Top Ten Upcoming Free Xbox 360 Online Games

I’ve talked in this blog before about freebie demos on the Xbox.  You download these through your XBox Console through XBox Live.  These demos let you get a taste for games, and there are enough free demos that you can try a bunch each day and not get bored.  There are some great free online games for kids coming out in the next few months that you should definitely keep an eye out for. While I don’t know how good these demos will be, I’ve heard good things.

Portal 2

I played Portal — the first version — and it was AWESOME.  Short, but awesome.  Did I say Portal was awesome???  I can’t wait till Portal 2 is released.   Seriously.  I’m calling it now, this game will be one of the best games to be released next year.  Portal 2 will be like the first one: you are essentially playing a puzzle maze against an artificial intelligence computer who is totally insane.  You have a portal gun, and you have to blast openings through walls, ceilings and floors to get to the next level.  It sounds pretty boring, but trust me, it rocks.  Well, at least the first version did.  The buzz on the second version is that it should be as good as the first but even better.  I’ve seen clips of the graphics and it looks just flat out fantasticarded.  Put it on your radar,  the totally FREEEEEEEE demo is scheduled to be released in early to mid 2011.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
The latest Naruto game is great if you loved the anime and want to play a game with a great storyline. It blends the adventure of a role playing game with the excitement of a fighting game in the way that only Naruto can do. The game is scheduled for release in mid-October, but the free demo was just recently made available for kids to download and play!

Scott Pilgrim: The Game

This cooperative game lets you play alongside up to three of your friends in a quest to win the heart of your crush! It’s geared slightly toward older kids, but even if you don’t understand the story, it’s still a fun game that lets you team up to fight bad guys and solve puzzles. The free demo is scheduled for early September release.

A World of Keflings

This latest game lets you use your XBox Live Avatar to explore different worlds, complete quests, and get items to decorate your image. You can play over the Internet with up to three other friends, which is the only way to play this game. It’s fun to be able to chat while solving puzzles together. The free demo is not yet available, but should be released by December 2010. Keep an eye out!

Need for Speed™ Hot Pursuit

This is a racing game that might be fun for older kids, but there’s nothing in it that would worry your parents, so you can play it no matter how old you are. Basically, you drive a car around a track and try to beat computer racers or your friends to the end. You can play with up to eight other people over the Internet with the full version, but with the demo, to be released by December 2010, you’ll only be able to play with one other person. Still, it should be a really fun racing game!

Hydro Thunder

Another racing game, the Hydro Thunder demo pits you against computer players or your friends (or parents, if they’re cool enough to game with you!) in a variety of exotic and fantastical kayaks. The backdrops are gorgeous, as is the music. This is the perfect game for kids who love to be immersed in a game’s atmosphere, as you can interact in so many ways with the environment. This demo may already be available for free download in the XBox Live Marketplace.

Fifa 11 & Fifa 2010 World Cup

These two soccer games are perfect for sports lovers. The free demo for Fifa 2010 is available now, and gives you the option of playing as all your favorite World Cup teams. Fifa 11, meanwhile, is supposed to be a comprehensive demo that lets you play league games all over the world. Interested in the European soccer scene? How about the up-and-coming Asian League? The Fifa 11 free demo won’t be released until late September 2010, however, so you’ll just have to wait patiently for that fun time.

Puzzle Quest 2

If you’re less interested in sports or action, but you still want to play cool online free games, try Puzzle Quest 2. The free trial may already be out for this sequel to Puzzle Quest, the gem matching RPG/Puzzler that took the country by storm only a couple years ago. This game strengthens your logic and brainpower, meaning that your parents won’t give you a hard time if you play it all weekend. Score one for kid gamers!

Spider-Man™: Shattered Dimensions – Play as Spiderman slinging webs and fighting crime through four parallel universes! If you read the comics, watched the cartoons, or saw the movies, you’ll love this latest Spider-Man game demo. The demo is absolutely free and will be available for download over XBox Live by the end of the year. You can play it and if you like it, ask your parents to get it for you for Christmas!

Dance Central

While we’re not sure exactly when this free demo is going to be released, we do know that it’s going to provide a fun experience! Dance Central is the next wave of dancing games. All you need is the revolutionary Xbox Kinect and your body. The game tracks your motions and teaches you to dance, which is great if you’re in the mood to play free online kid games but you don’t want to sit on your butt to do it!
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Poptropica: Another Review by Me

Poptropica is a cool online game that gives kids a place to express themselves, talk to other kids, and have fun over the Internet. With awesome, customizable figures called “avatars,” kids travel from island to island solving quests alongside their friends. If you’ve ever wanted to explore worlds that look nothing like the real world, make tons of friends, solve puzzles and get rewards, Poptropica is the game for you!

