Donkey Kong Country Returns

donkey kong country returnsFor those of us who grew up with older gaming systems (shout out to everyone who remembers having to blow on Nintendo cartridges to get them to work!), the introduction of games with characters that were originally released on those platforms are always met with big cheers and applause. One of my favorites to play with the neighbor boys when I was younger was Donkey Kong. As I was searching the shelves for a new game to try, I found Donkey Kong Country Returns seemingly waiting for me to check-out and get all nostalgic playing.

Let me tell you, this game did not let me down. Donkey Kong Country Returns plays with just as much difficulty as the original Donkey Kong games, even complete with the side-scrolling features that are unmistakably Kong with the introduction of 3D movements and sequences to appeal to newer players. Familiar characters throughout the Donkey Kong franchise are present within this game with one neat introduction: two player cooperative play! Players can play two at a time: one as Donkey Kong and another as Diddy Kong. Brilliant! Hidden items, puzzle pieces, and other bonus surprises can be found throughout the levels with the option for you to eventually spell out K-O-N-G and win an awesome bonus! There are also additional levels that allow players the opportunity to slow down and strategize as they are greeted with new challenges, movements, and attacks.

Here’s a brief game overview: The animals of Donkey Kong Island have raided Donkey Kong’s hoard of bananas and STOLEN them. Don’t worry. It’s not entirely their fault. They’ve been taken under the influence of several evil Tikis. As a result, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong have to team up to find where the animals have hidden the bananas! (And try to stay out of danger, of course.)

(Sidenote: When researching for this blog post, I found an article written by NPR about Shigeru Miyamoto, the inventor of Mario and Donkey Kong. Check it out! It’s full of some interesting information about the two that I never know. The article is called The Legendary Mr. Miyamoto, Father of Mario and Donkey Kong.)

Pet Pals: Animal Doctor

pet pals animal doctorAll throughout college, my teachers told me that the best way to entice a child to learn was to make learning fun. You’d also get bonus points as a teacher if you could trick kids into learning without them even knowing it. One of the best ways that I have found to do this is to slip that learning to them in the form of a video game or even a classic novel that has been re-done as an illustrated graphic novel.

As I was searching for new titles to intrigue the kids I know, I stumbled upon Pet Pals: Animal Doctor, a game available for the Wii. It allows players to pretend they are a veterinarian and perform surgeries using the Wii remote. What I found most interesting about this game is that the level of learning is high. More than thirty medical cases, that are based on real events, are presented within this game with mini- and micro-games that allow players to play, feed, and clean the animals and to also perform some specialized procedures. Players will be able to operate and interact with a variety of animals that range from the familiar to the exotic. This game won the Editor’s Choice Award of Excellence from the Children’s Technology Review and also the Parents’ Choice Silver Award.

The Price is Right

the price is rightCome on down! When I’m sick, I find myself binge-watching daytime television. Bob Barker’s voice haunts my sickness dreams telling me that I’m the next contestant on The Price is Right! Even though Mr. Barker is no longer the host, I still find myself watching the show as Drew Carey leads contestants through all the classic games in order to win the showcase.

Since my dream to be on The Price is Right has never materialized(Dangit!), I have found other ways to compete with my family and friends to win bragging rights. One of these is the Wii game, The Price is Right. Here I can live out my fantasy of being on the show and compete on Contestant’s Row against my friends to try to get to that treasured Showcase round. Fans of the old and new version of the show will recognize a wide variety of the games: Bonkers, Plinko, Punch a Bunch, Hole in One, Contestant Row, Grocery Game, Lucky Seven and many more. Over thirty classic pricing games are available to be played.

Gather up your friends and see which one of you is the best at guessing the closest price!