Back to the Past, The Future, and Everything in Between

Looking for classic games from when you were a kid? New games to make you laugh while you’re learning (or learn while you’re laughing)? Fast games? Slow games? We’ve got you covered.

Atari Plug & Play Joystick

atari joystickRemember those iconic Atari games you used to play (or that your parents or grandparents told you about)? Well, now you can enjoy them on your TV—and without all those pesky cartridges. The joystick comes preloaded with 10 games, including Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, Missile Command, Warloards, and more. To make your return to the 80s complete, each game features retro graphics, sounds, and all the original gameplay. 4 AA batteries required but not included. For ages 8+. About $20.

Fisher-Price Tape Recorder (Fisher-Price)

fisher price tape recorderConsidering that we live in an era when CDs have gone the way of the dinosaurs, introducing a cassette tape recorder (which we’re assuming your kids have never even heard of, let alone seen) just might be considered revolutionary. Unfortunately, unlike the original product, which was introduced in 1981, this reboot doesn’t play real tapes. However, your child will still have a lot of fun singing along to the built-in nursery rhymes, and recording themselves in the process. It’s for ages 3+ and is about $20 at your favorite online or brick-and-mortar retailer.

Miss Bernard is a Wild Card (All Things Equal, Inc.)

miss bernard is a wild cardHave you read any of Dan Gutman’s My Weird School books? If so, great, you’ll already know some of the wacky characters from Ella Mentry School. But it doesn’t really matter, because whether you have or not, you and your whole family are in for some truly laugh-out-loud fun. The rules to this game are pretty simple. Pick a card, play a card, and create absurd—and high-scoring—sentences. With 570,000 possible combinations, you’re sure to come up with something. Just make the first two cards rhyme, and you’re good to go. Along the way, you’ll develop reading, strategic-thinking, sentence-structure, grammar, and even math skills, but you’ll be too busy laughing to realize any of that. For 2-4 players, ages 6-10. About $20.

Pokémon Trainer Guess (The Bridge Direct)

pokemon trainer guessThink of a Pokémon, or, if you don’t know any off the top of your head, pick one from the included Pokémon Trainer Field Guide to all 151 Kanto Region Pokémons. Then push the button on the spherical Trainer Guess and answer its questions (voice-recognition software will register your Yes or No). Within a few minutes, Trainer Guess will read your mind. This one’s mostly for Pokémon lovers (of course, anyone may play, but the deeper your Pokémon knowledge, the more fun you’ll have). That said, the Field Guide is a great way to brush up on your Pokémon and impress your kids. Or yourself. For ages 6+—unless your child is a Pokémon prodigy. Batteries required (and included) About $20.

Rubik’s Race (Rubik’s)

rubik raceThis game is fast, colorful, and a huge amount of fun—even if you’re horrible at solving Rubik’s cubes. Start by shaking the shaker, which reveals a 3×3 grid that looks like one unsolved face of a Rubik’s cube. Then, the two players slide and shift the tiles on their own 5×5 grid to come up with a 3×3 that matches what’s on the shaker. If you’re a hardcore Rubik’s fan, you’ll be able to jump right into this game with no problem. Those of us who are a little less enthusiastic about those frustrating cubes will have a steeper learning curve, but within a few minutes, will be slippin’ and slidin’ (and, probably, gruntin’ and groanin’ and complainin’) like a pro. For two players ages 5+. About $20.

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