My own experience of Poptropica has been absolutely sick. First, you make your own character, complete with a unique hairstyle, hair color, skin color, and clothing. As you complete different tasks in the game world, you can purchase different clothes or change your character to look like everything from a knight to a zombie to a vampire to a dragon! This is one of the things that keeps you coming back. As a free online kid game using XBox Live, Poptropica is one of the best games out there.

All of the game islands have been unique and interesting. For instance, there’s Shark Tooth Island, where you help a boy and his teacher put a giant shark to sleep so they can escape from the island. You have to explore temple ruins to find the ingredients for the sleeping potion, then mix them together properly. For history lovers, Time Tangled Island is home to various historical figures like Thomas Edison and Leonardo da Vinci. You can learn about different people and their stories, all while helping them fix the past. It involves a time machine. Trust me, it makes sense in the game.

There are also silly islands like “Reality TV Island” that help you make friends. This island works like the hit TV show Survivor, where you and seven other players compete to see who is the “last one standing.” There are seven different games, at the end of which one person is “eliminated.” Don’t worry though! You can join other games immediately. And if this sort of competitive atmosphere isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other cooperative islands like Haunted House Island, where you and a group of friends team up to find treasures in a Halloween-themed house filled with ghosts, zombies, and other scary creatures.

If you are easily confused by game worlds, don’t worry. Poptropica offers maps to help you get around. And don’t worry about people being mean. You communicate and make friends using pre-scripted replies, meaning that nobody will say hurtful things to one another. Younger children will delight in the colorful graphics and unique locations around Poptropica, as well as collecting medallions for jobs well done. Older kids like me, meanwhile, enjoy exploring, making friends, and trying to get to the top of the rankings for each island or for the whole game.

Another element of Poptropica that many kids like is how it connects with popular culture. The things you talk about with your friends at school are the things that show up in the game. For instance, the latest music, TV shows, and movies all make some appearance or other in the game. If there’s an idea that you think would make a cool island, you can contact the people in charge of Poptropica. They are interested in keeping the game relevant and fun for kids between six and fourteen years old.

Parents will enjoy the fact that Poptropica is a perfectly safe, completely free game world that provides great educational experiences for their kids. Puzzles often require reading, mathematical, or logic-based abilities. These are put into games, so even kids like me that get bored in math class can have fun. And we learn at the same time! Kids, use these lines on your parents so they let you play. Haha. Worked for mine!

Finally, the Poptropica website offers additional stuff if you get really into the game and its world. T-shirts, videos, and even credits can be purchased by your parents. Buying credits can be really useful if you want the best clothes in the Poptropica world, but don’t want to spend hours playing Sudoku or Connect Four to win coins.

Poptropica is definitely one of the best free online kid games out there today. Chances are, your friends are either playing it or would want to play it. If you have XBox live and you’re a kid, don’t miss out! Sign up today!

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Games for Christmas 2010 (hint hint hint!!!)

Just about every Christmas since the first Atari console hit store shelves, video games have topped kids’ wish lists, and Christmas 2010 will be no different. So you’d better be ready and aware of what’s hot before you head for the stores, in order to get the best results — and the happiest kids — for your present-buying bucks.

The hottest video game releases for Christmas 2010 are actually console add-ons, as two of the big three console manufacturers enter the motion-based gaming field. Microsoft will be releasing the Kinect for Xbox 360. Kinect uses a camera to track the player’s movements and control the action on screen. Meanwhile, Sony has created the Playstation Move, which uses a handheld controller like Nintendo’s Wiimote. The Move will be released in September, while the Kinect is planned for a November release, and by Christmastime there should be a variety of video games for each controller in stores. This includes Kinect Dance Central, Kinectimals, and Kinect MotionSports for Xbox 360, and Kung Fu Riders, Sports Champions, and Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest for the Playstation. Kinectimals, which allows players to play with and train a variety of wild animals, should be especially popular with animal-loving kids.  Check out this short clip I got of the trailer for Kinectimals from YouTube:

There are some video game series you can’t go wrong with. Any kid who loves sports will love a Madden football game, and this year’s edition, Madden 11, is topping a lot of Christmas lists. If your kid favors soccer over football, pick up FIFA 11 instead. For those with musical inclinations, Guitar Hero and Rock Band are as popular as ever.

Role-playing gamers and Disney fans alike will be looking for the latest release in the Kingdom Hearts series, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, which brings adventure and the classic Disney characters again once more. Birth by Sleep, which is for the Playstation PSP, will be released in September.

