The holidays are almost upon us and before you know it you’ll be celebrating with family. What better way to spend time bonding than with games? The following is a list of great games to play with your family that are appropriate for all ages and will keep your competitive, or co-operative, spirits going all evening.
Rock Band 3 – PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
Rock Band is back, this time with new instruments and an innovative pro mode that will surely impress the musicians in your family. When playing pro mode on keyboards you can play songs note for note and can actually learn a thing or two about playing piano. A similar option is available for the new 100 button pro guitar, which uses buttons that correspond to real frets and strings. The game will actually show you how to perform chords, but at a much faster pace than you would when learning anywhere else. The drums weren’t left out in the cold, new cymbals are available so that you can play the real drum parts to songs. For those not interested in this new pro mode, which can get quite expensive really, there are 83 new songs to play along to, plenty to keep you and your family jamming all night long.
Just Dance 2 – Wii
The first Just Dance was a cultural phenomenon and its sequel is no slouch either. Filled with hilarious routines and a nice soundtrack complete with songs for every age group, Just Dance 2 is easily accessible fun for the whole family that will get everyone off of the couch. Unlike Dance Central for Kinect, which can only be played by one person at a time, Just Dance 2 allows up to four players to dance at once, provided you have the room.
Kinect Sports – Xbox 360
For those who have the $150 Kinect peripheral for Xbox 360, there is a cool new way to play many of your Wii Sports favorites in Kinect sports. Interestingly enough, since the game itself costs $50 dollars you could actually buy a Wii bundled with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort with Motion Plus for the same price. The Kinect stands out by offering a new, if a bit inaccurate at times, way to play using no controllers at all. Your real life motions will control sports like bowling, table tennis and soccer. This new motion tech will literally force the family off of the couch, seeing as it has trouble reading your movements when sitting down.
Donkey Kong Country Returns – Wii
This game features great co-op play that is a treat for those who grew up with the Donkey Kong Country games on Super Nintendo. Featuring lush graphics, intense platforming action and tons of secrets, this game is a more than worthy follow up to the esteemed franchise. The second player controls Donkey Kong’s sidekick Diddy, complete with new equipment like a peanut shooter which stuns enemies and jetpack to help him cross nasty gaps. Donkey Kong has some new tricks as well like climbing on foliage, pounding the ground to uncover secrets, and using his mighty lungs to blow out fires. The game can be difficult at times, making it a perfect game for the entire family to tackle together.
Wii Party – Wii
Wii Party is basically Mario Party, minus Mario, plus an assortment of innovative new minigames that integrate a healthy dose of real world interaction into your play time. The “hide the remote” mode challenges players to find a beeping remote somewhere in the room, under the couch or hidden amongst the pillows. Another mode, “Pass the Bomb” is a variant of hot potato that forces you to pass the remote carefully back and forth before it explodes. If the remote is jostled around too much it can cause the bomb to explode prematurely- so be careful! Wii Party will get the whole family involved like no other board game ever could.