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Wii Fit Plus—Everyone’s Entertainment

Is this unique game system and fitness-oriented game for you? The Nintendo Wii game system has exploded in popularity since its introduction. The novel idea of moving your whole body to play instead of just your hands on a controller fired people’s imagination. The Wii Fit Plus game has only increased that popularity, attracting a wide audience from all ages. The game has something for everyone, increasing fitness through soothing yoga poses, body strengthening positions, fun aerobic activities, and balance games. The basic concept of the game is to increase fitness through better balance and toning. The great thing about this game is that it doesn’t emphasize physical beauty as a goal, but rather health and strength of body. The game allows a person to choose their own fitness goals and length of time to reach those goals, guiding and encouraging the player on the best path to a healthy body. The Wii system allows the player to create their own Wii person or Wii Mii, recording their progress in each game. Wii Fit offers a body test each day which includes weight, BMI, balance tests, and Fitness Age (calculated from your real age and results of your tests), plus a calendar and graph to record your own Wii Mii’s progress. The game is played by standing on a pressure sensitive board, which responds to movements according to each person’s specific weight. The only activities that do not use the board are the running activities under the aerobic section. For these, the system records the up and down movements of the Wii hand controller, which the runner either carries or secures in/on clothes. In the yoga and strength training sections, there are fifteen poses each and in the aerobic and balance game sections, there are nine activities each. The game starts the player off easy with beginner levels and only a few poses and activities available. As the player progresses and improves, the game rewards the gamer by unlocking new poses or activities, and increasing the difficulty. Although this game has a nice variety and range of activities, it’s not for people who are deeply into exercise, like fitness buffs, athletes, or body builders. This game is for people who need more exercise in their lives and thrive on structure and encouragement in their fitness regime. But the range of activities ensures that players of all ages will find this game engaging. From centering with yoga to fun with balance games, Wii Fit Plus is a great game that...

Hot Toys for Christmas 2009

Don’t forget to check out our yearly Gift Guides for Children and Families: Holiday Edition 2009. We have top ten (and more) toys, games, books, music, and more for each of these categories: Top Gifts and Toys for Babies & Toddlers Top Toys and Gifts for Preschoolers Top Toys and Gifts for Kids Ages 5 to 8 Top Toys and Gifts for Kids Ages 9 and up Top Gifts for Families: Holidays edition You can see the top toys for Christmas (and other holidays of the winter season) here: Amazon’s Top Picks in Toys 2009. Hyperdash has been selected in many toy lists each year, and it’s no wonder. We love the game that has kids thinking on their feet–literally. It’s an Edutaining Kids Top Pick as well, as it fits perfectly into our expectations for a quality “edutaining” toy. Hyper Dash puts a new spin on the term “active learning”–it promotes listening, memory, and math skills, as well as giving kids a little workout. Intense fun! For more information about this fun and educational toy, see Wild Planet Hyper Dash. Zhu Zhu Pets are one of the most wanted toys this Christmas, but their scarcity has led to toy stores upping the prices. There are many other alternatives to be found, thankfully. Some of the toys that appear on both Amazon’s list and our Edutaining Kids Holiday Gift Guides include Crayola Glow Dome which allow kids to draw on a dome and have their drawings projected onto the ceiling in full glow in the dark glory, LeapFrog My Pal Scout and LeapFrog My Pal Violet (cute little stuffies that actually say your child’s name after they’re programmed, LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table, and...

