The Wii U Christmas Family Gift Guide 2013

From Mario to Mass Effect, from Pokemon Rumble to Zelda, here's our top picks for each age group

The Wii U Christmas Family Gift Guide 2013
20th November, 2013 By Ian Morris

What a difference a year makes. Just 12 months ago, many were writing the Wii U off as something of a no-hoper, thanks to a sluggish start and a drought of games beyond the initial launch line-up - but in recent months, Nintendo's newest console has started to shine again. With a catalogue of games that offers something for everyone, from the hardcore players to those who prefer just to dabble, the Wii U is bound to make its way onto plenty Christmas lists this year - and that means you'll need to find some games to go with it.

But finding games for your children can be tough. While PEGI ratings give you an idea about a game's content, they don't tell you anything about its difficulty, making it tricky to be sure you're buying a game your child will actually be able to do. That's why we've put together our official Christmas Family Buyer's Guides, giving you a handy list of top quality games, divided into age appropriate categories. Taking both difficulty and content into account, we've played every game we recommend below, and they've all earnt our seal of approval. So why not choose the age you're looking from the options below, and see what the Wii U has in store!

Jump to age:

Wii U Christmas Gift Ideas for a 3-5 Year Old

Pokemon Rumble U

Pokemon Rumble U Screenshot

Following an 'accident' at a toy shop, Pokemon Rumble U follows the story of a number of wind-up toy Pokemon as they try to find their way back home. How do they do that, we hear you ask? Well, by facing off against hordes of clockwork Pokemon across dozens of frantic, bite-sized, button mashing levels of course! Starting out as a 'mon of your choice from the selection of Oshawott, Snivy, Tepig, Pikachu or Axew, Pokemon Rumble U is a game that anyone can pick up and play. While one player makes use of the GamePad, up to three other people can join in the fun using Wii Remotes, using the +Control Pad to move around, and the 1 and 2 buttons to perform attacks. Always horrendously outnumbered in the battles, it's up to you to mash the attack buttons, and pick and choose your fights, as you try to defeat your foes with the help of your co-op partners. Along the way, you'll collect coins to spend on new moves, defeat powerful boss Pokemon, and occasionally collect new, stronger Pokemon from amongst the 'mon you've defeated. Of course, in true Pokemon style, you'll have to replay the earlier levels if you want to "catch 'em all". With support for up to four players, teaming up with friends and family to blast through a few levels is great fun, and thanks to the game's simple controls, minimal reading and small, self-contained areas, even young children can join in with the Poke-fun. While you can pick up the game on a disc for about £20, it's actually a fair bit cheaper to download it off the Wii U's online eShop, where it weighs in at £13.49 - many shops sell pre-paid cards with £15 of eShop credit on, while GAME has Pokemon Rumble U-specific download tokens available for £13.49 on store shelves and online.

Buy this if they like: Pokemon, Button mashing, Pikachu

For more, read our review or for more on the suitability, read our Parent's Guide

Buy Pokemon Rumble U from Amazon

Buy £15 Nintendo eShop card from Amazon

Mario & Sonic at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Screenshot

Now a staple of Nintendo's consoles both home and handheld, the Mario & Sonic series is where it's at when you're after an awesome, accessible mini-game collection. Taking characters from the worlds of Sonic and Mario and mixing them together to compete across a number of winter sports-inspired games, you'll be tilting the GamePad left and right to hurtle down a course on a bobsleigh, waving a Wii Remote in time to get the top score in figure skating or hurling giant curling stones down a track littered with bouncy bumpers, pitfalls and speed-boosting slopes. And of course, it wouldn't be a Sonic and Mario game without support for up to four players to play together at once, competing in the various Olympic events either as a team, or against each other in an all-out contest for the top spot. With minimal reading and generally easy to follow mini-games, the Mario & Sonic series has always been a big hit with younger audiences - and this game is no exception.

Buy this if they like: Wii Sports, Sonic, Mario

Check back soon for our full review

Buy Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games from Amazon

Just Dance Kids 2014

Just Dance Kids 2014 Screenshot

Perfect for the little ones who want to join in with games like Just Dance 2014, but may simply find the dance moves that little bit too complex, Just Dance Kids 2014 takes the same winning formula and swaps in some child-friendly songs, simplified routines and a few different modes to create a game squarely aimed at the youngest of the young. As you'd likely expect, this is a game that it's suitably easy to get to grips with - all your child has to do is choose a song, grab the Wii Remote, and then copy the (often cheesy, silly or over the top) moves of the dancers shown on screen to score points. With a definite kids TV bias, they'll be jigging about to a selection of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon favourites (Selena Gomez, Victorious and Yo Gabba Gabba), some nursery rhymes, and the odd cover of a famous song, such as Pat Benatar's 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' and 'Walking On Sunshine' by Katrina and the Waves. With multiplayer support for up to four people, all you'll need is enough Wii Remotes to go round to get the party started.

For more, read our full review, or for more on the game's suitability, read our Parent's Guide.

Buy this if they like: Dancing, Songs from kids TV, Flailing

Buy Just Dance Kids 2014 from Amazon

Next: Wii U Games for 6-10 year olds > >

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