It’s that time of year again. The malls are crazy, Santa is on every street corner ringing his bells, and everyone is trying to figure out what to get that hard to please person for the holiday. That also means is time for MediaConnection’s annual holiday picks. Of all of the toys, games, and books we’ve seen over the past year, these are the ones that we feel will bring a smile to people’s face and have the recipients playing with them long after the holiday is over.
Social networking is all the craze, so how about a gift that gets people all in the place. Buffalo Games is one of the leading producers of party games, and this year they unveiled a new one, Truth Be Told, that makes any gathering a party. In each Truth Be Told round, one of the players is the Host, and reads a question card such as, “Truth Be Told, my favorite snack is _________.” The Host secretly writes a truthful answer, like pork rinds. All other players pretend to be the Host, and write bluff answers that seem like something the Host wrote – pretzels, prunes, sardines. The Host collects and reads all answers aloud, and players try to guess the Host’s True Answer. Players score if they voted for the True Answer – and also if their bluff answer was chosen by others. The game leads to outrageous answers, huge laughs, and a great time.
Killer Bunnies is a fast paced, action filled card game, in which you must try to keep as many Bunnies alive as possible, while eliminating your opponents’ Bunnies. The problem: Your opponents are armed with weapons and will stop at nothing to keep you from winning the game, which can get dreadfully vengeful, horribly nasty, hilariously messy, and just plain fun. The new Killer Bunnies REMIX version is a best of collection of all of the Killer Bunnies expansion decks. This allows new players to jump in and experience the very funny parodies and satirical cards that populate the game.
Mindflex gives mind over matter a whole new meaning. Utilizing advanced Mindflex technology, the wireless headset reads your brainwave activity. Concentrate … and the ball rises on a cushion of air! Relax … and the ball descends. The object is simple, navigate the ball through a mind-bending obstacle course as quickly as you can. With 9 customizable obstacles, you’ll discover 100s of different combinations. The game is remarkably responsive to the players thoughts, and all ages can learn to manipulate the ball quickly. The game is loads of fun for all.
Looking for something for the young girl on your list. Mattel has breathed new life into its Barbie line with two new line extensions. Barbie Fashionistas and So In Style.
For the first time, Barbie can move like a real person with the introduction of Barbie Fashionistas, the most stylish and on-trend fashion dolls each featuring their own distinct fashion personality, detailed fashions and 12 points of articulation.
So In Style, a new line of black dolls by Barbie® features more authentic-looking facial features such as fuller lips, a wider noise and curlier hair. So In Style was developed by Barbie designer of 12 years, Stacey McBride-Irby, an African-American mother of two who wanted to create a line of dolls more reflective of her daughter and community. Each of the S.I.S. dolls features its own unique personality, style and reflects one if three varying skin tones. The S.I.S. line also introduces a mentoring theme; each doll is accompanied by a smaller doll or “little sister” and has different interests – from music and math to science and drill team.
Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! is the newest home console iteration of the bestselling Scene It? brand, and offers thousands of new trivia questions from recent blockbusters and classic hits, multiple play modes and unique mini-game content for hours of social play fun. Available this holiday season on Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Rated T for Teen.
The critically acclaimed hit Batman: Arkham Asylum lets gamers play as the Dark Knight himself as he takes on his greatest challenge yet, when he becomes trapped with all of his most dangerous villains inside the insane asylum of Gotham City – Arkham Asylum! Available now on Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. Rated T for Teen.
Space Invaders Extreme 2 is an evolution of the legendary shooting game and a must-have for arcade fans everywhere, offering more strategic, immersive gameplay. Maintaining the simple premise of the original 1978 Space Invaders game, this latest installment features pop-art visuals, an enhanced battle system, a challenging new time attack mode and an expanded gameplay progression. In addition to the ever-addictive single player modes, players can challenge their friends through multiplayer mode and compete on scoreboards with gamers around the world. The game will bring out feelings of nostalgia in older gamers while being fresh enough to entice players too young to remember the original.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days revolves around Roxas, the “other” hero from Kingdom Hearts II, and his days as a member of Organization XIII. Follow Roxas and the rest of Organization XIII across the various Disney Worlds, and discover the connection between him, Sora, and the mysterious 14th member, and the reasons behind his eventual departure from the organization. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days also features a multiplayer mode for the first time, allowing players to control their favorite Organization XIII members. Players who are new to the Kingdom Hearts games will still be able to jump right in and play, while experienced gamers will enjoy the continuation of the story.
One of the year’s big hits has been Bakugan, and now video gamers can jump into the Bakugam world with Bakugan Battle Brawlers for the Wii, Nintendo DS, XBox 360, and Playstation 3. Essentially the same game as the non-video game version, Battle Brawlers starts platers out as inexperienced Bakigam Battle Brawlers, allowing those not familiar with the popular toys and cartoon to get up to speed quickly. Despite the franchise’s appeal to kids, older hamers will find themselves intrigued by the video game’s story, strategies, and production values. A must for the Bakugan fan on your gift list, and an excellent choice for gamers of all ages.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Dog Days, is the newest entry in the phenomenonally successful Diary of A Winpy Kid series. Written by Jeff Kinney the book takes series star Greg Heffley into the dog days of summer, when he preferes to sit inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn. Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer…one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.” Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything? Kids love the Diary of a Winpy Kid books, and will have them enjoying their time reading.