De Blob is de Bomb

Imagine a world without color. That’s what the citizens of Chroma City are facing if the I.N.K.T. Corporation gets its way. Enter an unlikely superhero: de Blob. Armed with a Wii-mote and Nunchuk, you get to take on this role and bounce, splat, and roll your way around the city, painting it as you go. This video game is well suited for the Wii. As you bounce, de Blob bounces. As you swing the Wii-mote, splats of color are hurled across the screen. Racing through the city, splashing, splattering, and painting everything in sight, is fun. Squashing Inkies is even more fun. Inkies act as color police, trying to stop de Blob from coloring the city through the use of ink turrets, ink spills, tanks, and other devices. De Blob is part of the color revolutionary movement. His fellow color revolutionaries have special powers such as painting, combating, racing, and supersizing. Together, de Blob and his helpers paint the town and free the citizens from a dull and uncolorful world. With its “Long Live Color” story line, de Blob is entertaining and fun. It also has an educational element in that young players learn about mixing colors. When paint is mixed in de Blob, the mixtures are accurately portrayed. For example, if de Blob is currently blue and smashes a yellow paintbot, he turns green. As he continues smashing into paintbots, his colors change accordingly, eventually turning him brown. Landing in water washes de Blob clean. De Blob, by THQ Inc., is rated E (for everyone). Mild cartoon violence involves squishing Inkies. This game is fun for players of all ages and doesn’t take too much time to get involved. Younger children enjoy bouncing around and making a mess on screen while parents can relax knowing that the mess is a virtual one. Long live color! Why do we recommend this game? Impressive audio and visual, and gameplay to match. It’s challenging enough for older kids and adults, while still very appealing and “playable” for the younger crowd. A family pleaser. This is why de Blob is on our Best Nintendo Wii Games for Kids list. For more information, user reviews, or to buy:...

New Nintendo DSi

Due out on April 5, 2009 in the US, Nintendo’s latest handheld seems impressive. Nintendo pioneered hand-held entertainment in the 1980’s with the Game Boy video game system. There have been very successful incarnations (or iterations) over the years, and now Nintendo is releasing the Nintendo DSi handheld system. Priced at a manufacturers’ suggested retail price of $169.99, this new handheld features a sleek and slim design, the largest screen Nintendo handhelds have seen yet, a set of two cameras (external and internal, pointed at the user), an interactive voice recorder, and music player. Both the new sights and sounds features can be manipulated–photos can be taken using interactive lenses, and music or voice can be altered. The system will be released in black and matte blue versions. Similar to the Nintendo Wii’s Wiiware, the DSi platform will allow downloadable games and applications using Nintendo DSi Points. Of course, there will be the usual retail games designed specially for the system. Is it backwards compatible? In other words, will kids be able to play their current Nintendo DS games on the new DSi? The answer is “for the most part”. It will be able to play most DS games, according to Nintendo. The system will be launched along with the game, Rhythm Heaven, a unique musical game that has been quite popular in Japan since its release. For more information and/or to preorder: Nintendo...

How does the Nintendo Wii Fit measure up?

Hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear about the problems of obesity–and childhood obesity–in the news. With obesity on the rise, more and more people are aware of the benefits of exercise. But what of video games designed to get kids moving? Is it just hype? Well, some are, no doubt. We tend to get all worked up when a video game gets children out of the typical stupor and onto their feet. But a lot of games inspire only a small amount of movement. Not so with the Nintendo Wii Fit, which completely focuses on working out, without turning the process into a tedious lesson. Getting enough exercise can be easier said than done. If your children tend to be sedentary and love video games, or if you are not a “going to the gym” type, the Nintendo Wii Fit for the Nintendo Wii gaming system can certainly get you and your family started on the road to fitness, or at the very least, fitness and health awareness. The Wii Fit offers an interactive workout and is designed to make exercise a fun activity that anyone in the family can enjoy, no matter their level of fitness.  It’s also highly interactive and educational: it guides you through designing a workout program, tracking your progress and learning proper technique. Interestingly, the game made our testers aware of the importance of balance. Using the Nintendo Wii Fit involves stepping  on its balance board, which reads body movements, measures weight and weight distribution, and the game offers feedback about these measures, as well as BMI and Wii “fitness age”. Players learn about their BMI, but do note that kids who are even slightly on the chubby side will find out that they are “at the risk of being obese” or worse. Players set fitness and weight goals, and the Wii Fit records progress as well as total hours and minutes of usage. The Nintendo Wii Fit is designed to be a fitness and educational tool, but it’s also designed to be pleasurable. Families perform aerobics, strength training, learn yoga moves, play balance games, and more. Weight measurements can be password-protected if desired. Scores in various activities are recorded and lists of top scores are provided. Players jog, play goalie, walk a tightrope, play with hula hoops, go skiing, learn and perform yoga poses, and a whole lot more. If you are ready to make fun and fitness a permanent part of your life, then getting a Nintendo Wii Fit...

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