Fun Finds November 2010
1. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future Help the professor explore time travel so that Luke can be saved from the future. This third edition has more hand-drawn animated sequences, voice acting, and a help system that offers “superhints.” For DS, DSi. Nintendo, $30. Ages 8 and up.
2. Disney Sing It: Family Hits Hum along with Mary Poppins, or, if you’re feeling sinister, Cruella De Vil, with this collection of 30 popular sing-alongs. The tutorial helps, and it’s not hard to try to match the pitch. Up to 8 players. Wii, PS3. Microphone included. Disney Interactive Studios, $50. Ages 6 and up.
3. Echo Smartpen Smartphones may be the current rage, but the smartpen could be next on your child’s wishlist. Why? It can record everything she hears and writes on the special paper included. She can have ready access to that information later by downloading it to a computer — all she has to do is tap on the written notes. Handy for study time! Livescribe, $130 for 2GB; $200 for 8 GB. Ages 14 and up.
4. uDraw GameTablet Turn your TV screen into an artist’s canvas with this add-on for Wii. After you slip your Wii controller (not included) into the 9" x 7" tablet, you can start sketching your way through tutorials or games. While the drawing tools are realistic, the controls can be tricky — but no brushes to clean! THQ, $70. Ages 6 and up.
5. I SPY Spooky Mansion You'll have to pull your kids away from this immersive adaptation of one of Jean Marzallo's best I SPY books. This time, players are locked inside a haunted house by a clever skeleton. The only way out is to solve all 33 riddles by finding items hidden inside 11 haunted scenes. For Wii. Scholastic. $30. Ages 5 and up.
6. Kirby’s Epic Yarn Kirby the endearing blob is back, in a fantasy world of cloth-inspired problem solving. The screen graphics are comprised of real-looking fabric. Pull on a stray thread to find a hidden back door, or weave Kirby into a car, submarine, or robotic tank. Up to two players. For Wii. Nintendo, $50. Ages 7 and up.