Video Games to Play when You’re Home Alone, Or Not

Nicer weather is on the way in some parts of the country, but what to do if you find yourself snowed- or rained in? Check out these new video games to play with the kids—and the devices to play them on.

Skylanders Imaginators

skylanders imaginatorThis is the newest in the proud Skylanders line, which uses real-life toy figures that enter the on-screen game through a “portal.” As always, the story follows the Skylanders as they try to defeat the evil Kaos in his latest plan to destroy Skyland. Kaos has found a new power called “Mind Magic,” and is creating an army of Doomlanders. The leader of the good guys is Eon, who calls upon Portal Masters (that’s you!) to battle Kaos and his army. To help, there are Senseis who give players new powers that you can use to build and equip your Imaginators. If you’ve got the new Nintendo Switch (more on that below), you’ll be able to save your Skylanders figures’ stats and abilities to the system so you can play Skylanders on the go, without having to schlep the figures or the portal.

One of the most amazing features we’ve seen in a while is the new Skylanders Creator app, which you download from the iOS or Android store, and use to create a unique Imaginator (or you can transfer one from the Skylanders Imaginators console game to the app). The whole process takes only a few minutes. Best of all, your creation will be mailed to you! www.skylanders.com/video-games/skylanders-imaginators

Nintendo Switch

nintendo switch-zSpeaking of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has finally given us what we have been frothing at the mouth for: a new system! The Switch can be used at home like a regular console or—and this is really neat—picked up and taken with you anywhere you go. Switching between the two modes is super easy, even if you’re in the middle of a game. The first thing you’ll notice when opening up the Switch is there’s not much in the box: a tablet, a stand, two controllers, a few various controller accessories, and some cables. The tablet portion of the Switch is quite a powerhouse, with a crisp, gorgeous display. The controllers are solidly built and very responsive and great for two-player games. They may feel a bit small in Dad’s monster-size hands, but they’re definitely still playable for long periods of time (especially when used with the joy con grip, which turns the two small controllers into one bigger one for a more classic gaming feel). You can play it from the couch with your TV as the monitor, in the car, or anywhere else. Available in stores or online for $299.99. www.nintendo.com/switch/

Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World

yoshis wolly worldYarn Yoshi is back and this time he’s brought his woolly buddy, Poochy. Kamek the magikoopa has changed everyone into wool, and Yoshi and Poochy are here to save the day. This game is a retelling of Yoshi Woolly World on the Wii U, and includes over 55 levels of fun along with some new Poochy levels. Every level has a craft feel where enemies are yarn and each texture and item is also craft-based. You can also enter Mellow Mode, where Yoshi uses his signature wings to float about, and Poochy’s three little puppies help find secrets and hidden passages. This game is great for players of all levels. Experienced players will try to collect all available items, while beginners will be happy to beat each level. It’s only for the Nintendo 3DS and is available for download at retail locations or from the eShop. A special amiibo bundle is sold separately. www.yoshiswoollyworld.nintendo.com/3ds

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