Top Game Picks for Moms, Dads, and Grads

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Whether you’re a mom, dad, or grad, you probably enjoy taking a break from the stress of everyday activities once in a while. And for some, a great way to do that is by playing games. So we pulled together our top game picks for each of you, including you grads…don’t worry, even with all the job hunting or working, there’s always at least a little bit of downtime to be filled with video games.

Angry Birds Space ice levelTop pick for Moms: Angry Birds Space
Platforms: PC, Mac, Android, iOS
Price: Free, $0.99 (smartphone), $2.99 (HD/Tablet), $4.99 (Mac), $5.95 (PC)

When it comes to casual gaming, it’s hard to top Angry Birds. One of the most critically acclaimed time-killers ever, the physics-based gameplay of Angry Birds is still entertaining countless numbers of players. And now developer Rovio has brought an all-new game (read: not just new levels) to the series with Angry Birds Space. The thought of Angry Birds in space may seem a little bizarre, but take a moment to consider the premise of the game, which involves launching birds at pigs.

Angry Birds Space brings players new birds to fling, new superpowers to use, new levels and environments, and, of course, the all-new setting of space, which introduces the element of zero-gravity to completely change the physics of the game. And for you moms that aren’t a fan of gaming on your phone or tablet, Angry Birds Space was also released on both Mac and PC, allowing you to play on your desktop, if that’s what you prefer.

Easy to learn but difficult to master, Angry Birds Space encourages players to perfect levels with achievements and even hidden bonus levels that can be unlocked. It may be considered casual, but it can still offer hours of playtime for those of you who get hooked…and you probably will.

Itching for more Angry Birds Space info? Have a look at our full review over at TabletPCReview and see what we thought of it.

Mass Effect 3 Shepard in dialogueTop pick for Dads: Mass Effect 3
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Price: ~$50 (all platforms, Amazon.com)

Talk about appealing to your inner kid (or geek): Mass Effect 3 is the final chapter in the critically acclaimed trilogy that tells the tale of you, Commander Shepard, and your quest to ultimately save the galaxy from a terrifying threat known as the Reapers. Who hasn’t dreamt of being the galaxy’s savior at some point or another?

While the game is a dream come true for both sci-fi and RPG fans alike – what with your ability to customize your Shepard and grant him/her new abilities as he/she becomes more powerful and experienced – shooter fans have plenty to love here, too. Third-person, cover-based combat drives the action in Mass Effect 3, as you shoot your way through planets all across the galaxy with two party members (with their own unique abilities) of your choosing.

But this isn’t a game that focuses on action and style over substance. Mass Effect 3 features a story that is easily one of the best ever told in video games, with players having to make difficult decisions over the course of their adventures – even when there aren’t clear-cut, right or wrong choices – that shape the story as it unfolds. Your decisions as Shepard determine whether certain characters live or die, whether or not you gain certain allies (or enemies), and even how successful you are in your missions.

Mass Effect 3 Shepard in combatAnd players of the first two Mass Effect games will even find that by importing their characters, their choices from the previous titles will manifest themselves in the story of Mass Effect 3. That’s not to say that newcomers can’t just jump right into this game, though. New players can create a fresh character in Mass Effect 3 and, as part of the character creation, make the crucial choices from events of the previous games that impact the story of the third installment.

Sure, it may be a bit of a time commitment, but nobody’s saying that you have to sit down and beat the 30-plus hour game in a week. With so many side quests and story-driven missions to take on, you can make this game last you months by just slowly chipping away at it and taking it one mission at a time.

If you’re craving more information on the brilliant space odyssey that is Mass Effect 3, check out our full review of the game.

Draw Something ElvisTop pick for Grads: Draw Something
Platforms: Android, iOS
Price: Free (ad-supported) or $1.99 (currently on sale for $0.99)

We had to go mobile with this one because as a grad, you’re either going to be swamped at your fresh new job, or keeping your nose to the grindstone with your job hunt. You don’t have a lot of free time, so our top pick is Draw Something, a game you can enjoy in quick, bite-sized play sessions on the train or bus ride to an interview (or during your lunch break).

The premise of Draw Something is simple: it’s Pictionary. There are a couple of very minor twists, like a hint system and being rewarded coins for successfully guessing your partner’s drawing (which, in turn, can be spent on new color palettes), but at its heart, its main premise is the same as Pictionary. The drawer doodles on the touchscreen of any Android or iOS device after picking his subject from a set of three words ranging in difficulty, with the harder choices offering more coins. The guesser is given a limited set of letter tiles to use to guess the drawing; if you’re struggling, however, you can use a “bomb,” which blows away a handful of letters that aren’t in the word that needs to be guessed. The faster the guesser gets the word, the more coins he’s rewarded.

So there is no competitive element as Draw Something is a game that focuses entirely on teamwork. Both the drawer and guesser are rewarded (or not rewarded) for successful guesses, and there is no winning, losing, or any kind of endgame to speak of. You and your partner just keep taking turns for as long as you want, and the best part is that it can be played at your leisure. It isn’t played live, so you or your partner can just submit a drawing, and the other person will hop on Draw Something when they have time to guess while watching a replay of it being drawn.


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