For smaller children and creative types, look for Little Big Planet 2, a sequel to the popular and innovative video game that enables players to not only play through the game, but create, edit, and share their own levels. Little Big Planet 2 is due in stores in November 2010.

And here’s a clip of the PS Move… SWEET:

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GrantMac’s Take on Skwishland

Hey everyone, it’s GrantMac. Alright, I’m sure you’re already familiar with “squishies,” those cute little rubber animals that can be found in vending machines. If your school’s anything like mine, they have probably been all the rage for a while. In one of my classrooms, the teacher actually banned the word “squishy” from being used – she was that tired of hearing about it! Anyway, it looks like those cute collectibles finally have a purpose. It’s an online game called Sqwishland, or Squishland, and it’s definitely worth a look. If you already own a few squishies, you’re ahead of the game!


If you’ve ever played the Webkinz online kid game, then you already have a basic understanding of how Sqwishland works. The idea is similar: You collect squishies from vending machines. They come in those little plastic capsules. Inside the capsule, you’ll find a Sqwishy character and a special code. Just click your way over to, sign up for a free account and enter the code that you found in your capsule. You’ll be rewarded virtual game cash, called SqwishCash, that you can use throughout Sqwishland. Seriously, this is easy enough for my 7-year-old sister to do!

The first time you log on to Sqwishland, you start out in the Sqwungle. From that point forward, you can take the game in any direction you could want. You have two basic goals in the game: collecting SqwishCash that you can use to buy new stuff, and staying away from the evil Sqwabbles that live beneath Sqwishland. You can roam around freely, or you can sign up for special quests that can earn you big rewards. If you’d like to do that, just visit the lion in the Sqwungle – he’ll help you get started on your mission.

Everyday Game Play

Your “home base” in Squishland is called your SqwishHome. You can deck it out with all sorts of cool things by visiting shops throughout the virtual world. Of course, you’ll need SqwishCash – just play random games to earn it. Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll love how easy it is to collect new items. You can also add new Sqwishies to your family; just visit the SqwishGallery when you’ve saved up enough SqwishCash. There are tons of cool characters to choose from, so take your time and find the ones that you like the best!

How Much Does it Cost?

One of the best things about Squishland is that you can play it for absolutely FREE.  Yep, I said it… free.  (Heck, if it wasn’t free we wouldn’t be talking about it here!!!!).  Many parts of the virtual world are free to all players; at most, you’ll just need a 25-cent Sqwishy toy and code from one of those vending machines. All players receive a 30-day free premium membership, too, so you can get a feel for what the full-fledged game has to offer. If you decide that you can’t live without full access, don’t worry – Sqwishland is amazingly cheap. A one-month membership costs just five bucks. You can sign up for a full year for only $45, too.

Visit Your Friends

Most likely, you already know plenty of other people who play Sqwishland. Thanks to the game’s Chatterbox feature, you can chat with them while you’re logged into the game. Interacting with other players in the game is a huge part of the fun, so be sure to tell all of your friends about it. Before you know it, you’ll all be logged in and comparing notes about the cool things that you’ve collected.

If you’ve outgrown Webkinz – or are just kind of bored with it – but still want to have an addicting online game to play, Sqwishland is a great option. Better yet, it is way cheaper than most other virtual worlds. All of the squishies that you’ve been collecting will finally have a purpose! Grab a code that came with one of your squishies and log on to the game today!

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Great Site for Free Kid Games

Just found this… lots of free games for kids.  Site has a big old list of links to non-spammy sites.  Lots of the games are really for little kids, but you don’t get hammered with lots of pop-ups and spyware like you do on some of the other sites out there.  Nice job!!

Click Here for this Blogspot Site for Free Online Kid Games

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Club Penguin: A Game My Sister Loves

Club Penguin is a game you play online, through a web browser.  It’s pretty fun… I used to play it a lot, but not so much anymore as it’s really more for littler kids.  My younger sister loves this game, and I still play it sometimes because certain parts of the game — such as an in-game karate game where you fight other players, or a diving mini-game where you dive for pearls — can be really addicting.

This game begins with you creating a penguin character for yourself.  You have to choose a girl or boy penguin, name it, and you’re off to experience magical Penguin Club adventures.

Much like the popular Animal Crossing series, there is no true end goal in Club Penguin. Instead, the focus is more on the fun you have when you are caring for your new penguin, as well as training it, and interacting with it.  And of course — making money so you can buy cool clothes for your penguin and buy cool stuff for your in-game house.

The game play is simple but varied. Training your penguin is central to Penguin Club, but there is plenty of other activities to spend your time doing as well. You can play mini-games to earn money (like the pearl diving game which — and here is a GrantMac game secret — is the best way to make easy money in Club Penguin), have a dance-off, or just play in your igloo house.  You can also buy different food, new toys, and even treat your penguin to some new decoration for your house.  For the most part, however, you will spend your time taking playing mini games, contests and entering contests.

