Hey Pixelkiners, I’m back from Thanksgiving break with the latest game news for you.

For people with young kids, bedtime can be… a struggle. Playing games is a great way to get kids hyped up, but game music can be the perfect lullaby. Eric Watson has put together a list of relaxing music from video games to help you knock those kids out for the night. Be sure to check it out.

Never Alone is a new game that demonstrates how awesome games can be for sharing stories. It was created by a Seattle game studio in partnership with an Alaskan Native tribe, as a means of preserving the tribe’s stories. Never Alone combines many elements of Native American mythology into one story about a girl who is trying to save her village during an awful blizzard. The best part? It’s a game that’s definitely best played cooperatively—one person can control the girl, Nuna, and a second player can control her spirit fox companion. It’s rated T and might be too scary for younger kids, so check out our review on the site.

Another huge game release hit recently: the hundreds-of-hours-long Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s a gorgeously animated fantasy roleplaying game, the third one in the Dragon Age series. It’s rated M, but it’s got an engrossing story that deals with issues of racism, religion and faith, war, and more—and it’s probably going to be really popular with teenagers, especially if they’ve played the first two games. For an in-depth look at the contents—and to help understand the complicated fantasy lore of the game, check out Keezy Young’s review.

The American Psychological Association released a study in 2014 basically saying video games are pretty cool for your brain. Psychologist Kelli Dunlap breaks down the ways in which video games can be beneficial, from improved spatial reasoning to persistence and determination. Over 90% of kids and teens play video games, so make sure you check out that article to figure out what they’re getting out of it.

Finally, there’s a new Pokemon game! Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire are updates of the original Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have fancy new graphics & they’re available for the 3DS and 2DS. Since the first games are only on GameBoy Advance, it’s a good bet that kids—and adults—will want the new version. When I was a kid I heard over and over again the Pokemon was just a fad, but it’s never really slowed down. Check out our full review of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire to learn why we think Pokemon is actually educational.

That’s all for this week. If you missed it, check out our Top Ten games for the holidays list, which is full of video reviews and great info about the best games of the season. Then subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss another episode of This Week In Family Gaming.

 

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.