A TV screen may separate you from your favorite TV characters. But these new video games, inspired by popular shows for kids, help you get closer to characters like Elmo, SpongeBob, Tori Vega and more. Check them out below.
Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform: Xbox 360 with Kinect
A Sesame Street-themed storybook adventure comes to life in Once Upon a Monster ($49.99) for Kinect. Play with Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar, Grover and all-new characters inside the beautiful world of a lost storybook. The game begins with Elmo and Cookie finding an in-game storybook called Once Upon a Monster. As the player, you can motion with your arms to turn the pages of the interactive book. Inside the story, you'll meet the friendly monsters that live within the tales. Then, it's time for you to join the adventure! Help your new monster pals solve their problems by teaching them about cooperation, facing fears, diversity, empathy and other important life lessons in a fun, colorful environment.
Highlights of the controller-free gameplay include copying the on-screen character’s motions and dance steps, tossing treats to bring shy creatures out of hiding, catching glowbugs, petting adorable creatures to make them happy and jamming on drums to make music. This game is great for two players—the second player can drop in and out of the game at any point. You will have lots of fun with Elmo and all your new friends!
Platform: Xbox 360 (Kinect Required) / Nintendo DS
Fans of Nickelodeon's Victorious can have their own “time to shine” this holiday season with these video games based the hit TV show: Victorious: Time to Shine ($49.99) for Xbox 360 Kinect and Victorious: Hollywood Arts Debut ($29.99) for Nintendo DS. Both games give players the opportunity to play as students at Hollywood Arts High School. In Time to Shine, the game uses the Kinect sensor so players can practice singing, dancing and acting alongside Tori Vega and her friends. You even take acting classes with everyone’s favorite wacky teacher, Sikowitz. Eventually, you'll star in a music video featuring songs from the series.
In Hollywood Arts Debut for DS, the player becomes a student at Hollywood Arts and begins a new-student adventure, just like Tori's in the show. In episodic challenges, you can avoid Jane's tricks, learn to play guitar and master the famous "bird scene." Tori and her friends are there to help you along as you work toward earning a lead role in the Big Showcase (a note for younger players: game play requires reading text-based prompts). Break a leg!
High Voltage Software, 2K Play
Xbox 360 (Kinect optional), Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
You’re Red Sox First Baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and you’re playing at Fenway Park. It’s the bottom of the ninth. And next up to bat is… SpongeBob?! This may sound like a strange dream, but it can really happen when playing Nicktoons MLB ($39.99 for Xbox 30, $29.99 for Wii/DS). This arcade-style baseball video game combines 25 popular Nickelodeon cartoon characters with over 300 MLB players for an endless possibility of matchups. You can play a pick-up game where Nicktoons and MLB players mix, or pit them against each other in a tournament or showdown. You can also choose from six MLB stadiums or six Nicktoons venues to give one of your teams a home-field advantage. You can also play with a friend. Play ball!
Dance to TV Songs:
Nickelodeon Dance and Just Dance Kids 2
High Voltage Software, 2K Play / Ubisoft
Dance and exercise with your favorite Nick Jr. characters in Nickelodeon Dance ($39.99) for Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect. Popular characters from Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, The Backyardigans, and The Fresh Beat Band are featured throughout the game. Prompted by Dora, you will choose whether you want to select a dance song or workout song from the menu. Then, choose from a list of 30 songs sung by Nickelodeon characters. You can dance to tunes like the "Dora Theme Song," "A Friend Like You" and "Joy to the World" or work out to "Down by the Bay," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and "We Did It!" Three on-screen Nick characters will show you the dance moves or fitness routine. Icons scroll at the bottom to help you know when to switch moves. Up to two people can play together.
Not tired yet? More dance fun can be enjoyed with Just Dance Kids 2 ($29.99), the latest in the popular dance games series. It's available on Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 Kinect. On screen, real kids show you how to dance the cool moves for a variety of pop songs, movie/TV tunes and classics. Dance along to 40 songs, including "Whip My Hair," "Just the Way You Are," "Accidentally in Love," Yo Gabba Gabba's "The Robot Song," "Jingle Bells" and "Crocodile Rock." The lyrics display on screen so that you can sing along, too! There are even songs available in multiple languages, including Spanish, French and German. On the Wii and PlayStation 3 versions, up to four players can dance together. Special to the Xbox 360 Kinect version, kids can create and star in their own music videos.