Christmas toys for little boys…Gross out doodle monster!

Posted by dkidwell on November 12th, 2006 — Posted in ages 4-8, Christmas, parenting, reviews, sons

My youngest son is 7 is very excited about getting one for Christmas. He can’t wait:

He offers the following review

“The feature gross out ones can take out their brains, can make bats fly out of its head.  You can pull out its heart (that’s cracked!) and it peal off its hand so you can see its bones. You can draw on it with three different colors so you can creep out your mom.”

They have them at Amazon – just click on his guts in the image below:

Wii can’t wait for Christmas!

Posted by dkidwell on October 17th, 2006 — Posted in Christmas, console games, parenting

We are counting down the days ’till the release of the Wii and are very excited.  I got to play with one at E3 and have been giddy ever since.  Unfortunately, our local Gamestop filled up on pre-orders before we got on the list – they only had 20.  So dad and a friend are already planning to camp outside the local Super Target to get them.  Whoohoo!

If you haven’t already – go calculate your wii budget now:
I expect we’ll get Zelda and plan to play alot of Wii Sports and hold off on other games until Christmas.  The kids are already hinting that Santa could easily leave wiimotes and nunchucks in their stockings.   32 Days till Wii!!

Don’t Open Until Christmas: Nintendogs

Posted by dkidwell on December 9th, 2005 — Posted in ages 9-11, Christmas, daughters, Nintendogs

Every evening we open up an advent calendar are one day closer to the big event. We’ve emailed Santa, and a Nintendo DS with Nintendogs made the final cut. (Gorgo, the youngest, wants a Gameboy Advanced. Considering his age, this is probably a safe bet. Never thoughts I’d be buying previous generations of hardware, but there you go.)

Anticipation for the Christmas pup rises, and I’ve been watching Amazon and Froogle for prices on Nintendogs Bundles. There was a limited release of bundles – one in Pink sold through Target and ToysRUs, and another in teal pearl blue that could be found in most stores. Not that I’m going to buy one, mind you, Santa had the elves take care of that. But if you need to buy a bundle now, it wouldn’t be cheap. Last I saw them, you could get them for about $129. Now, Amazon has sellers that will give you the blue one for a cool $250, and the Pink for $365.
Hachi machi! It’s sold out in the UK, and very nearly sold out here. It’ll be curious to see after Christmas sales numbers.


A nice primer on Nintendogs:

Nintendogs – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gamermom Watch: Darwinia

Posted by dkidwell on December 8th, 2005 — Posted in Christmas, pc games


Our family is tracking Darwinia, and anxiously awaiting the game on the Steam Network. It comes out December 14th – Steam allows us to purchase it now, download it and be all set to go on the 14th when it is released.

Now, this is a good thing if you have a family of excited little fellas who will want to stay up late on a school night to see the game in action. Steam’s distribution model saves us time – no trips to Fry’s, no downloading of updates after install, etc. As I recall, Venvendi (who sees to it that Fry’s get’s their copies) still got their cut of the first Steam distributed game – Half Life 2.

Early movies of Darwinia are reminiscent of Pikmin – a game we loved. We’ll post a review after we’ve played.

Review of Nintendogs from a design perspective

Posted by dkidwell on November 26th, 2005 — Posted in Christmas, Nintendogs, reviews, technology

Found this today on my hunt for info on Nintendogs. Had a surly experience with a very aggressive shopper at Gamestop while trying to get a Nintendogs bundle – which led to a better deal at Fry’s so all is well…

But, I wanted to find out more about the game itself and found this review. I’m sure you’ll hear more post-Christmas regarding our Nintendog journeys. This article does a great job of showing how Nintendogs tapped into a underserved need in the Japanese marketplace – dog ownership. Dan talks about this as a key element in good game design. I might extend that to a key element in good Product design – a marketing lesson for every product manager.

Lost Garden: Nintendogs: The case of the non-game that barked like a game