I’ll never forget the Christmas of 1982, that’s because after months of begging and pleading – Santa (aka Mom & Dad) gave my sister and me one of the original home video game systems, an Atari 2600. The games were blocky and crudely animated, but they kept us mesmerized for hours. One of my favorite games to play was Pitfall! Players had to maneuver a character named “Pitfall Harry” through a maze-like jungle and recover various treasures in a 20-minute period. Along the way Harry would have to negotiate numerous hazards including pits, quicksand, rolling logs, rattlesnakes, crocodiles and my favorite, scorpions. You had to have Harry either run, jump, climb or swing on a vine to avoid all these dangers.
Pac Man, Bezerk, Centipede and Space Invaders. I know what you’re thinking, these are pretty old school, but these were the video games of my childhood and they will always have a soft spot in my heart. Video games though have come a LOOOONG way since then. Both gameplay and graphics have become so vivid and spectacular that you actually feel that you are a part of the action-taking place on the screen!
My son is now at the age where he’s starting to play video games. This past Christmas we bought him a LeapPad Explorer, one of those learning tablets. I like that he’s learning skills like counting and spelling, while he just thinks he’s having fun playing a game. The Hubs & I also enrolled him in a beginner computer class which teaches kids his age (he’s 4, almost 5 years old) how to use a computer and mouse.
Lately he likes to play games on daddy’s iPad. The ones he’s really gravitated to are the LEGO® Group games, App4+, Ninjago Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt and Hero Factory, in particular. So when I got an invite for a hands-on family preview of LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes being held last week at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, I knew we were totally in!
LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes is an action-adventure video game targeted at young players. It features the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin teaming up with their Justice League pals including Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern to save Gotham City from destruction when those notorious villains the Joker and Lex Luthor form an evil alliance.
My son had never played a video game using a controller before. We have an Xbox Kinect, which allows him to jump around and play several games just by using arm motions. However, he took to the controller instantly and figured out all on his own how to maneuver Batman around. In fact, one of the game’s developers from Traveller’s Trails (TT Games) watched him intently for about 15 minutes straight with great delight because, as he told us, it’s very rare for him to watch a newbie gamer and console virgin play one of his games!
LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes features fun and creative gameplay combined with realistic environments. You get to select which hero you want to be and, depending upon which one you choose, you get some great gadgets and super player abilities like super-breath or heat-ray vision. Players have to occasionally assemble LEGO® objects to proceed further in a level, cross obstacles or unlock new suits.
This is the first LEGO® video game that actually has characters that speak, which is a big deal. It also features an option for 2-player cooperative play, which allows players to work together as teammates against one or more opponents. However, to me, the most important feature of this game is that the gameplay is continuous, no matter how many times your character may collapse into a million little LEGO pieces, in a second you’re clicked back together and the action picks up right where you left off. This is a great feature for someone like my son who doesn’t understand the concept of “lives” and prevents him from getting frustrated that he has to begin a level all over again from the very start.
Some more shots of Batman & Robin in action trying to capture the Joker
We had such a fun time! That night when we got home my son hung his LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes in his room. The Hubs & I liked this game so much we bought some of the other games TT Games created — LEGO® Star Wars: The Video Game and LEGO® Harry Potter: Years 1-4. I have to admit that we have just as much fun as my son playing them!
LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes gets officially released on June 19 and we can’t wait to take our son down to our local video game store to get it. If you want to get a sneak peek, check out the trailer here.
Now it’s your time to share. What was is your all-time favorite video game? What video games do you like to play with your kidlets?
For full disclosure: My family attended a preview event for LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes that was held at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan where we were able to try the game out for ourselves. I have not received any monetary compensation for this post, but my son did take home a little goody bag that included a poster, t-shirt and a LEGO® Batman play set. As always, the opinions and recommendations expressed on this blog are all my very own
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