Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Nintendo Glow (Holiday Gift Ideas, Round 2)

It’s no secret than in just over a year my family has gone from non-gamers to total gamers. Nintendo gamers that is. I wouldn’t have believed it if you’d have told me that last September before we hosted our Wii party. No way. I did not expect to be won over--but I have been, by not only the folks behind Nintendo but by the products! The Wii has been a welcome addition to our family since we got it last Christmas. We still have regular family bowling or golf tourneys in our living room. No kidding. Unfortunately, the Wii is hard to come by again this year so I won’t be talking it up anymore. At least for now. I did however want to preface this post with a little bit of our Nintendo story.

One Nintendo product that is readily available this season (YAY!) is the DS Lite. Love, love, love it. I had never even heard of a DS before we were gifted a few last year (one for each of our girls) and now, I cannot imagine life with out these little wonders. I know, it’s so dramatic, like when people were like “you don’t have a cell phone? How could you live without a cell phone?” Yes, I was a cell phone hold out and was probably the last person in the free world to get one. Well, although the DS might not be as crucial to everyday life as a cell phone, when it comes to having the perfect babysitter at your disposal anytime of the day or night, it’s a close second. Not to mention it’s a lot more fun than a phone and no matter how long the kids are on it, there’s no cost for additional minutes. That’s saying something. Yes, I believe in electronic babysitters for my children. At least I know that when I’m on an important business call the only sound I’ll hear are the adorable little sound effects from the DS Lites.

Though I knew my oldest daughter would be able to play the handheld game with no problem, I was a bit concerned that my youngest might struggle. But, there was no point trying to keep it from her as anyone who has 2 kids knows, what the older one has, the younger one wants, no matter what it is. So for those first few months she just had fun scratching notes and sending them to her sister. Happy faces, hearts and the like. I know, how cool is it that you can play back and forth between 2 DSs?

And then we found Cooking Mama (thanks to a helpful gal at the EB Games)! I shop at game stores now—huh? It ended up being a perfect game for her even at the ripe age of 3 ½ and she’s still loving it a year later. And her sister does too.

What was not available back then was a fab game for the younger set but alas! Now there is Smart Girl's Playhouse which is a delightful game for the DS that really is meant for young ones. We just got it and she really enjoys it. They also offer Smart Boy's Gameroom for the boys in your life. The graphics are adorable and the variety of games is ample and perfectly age appropriate for little gamers-- challenging enough to keep busy minds occupied and simple enough to keep busy hands well, busy. Since many of you have little choice but to get the younger sibling a DS, now you know there is a game that is suitable for the age.

As far as the older kids go, well, I only have girls so I’m not sure what a favorite pick for the boys would be but for my 10-year old daughter it’s got to be Nintendogs, hands, er, paws down. Even I think it’s totally cool. There is a lot of reading involved, just so you know and although there are features that can be used (and figured out) without reading, a non reading gamer will need some help with it. It even takes the feature of playing between tow sets to a whole new level. Once we were at the post office waiting for over and hour for our Passports and my kids and 2 little boys who were also waiting played Nintendogs between each other (they had it too). They had a doggie playdate, traded dogs, and had a regular dog party while passing the time. That’s what I mean when I say babysitter.

So, what’s on the Christmas List this year? Mario Party DS and Cooking Mama 2 (dinner with friends) and I know those are 2 gifts that are going give back all year long!

Thank you, you cute little DS Lites. I love you.


divrchk said...

We could totally use a DS but we are getting a Wii this year so the DS will have to wait...

Donna said...

I second your comments about going from a total non-gamer to Nintendo fanatics, and if your readers can get their hands on a Wii, they and their families will have hours of fun.

I might want to add that the DS Lite is a lot of fun for us grown-up mommy types, too. I often play on it when I'm sitting in the car, waiting for school to get out... or sitting in the orthodontist's waiting room... or while she is at sports practice.

I especially like the games that have been designed with adults in mind. These include the two Brain Age titles and Flash Focus. I have also been working with a game that has gathered three years' worth of NY Times Crossword Puzzles. Been working on that one since July and still haven't finished all the puzzles.

mandaroo63 said...

We got lucky and Dan found a Wii for this XMAS(shh! don't tell my kids!!!), albeit he spent a little more for it! But yes, we love ds around here. Violet has quite a few games. She loves her Pokemon games the best though. I actually really enjoy Brain Age. It has sudoku on it, and it's fun to see your "brain age" improve. Glad to see you found a game for your younger daughter, I wasn't sure Olivia was ready, but maybe we'll try that one with her and see how she does.

Have a Merry Christmas!!!!

Anonymous said...

Chiming in to echo your kudos of the DS! Both kiddos here have one and really enjoy them. I want to try Brain Age, myself.

We, too, have a Wii lurking for Christmas morn whoohoo!!

Cheers for fun technology!!


Unknown said...

Hi there. I just discovered your blog by accident and I totally love it. This Christmas we got our 5 yr. old daughter a DS Lite and the Nintendogs game and she loves it. I'm sure that I'll be hooked sooner or later.

We also just bought the Wii and as non gamers also, we love it. Once we buy more accessories i'm sure we'll be having bowling and golf tournaments.

Thanks for the great review on these games. I look forward to reading more.

Kristen M. said...

My family loves the Wii too. I was skeptical at first that a four and six year old would be able to play along. I'm truly impressed with Nintendo for creating games for the whole family from preschooler to senior citizen.

Personally, I'm looking forward to Wii Fit which is being released "early 08". I'm all for making fitness fun.