Great Games/Apps for Kids 10-12
Disney Universe (360, PS3, Wii, PC)
More magical than a fistful of pixie dust, this four-player, family-friendly romp allows Disney fans of all ages to cooperatively solve puzzles, battle baddies, collect goodies, and platform through whimsical worlds inspired by favorite Disney and Pixar properties. Best of all, players tackle all the action while costumed as one of 50-plus favorite Disney characters.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures (360, PS3, Wii, 3DS)
This inspired mash-up of toys and video games allows players to bring collectible action figures to life by placing them on a portal-like peripheral. Once transformed from plastic plaything to in-game avatar, the cute creatures are controlled by armchair adventurers through a charming, action-packed story.
Brave: The Video Game (360, PS3, Wii)
Based on the Pixar flick of the same name, this action-adventure puts players behind the arrow-flinging, sword-swinging skills of crimson-haired heroine Merida. One of the better film-tied titles available, Brave packs plenty of fun, varied gameplay supported by a co-op mode perfect for kid-and-parent team-ups.
Inventively incorporating the PlayStation 3's motion-sensing Move technology, this fantasy-fueled action-adventure essentially turns the controller into a spell-spitting magic wand; from barbecuing baddies with fire balls to freezing foes with ice shards — all with a few flicks of the wrist — Sorcery finally lets players show Harry Potter how it's done.
LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes (360, PS3, Wii, Vita, 3DS, PC)
Building on the successful brick-busting formula of previous Lego videogames, this super-sized, super-hero adventure features an extensive cast of iconic cape-and-cowled characters, tons of collectibles, and epic encounters with classic comic-book bad guys. And, for the first time, the family-favorite franchise supports its trademark humor with a fully-voiced cast.
Kinect Disneyland Adventures (360)
This controller-free, family-focused experience is as much a virtual trip to Disneyland as it is a traditional videogame. Princess- and pirate-loving fans of all ages can interact with their favorite characters, tackle challenges based on famous Disney park attractions, and even search for hidden Mickeys...right in their own living rooms.
Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One (PS3)
This action-platformer packs all the Pixar-rivaling production values, sharp writing, crazy characters, and gadget-based gameplay the series is famous for, but one-ups its predecessors by allowing four gamers — playing as favorite characters Ratchet, Clank, Qwark, and Nefarious — to cooperatively conquer the story-driven campaign.
Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension (PS3, Wii)
Inspired level design, smart writing, and cool gadgets — like an orange soda-shooting squirt gun — make Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension a fun game, but actually getting to play as the Disney Channel series' shenanigan-causing siblings is what makes it a must-have for faithful fans of the show.
Sneak Beat Bandit (iOS)
Brilliantly blending rhythm-, stealth-, and puzzle-based gameplay with a snazzy art style and infectious sound track, Sneak Beat Bandit is brimming with palm-sized family fun. Quick wits, quicker reflexes, and the ability to keep the beat make this absorbing app as challenging to play as it is entertaining to watch.