Taking your penguin for a swim also adds an element of exploration to the game. Players can trace their penguin’s path on a map and can stop by the zoo to play with their penguin, work on its agility at the ice floes, or investigate question mark icons. The question marks will trigger events such as your penguin bringing you a gift or meeting other penguins and their trainers. Swimming is also good for your penguin’s health. Daily swimming extends its stamina and in turn enables it to take longer swim journey. Going for a swim allows your penguin to practice for the competitive aspect of the game: the best penguin in the zoo contests.

If you want a fun, safe and engaging video game, then Penguin Club is the smart choice for a kid, or anyone that feels that they are a kids at heart.

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Wizard 101: A Game I Played A LOT!!

Wizard 101 is an online game you can play on a PC, and not on an console.  It’s called a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) that will remind you of the Harry Potter adventures. Though the game is made for children 10 years of age and above, kids as young as 6 enjoy the video game with a little bit of help.  It’s simple but fun, and boys, girls and grown-ups all enjoy playing.

The game begins with a player creating a character for himself — which is a wizard. Players design the character (which is an avatar) by choosing clothing, face, hair, gender and skin color. Each player then decides what type of magic school or special powers the young wizard will possess. A large list allows persons to choose one or two names for the character.  While attending magic schools, student wizards gain knowledge, skills, gold (called crowns), food, and magical items to journey on adventures and complete quests.

One of the key parts of the game is the fights that take place between wizards — which are really other players.   You do this by taking your place in a magic circle with other players.  You then use cards which create magical attacks on the other player.  Each player continues to turn cards — and attack — the other player until one of the player loses all of his health points and dies.  It sounds silly, but the graphics during the fight are pretty darn cool.  What makes this more fun is that as you level up your character over time, you get more spells and more powers.  This in turn makes you more powerful in your fights against other players — which is awesome.

The game has a free trial mode, but this limits you in terms of where you can travel, what you can wear, and what spells you have.  For the most fun you need to sign up for a monthly subscription which takes a parental unit’s credit card.  Once you are a paying member, the game really opens up and is much more fun.  Memberships are less expensive for families to join than for one person playing alone and provide unlimited options and rewards. Retailers and mass merchandisers sell game gift cards that are used in the same manner as money.  You can actually get these in any GameSpot, Walmart or Target.  We have three kids in my family and we got a family discount because all three of us signed up together.

Many parents play the game first before allowing children to do so. My Dad set up my account with me, he checked it out and got me hooked up to the parental credit card for my monthly subscription fee (bills his card every month).  Parents setting up an account may choose between different safeguards for the family that include limiting chat and online game time. Parents can decide to open the chat line or limit a player’s speech. Limited chat allows players to speak to each other by choosing words or phrases from a menu when needed.

While kids of all ages admit to enjoying the video game, it provides the chance for parents and children to discuss many topics. The adult controls of the game teach kids the importance of safety and security on the internet. Limiting game time and using game cards provide parents with tools to set goals and reward systems. During game play, children learn to budget supplies, make decisions, use strategy and work as a team with other players in order to journey to higher levels. But, the game also teaches players they must spend money or live in a world with limited choices.

I also paid my Dad a few times to buy me more crowns.  You can do this to help you in the game buy things like clothes and gear.  It makes it much more fun.  A parent has to do this because it requires a credit card.  I think you can also use the game cards for this too, which you can buy in Target, Walmart and Bestbuy.

I played this game for almost a year.  Sometimes I went to YouTube to help me out in certain places where I needed help.  Youtube is always a great source of help whenever you gut stuck; I did this often an highly recommend this at higher levels.

I also really enjoyed playing online with my friends.  We would get on the telephone with each other and play all at the same time.  You can actually find each other in the game and hang out, play together, and have fun.  In fact, one time there was a fight that happened in real life because of this game… one of my friends gave another friend his password.  Bad idea.  The second friend got mad at the first friend and DELETED my second friend’s character.  Yep.  all gone.  He had put hours into the toon (another word for the character).   And yep, he cried.  Seriously.  He cried.

It was very very bad… the moms got on the phone with each other, there was lots of yelling, my first friend got majorly grounded and was never allowed to play again.  The parents of my second friend somehow called Wizard 101 and got the toon back, but it was never the same.

I still play sometimes because I love the game.  Just take it from me — NEVER SHARE YOUR PASSWORDS.  It can literally kill the fun for you.  Hahaha

All in all this has been one of my most favorite games.  I highly recommend it.

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