWAP Force

We are now on the third Skylanders game and with each new game it seems they get better and better.  The most recent addition is SWAP Force, which not only let you swap out figures but also characteristics of each figure, or in easier terms the tops and bottoms.

3 21 14 058Each Swap Force figure has the ability to trade its top or bottom with other Swap Force figures.  This makes for some very interesting combinations of figures upon game release.  But as the line expands, as it recently has, things get even more interesting and more possibilities arise.  Very recently Skylanders has dropped some new figures on the general public.  These figures include Freeze Blade, Fryno, Scratch, and Trap Shadow.  Freeze Blade and Trap Shadow are Swapable while Fryno and Scratch are regular Skylanders figures, who ONLY bring their digital counterparts to life when put on the portal while the game is on.  Of these new figures I like Trap Shadow best.  Something about Traps and Shadows just sends shivers down my spine.  Little Man loves Fire Bone Hot Dog.  Its a dog and it has a bone?  Instant classic.
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Mega Bloks Skylanders Swap Force

Disclosure- I received the below in order to facilitate the review. All opinions are my own and honest.


Mega Bloks are at it again with their newest video game tie in for Skylanders :Swap Force.  Mega Bloks are the makes of brick based construction sets for little ones much like other block building sets, but the key difference is the figures are a bit different.  They are less block y and more movable.  Each figure has multiple points of articulation, they can move any which way you want.  Arms and legs have ball joints making more realistic motion available.  So Flynn can break dance, bust a move or just fight some bad guys.  Each set sports at least one figure which is nice.  The one we are looking at today is: Flynn’s Rescue Ship.

skylanders blocks

Flynn’s ship sports 3 figures, the main ship itself as well as a separate flying mast which can be used to transport characters back and forth to and from various other sets or just the living room table.  The ship itself has two levels of play available, above and below deck.  Above deck has a working crane, and landing area.  Below deck has a firing launcher from a hide away spot and an intricate looking engine.  Along with the figures and vehicles, there are also a ton of accessories to complete the setting, like wenches, hammers, chests to plunder, barrels to break while looking for loot and even a stand for one of the figures, Magna Charge.  The stand helps keep the wheeled figure from falling over while also looking like he/she is ripping up the ground getting ready to speed off.  Also since Magna Charge is a Swap Force character he can easily be separated in two and swapped with other Mega Bloks Swap Force figures to further extend play time.
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Game On!


Disclosure- I received the below in order to facilitate my review.  All my opinions are my own and honest.

Looking to connect with the kids in a virtual way, but still hang out together in the “real world”? Check out these fun systems and games, perfect for rainy days, nights, and family fun for most ages.

Ouya started life as a Kick starter campaign, and quickly became fully funded and then some. Ouya is an android, 4.1 jelly bean, based micro console. The hardware does its job well and because of Ouya’s open source thought process has great potential for upgrades and do it yourself add-ons.
Currently there are over 400 games available for Ouya ranging from racing games to role playing to action games, all of which feature a free to play element in the form of free levels, free trials or being completely free. With the free to play element, you can actually try every game before buying it- meaning you will never pay good money for a not-so-good game with the Ouya.

The console comes packed with one Blue Tooth controller. Additional controllers can be purchased and other Blue Tooth controllers can be paired with the console in a pinch. Ouya retails for $99 and is available at fine stores everywhere as well as from

With every new console innovation a bright shiny new technology is expected, but with the Nintendo 2DS handheld system, some components are improved or altered. The handheld is based on the 3DS, but has tweaked it a bit to have a lower price point, and more accessibility to kids. This, in addition to a big design change, gives players a new way to play their 3DS and DS games.

Oct 28 2013 012

 The 2DS in comparison to the 3DS is now one solid unit, no hinge in the middle, which also makes it harder to break. Also it has a more tablet-like feel, with a slight tilt when put down, to rest easier on a hard surface. The 2DS can play most DS games as well as all 3DS games,with crisp sharp graphics and some incredibly fun games like Pokemon X and Y and Legend of Zelda, A Link Between Worlds, which makes the entertainment and value for your dollar quite high. With the reduction of 3D the price of the 2DS was also reduced, leading to a more wallet friendly way to get the newest system and games in the hands of you and your kids.
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