Top Video Games of 2011
EyePet & Friends
This new version of the hit motion game lets you and your child play with two pets at the same time with the Move controllers. Tickle-feed, or roll a ball and watch your virtual animals chase it.
I SPY Castle
In honor of its 20th anniversary, the I SPY franchise releases a new game with 36 riddles and 12 mini games in a castle setting. Players must use logic skills and keen attention to detail to unlock the rooms.
Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster
Featuring popular characters from Sesame Street, this playful movement game uses the Kinect sensor to monitor your child's motions (such as tickling the on-screen Elmo) and provide helpful, instructional feedback so even the youngest gamers won't get frustrated.
Body and Brain Connection
Kids can give both their body and their mind a workout, thanks to the game's 20 activities that require players to solve puzzles with kicks, jabs, or poses. The better you do, the harder it gets.
Cars 2: The Video Game
Unlike earlier Cars titles, this one is a quality multiplayer racing game, complete with split-screen action, which is great for a high-tech playdate with your child and up to three of his friends.
Kinect Disneyland Adventures
Can't afford a trip to the park? Bring it to your TV! This innovative motion game gives families an all-access pass to discover the magic of the park, whether it's high-fiving Mickey and other mascots or flying through Neverland with Peter Pan or exploring Wonderland with Alice. Best part? No line!
Bigger, better, and easier to use, this DIY sequel is all about using your imagination to make the game you want. Kids can get creative and collect gadgets to design their own story levels.
Hit a home run as Fanboy, Chum Chum, or other Nick favorites, and play along with animated versions of real-life pros in this baseball simulation game. The Kinect version even lets you bat and pitch with your hands--no controller needed.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land
The playful pink blob has a well-earned reputation for delivering sometimes unique, always entertaining games for kids, and this year is no exception: Up to four players can now get in on the action at once.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Want to see two warring kids play nicely together? Try this artfully done two-player cooperative game! It gives little brothers and sisters a chance to team up to solve problems, which are more comical in the game than in the movie series.
Mario Kart 7
Burn some rubber in 3-D with this fast, fun, pocket-size racing game for up to eight players. Kids will think the 3-D effects look great, especially when performing the aerial tricks.
SpongeBob SquigglePants for uDraw
Put down the controller and pick up the stylus! With the uDraw tablet, kids can sketch their way through more than 100 fast-paced mini games with their favorite silly sea sponge.
Super Mario 3-D Land
Super Mario games have been around since parents were kids, but you've never seen one like this. With 3-D graphics, Mario can now jump in and out of a level, as well as back, forward, up, and down, which makes judging depths more of an amusing challenge.
Wii Play: Motion
Twelve interesting mini games take the Wii motion controls to new heights: In one, your child has to balance an ice-cream cone by holding the controller vertically as scoops rain down. For another, she has to hunt for invisible ghosts, using sounds as clues.
Learn some easy-to-follow steps with Dora, Diego, the Backyardigans, and other cartoon characters. Designed for parents and children to play together, the game boosts coordination, gross motor skills, and sweet dance moves with 30 G-rated songs.
Originally published in the December 2011 issue of Parents magazine.