Mario Kart 73DS/$39.99/Available Now
If you've ever owned a Nintendo console made after 1993, chances are you've played one of the many highly successful iterations of the "Mario Kart" series. This beloved staple has brought joy to millions thanks to its star-studded cast, sleek controls and cartoonish action. Now, with the release of the glasses-free 3-D of the Nintendo 3DS, Mario has found himself sitting behind the wheel once more in "Mario Kart 7."
At its core, this game is just a racer -- albeit a fantastically designed one -- filled with a bevy of goofy drivers from the Mario universe. Throw in such power-ups as speed boosts and Koopa shells, and the addictive antics begin. You see, getting from Point A to Point B in the fastest amount of time isn't your primary concern once the race begins. Dodging enemy attacks and attempting to dash the dreams of your competitors always seem to become the only goals that matter. This style of play continues in this latest version with some new surprises added, including gliders and propellers for air and water travel and the addition of the Fire Flower and Super Leaf as power-ups.
With a near-perfect game as a base, the newly added characters, power-ups and tracks wrapped in a 3-D package make "Mario Kart 7" the first must-own title for the system.
Hole in the Wall: Deluxe EditionX360/$39.99/Available Now
The concept is simple: Contort your body to match the holes in the walls that are moving toward you, or fall into a pool of water. The game show has found an audience in dozens of countries as it brings together families hoping to win a bit of cash through twisting and turning. Now the game has found its way to the Xbox 360, using the Kinect motion-capture device to track players' movements as they attempt to guide their avatars through the "Hole in the Wall."
The game contains 20 show levels with four stages each, bringing families 800 walls to bend through. "Hole in the Wall" also includes plenty of multiplayer features such as Survival Mode, where you'll face a steady stream of walls, and the Last Man Standing mode, where up to 10 players can compete.
"Hole in the Wall" has enough content and family-friendly fun to keep many entertained, even if it's just the kids laughing at the grown-ups as they strike awkward poses.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun