EMMA O’Neill rounds up the best computer games for youngsters
Pokemon, the role playing game in which you train Pokemon to do battle, was first released 1999. It quickly caught the attention of a generation of children who rushed home to watch the TV show after school. Now the games are being re-released on 3DS 15 years later.
Catch all 150 original Pokemon in the red or blue version with starter Pokemon Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle, or follow the story of the TV show in the yellow version and start with Pikachu.
Nintendo 3DS, £TBC
This game is an open world where everything is a cube – imagine a 3D Tetris and Sim City combined. Players can make objects – boats, skyscrapers, trees, weapons, whatever – well as creating and build a world in whatever way they see fit (grown-ups like it, as well).
Playstation, XBox, PC and Mobile, £4.99-£25
The Lego universe has been just as popular onscreen as the real-life bricks which the Danish firm built its empire on. In Lego Dimensions, kids can build a team of up to seven “mini-figures”, vehicles or gadgets into the game and let your imagination run wild either in solo or co-player mode.
Characters can be ported in from expansion packs – these include the Simpsons, the Scooby-Doo gang and Jurassic World – to help you complete missions.
Playstation, XBox, Nintendo Wii, £74.99 (expansion packs from £14.99)
Disney Infinity 3.0
Every Disney Infinity game has focused on a set of characters in the studio’s universe – the first in a variety of worlds including The Incredible’s, the second on Marvel’s Avengers – and, in timely fashion, it’s Star Wars’ turn on Disney Infinity 3.0
The game splits itself into six main plots: three based on Star Wars, one on Inside Out, one on Marvel and a freeplay mode where you can choose whatever you like.
The expansion packs include characters from Mulan, Frozen and Peter Pan.
Playstation, XBox, Nintendo Wii, from £34.99
The latest version of the game is here. Your children can bust some moves to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk and “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. Using the camera function on the consoles to follow the onscreen moves, Just Dance can be fun for everyone in the family - or as a good Christmas party game. The new unlimited tracklist available online will ensure that you’ll never run out of a song to dance to.
Playstation, XBox, Nintendo Wii, from £29.99
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart, perhaps the most beloved racing game of all time, has this year undergone another revamp – the vehicles defy gravity.
Several brand new tracks feature, including a haunted mansion and Princess Peach’s Castle, against a backdrop of gorgeous graphics. All of the regular gang features in on Mario Kart 8, including Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach, and will also see the return of Waluigi and Toadette, who were removed from the previous game.
Nintendo Wii, £35