Gravitation (Nintendo DSi)

Where did my son go? He seemed upset that I couldn’t keep playing with him, but I had a job to do. I was planning to spend more time with him once I finished my work. I thought he would understand. But now he is nowhere to be found. Maybe he’ll return when I’m finished with my obligations. But I have a feeling he won’t. I missed out.

Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand (Game Boy Advance)

The beast wants out. A dose of sunlight from my Gun del Sol settles it down for now. I’d better hurry and drag this casket outside so I can put the monster trapped inside out of its misery. The scraping of wood upon the dungeon’s cobblestones makes me a target for monsters in the area. Normally I’d simply sneak past them, but that’s not a possibility now. It takes me a few minutes to attend to the unwanted company. While I’m occupied, my prisoner begins making so much fuss that the coffin shuffles about, as if of its own accord. Nice try, but you’re not getting away that easily. I press forward and soon the dungeon’s entrance is in sight. The blazing sun is a sight for sore eyes. Perfect weather for erasing an Immortal from existence.

Passage (Nintendo DSi)

Goodbye, my dear. I am glad you were my companion on our journey. Yes, at times being together was difficult. In fact, it would have probably been easier if I had gone alone. But it would not have been anywhere near as rewarding. And now you are gone. Without you, what is the point in moving forward? What is the point of anything we do, really? No matter how many treasures we accumulate… Now matter how far we travel… We all end up in the same place.

Gardening Mama (Nintendo DS)

Grandpa will just have to wait. I was on my way to help him in the vegetable garden when a couple emergencies arose. The pansies are wilting, so I need to hurry and take care of them. But Papa is freaking out because the apple tree needs attention, and he can’t take care of it by himself. Mama’s work is never done, it seems. Don’t worry, everyone! Mama will take care of it… Like I always do… Day after day after day. Isn’t gardening supposed to be relaxing? Maybe I should’ve just stuck to cooking.

Find Mii (Nintendo 3DS)

They haven’t given up, I’ll give them that. For the past few days, five feline adventurers have attempted to free me from my prison. Alas, the room I’m trapped in is pitch black, and the brave kitties can’t make any headway on liberating me. Maybe it’s all in vain. I almost feel guilty that so much effort is being wasted on me. I think I hear them approaching now. Yes, they’ve entered the room. I’m ready for another disappointment. Wait a minute. What’s this? A light?! Yes! One of the brave warriors has used magic to illuminate the room! Hooray! But… oh no. There are two armored ghosts guarding my cage. At least my would-be rescuers can see what they’re up against. They swing their swords with mighty blows, but it’s not enough defeat my captors. The cats make their retreat. Still, this is progress. This gives me hope. Perhaps tomorrow I shall be free. But for now, I guess there’s nothing to do but be patient.

Photo Dojo (Nintendo DSi)

My son is supposed to be getting ready for bed, so what the heck is with all that noise? I hear lots of laughter and what sounds like yelling and grunting coming from upstairs. I decide I’d better head up there and investigate. When I enter my boy’s room, it all makes sense: He got his hands on my DSi and is playing Photo Dojo. I haven’t played the game in months, and I doubt my little guy remembers back to when I snapped photos and recorded voice clips of him for the game. All he knows is it’s absolutely hilarious to see tiny versions of the two of us fighting on the DSi’s screen. “Look, Daddy! I’m beating you!” The Photo Dojo version of me emits repeated cries of despair as it is pummeled by my son’s in-game alter ego. Taunts boasting “You’re weak!” come thorugh the DSi’s speakers. I leave my son to his fun while I go brush my teeth, hoping that tonight I can somehow manage to stay awake long enough so that I can get a turn playing Photo Dojo, too.

Crazy Taxi (Arcade)

Balancing a 14-month-old on my lap is proving to be detrimental to my performance. I used to play this game for hours at a time on my Dreamcast a decade ago, but I’d never played the original arcade version until now. My skills are definitely rusty, and my daughter is not helping one bit. “No no, Yoshie!” She’s not listening. I turn my body sideways to keep the wheel out of her reach, but that leaves me with only one hand to work with. We’re running out of time and our customer is getting impatient. At least B.D. Joe has got our back with this unruly passenger. “Shut up and move your butt!” The drop-off location is coming into view but there are only seconds left. There’s no way we’re going to make it. I look down at my daughter and she’s grinning, her eyes fixated on the screen and her hands still reaching toward the steering wheel. Our final score was laughable, but this was the best game of Crazy Taxi ever.

The House of the Dead (Arcade)

Well, I suppose we should have expected this. We assumed our son was asleep for the night, but only minutes after putting him to bed we heard him crying. My wife went upstairs to see what was wrong and a minute later she was back downstairs, carrying our boy. Her expression said it all, but she clarified all the same: “He’s afraid of ‘The Zombies.'” Earlier in the evening my wife and I enjoyed a round of The House of the Dead at Peter Piper Pizza, much to our son’s displeasure. “That game’s too scary!” he said as we dropped our tokens into the slot. We assured him that the zombies weren’t real, and he even starting laughing and cheering along with us as we “blasted those silly zombies!” And honestly, the game’s zombies look so blocky and cheesy, it’s hard to think of them as frightening. But the imagination of a child is very powerful, and now we’re paying the price for letting him watch. It’s going to be tough getting our little dude back to sleep tonight. Playing The House of the Dead in front of a four-year-old is definitely not the smartest parenting move on our part, and without sleep tonight we’ll be suffering like G did when the morning rolls around!

Gunstar Super Heroes (Game Boy Advance)

Just as expected, Yellow has the ship in position. In but a few more steps I’ll jump aboard and we’ll make our escape. Or so I thought. Without warning, an enormous robot rises up and grabs the craft. I stop dead in my tracks. The robot gets right down to business and begins its onslaught, intent on smashing me with Yellow’s ship. My attacker is slow, though, and I sidestep its blows with minimal effort. Yellow looks understandably confused by what’s happening. It’s almost endearing. Enough horsing around. I’d better save her, not to mention my ticket out of here. If that craft gets smashed, I can kiss my chances of survival goodbye. It takes a substantial deal of firepower to put a dent in the robot, but eventually my blasts cause it to let go of the ship. It’s time to finish this. Not a problem. Easy as pie. Like shooting fish in a barrel. I almost feel insulted by how little the opposing force must think of me if this is the best they can do. With the final shots fired, Yellow and I zoom off, but it looks like we’re not getting off that easy after all. There are enemies closing in quickly. It’s about time somebody woke these jokers up. I pull out my favorite weapon and get ready to rock.

Words With Friends (iOS)

I’m at a total loss. I’m stuck with almost nothing but vowels and I can’t seem to find a spot for them on the board. I decide to ask my wife for help. We’re laying in bed with the lights out. Our daughter is snuggled between us, nursing as she slowly falls asleep for the night. “Do you mind playing this round for me?” I hand her the iPod Touch. “Make me look smart!” I can tell my wife is exhausted, but she humors me nevertheless. Less than a minute later I hear the familiar jingle that signifies when a turn has been taken. I reach over to retrieve my iPod. “Wow, 33 points. Good job! Thanks!” I check my e-mail and read up on some video game news, then set my iPod on the bedside table. Everything is quiet. I whisper to ask my wife if our daughter is sleeping yet. No response. I guess both my girls are busy dreaming.