Video games aren't just for kids anymore. Game publishers are reaching out to an expanded audience, making diverse games for players of all ages and abilities. Here are some games we think moms will love.
Wii Fit (Nintendo Wii)
The phenomenon just won't quit. Wii Fit uses Nintendo's innovative Balance Board to engage the player in a variety of health-promoting exercises. The game will keep track of your weight, strength, and stability, so you can actually measure your progress as you embark upon your new fitness regimen. Wii Fit is so much fun, you may not realize you're exercising!
The Sims 3 (Windows, Mac OS X)
The long-awaited third installment in the Sims franchise is finally here. Featuring the series' most advanced intelligence yet, The Sims 3 doesn't have defined goals. You create and guide your Sims through their daily lives, trying to meet their basic needs and to help them succeed professionally and socially. Watch out, though - your Sims have minds of their own!
World of Goo (Nintendo Wii, Windows, Mac OS X)
World of Goo is a puzzle game in which players must use multifarious blobs of goo to build pathways across treacherous environments. Different types of goo have different physical properties, all of which must be intelligently employed to build structures like bridges and towers. With a Metacritic score of 94 points out of a possible 100, World of Goo is one of the most critically acclaimed independent games in recent years.
Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo DS)
Broadly similar to The Sims, Animal Crossing is a series in which players help guide the fuzzy inhabitants of a town get through the day. Players can fix up their characters' houses, go fishing, plant a garden, or socialize with other players through a Wi-Fi connection. Because Animal Crossing can be played for long stretches or brief spurts, it's perfect for keeping in your bag in case you find a few moments of downtime.
Peggle (Windows, Mac OS X, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, iPhone)
What's the most addictive puzzle game since Tetris? It's called Peggle, and if you haven't heard the name yet, you will. Players attempt to clear pegs from the game board by firing a ball from the top of the screen. Sounds easy, right? Simple to play and difficult to master, it's no wonder why PC Gamer magazine named Peggle one of the five most addictive games of all time.
Everybody loves music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but Audiosurf is the first game that uses your own playlist to create an interactive experience. You import your own MP3s from your hard drive, which the game translates into soaring, swooping, roller-coaster-like tracks that follow the rhythm and melody of the songs. You control a small ship that flies above the track, steering through colored blocks for a high score. Audiosurfis a brand-new way to enjoy the music you already love.
Flower (PlayStation 3)
Experience the thrilling sensation of flight as you guide flower petals along the wind across a series of landscapes. Players steer their flowers by tilting the controller in the desired direction, resulting in natural, intuitive control as the petals soar high into the air, and then swoop toward the earth. With a gradually revealed storyline about the importance of the environment, Flower is a true gem, and an excellent substitute for the sun on a cloudy day.
PixelJunk Eden (PlayStation 3)
How does your garden grow? In PixelJunk Eden, it grows when your little character, called a Grimp, swings and climbs his way to floating seed pods, which sprout and blossom. With its soothing soundtrack and simplified visuals, PixelJunk Eden is strangely relaxing and hypnotic, even as you race against a time limit to germinate all the seeds in your garden.
Brain Age (Nintendo DS)
Not to be confused with your real age, your "brain age" is defined as the quickness and dexterity of your mental faculties. Nintendo's Brain Age first measures your intellectual aptitude, and then helps you improve it with a series of mini-games. Designed to be played for only 20 minutes a day, Brain Age includes brain teasers, puzzles, and games that test your reaction time. Your brain will feel younger in no time.
SingStar (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3)
Okay, so SingStar is "just" karaoke, but with the quality of its presentation, it's like no karaoke game you've played before. Strong track lists include songs from popular artists across all genres, including rock, R&B, and pop. SingStar features a variety of party modes, and also supports duets. Of course, no one will notice if you want to belt out a solo when you're home alone, either.