GeekMom’s 2014 Gift Guide of Video Games and Apps

Video games
Collage: Cathe Post

In this age of screen time and games coming on all shapes and sizes of screens, it is difficult to keep up with all of the hottest apps and games for all of the different devices. GeekMom is here to help!

Some of the most popular apps this year are free to download, but have in-game purchases. Other games cost money to purchase up front. Either way, my favorite stocking stuffer for the kids is to purchase apps for their devices, print a picture of the app logo or icon, and stick it in their stocking. Taking it a step further, since most apps can’t be purchased as gifts, I purchase a gift card for the appropriate app store so they can get in-game purchases or new apps.


CLZ Comics
Image: CLZ Comics

CLZ Comics App For a comic book collector, CLZ Comics is a must have app for your iPhone or iPad. With a quick scan of the barcode or search of the database, you can archive your entire comic book collection. The process is quick and painless. Even though it’s the most expensive app I’ve ever purchased ($14.99), I’ve happily found that it’s worth every penny, especially after it saved me from buying a book I already had on my shelf. $14.99

Image credit:

Pear Sports Smart Training System for Android and iOS The Pear Mobile Training Intelligence System is the first app/accessory system I’ve tried that does more than simply regurgitate a heart rate, location, or pace when you tap your device for feedback: It will collect, record, and customize workout data for you based on your heart rate. This is the most interactive fitness app I’ve ever experienced, and their unique headphone design is outstanding. $87.49

Image: Rovio

Angry Birds The popular physics based franchise continues to gain popularity with new versions like Angry Birds Stella, Angry Birds Epic, and Angry Birds Transformers. All have in game purchase options that are not necessary to fully enjoy the game, but can be fun. Free 

Image: Toca Boca

Toca Boca Games Toca games are more for the pre-school age range. Fun for grade school age too, the educational adventure games allow kids to tap their way into learning and surprises. $2.99


TMNT Danger of the Ooze. Image:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze (360, PS3, 3DS) TMNT: Danger of the Oooze takes the turtles back to their 80’s roots in terms of feel and play. The storyline takes place after the first season, but even if you haven’t seen any of the episodes, you won’t be lost. The graphics have the look of today’s technology, but the game plays and feels like something I would have played as a kid.  $37.85

Image: Disney

Disney Infinity 2.0 Disney’s updated answer to Disney Infinity corrects many of the problems from the first game, and introduces a large number of Marvel characters the entire family can enjoy. $75

Image Gearbox
Image: Gearbox

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel This flash-back first-person-shooter is full of humorous writing, blood, violence, smart and sexy characters, and so much more. Play as a gladiator, a gunslinger, a cyborg, or everyone’s favorite annoying one-wheeled robot. $59.96


Hearth Stone  Previously played on GeekMom, this free-to-play online trading-card-ish game has in-game purchases if you so desire. This online game comes recommended for even the younger players because there are only five phrases you can say to your opponent—no bullying, no online stalking. There is some cartoon blood and violence, but is still a good play. Price Varies

Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8. Image: Nintendo

Mario Kart 8 Mario Kart 8 is a must-have for the Wii U. It’s a high-energy, vivid, fast-paced racing game that players of all ages will love to play! $59.99

© Nintendo / Level 5
© Nintendo / Level 5

Fantasy Life Fantasy Life is a quiet, colorful 3DS game that fans of RPGs or Animal Crossing will enjoy for hours and hours. Choose your own adventure by picking the Life that sounds the most fun for you!  $39.99


Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Image: Nintendo

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U The crazy, frenetic, fighting game action of Super Smash Bros. comes to the Wii U! Up to eight players can join in the fun, pitting some of their favorite Nintendo characters past and present against each other in wonderfully chaotic battles. $59.99

amiibo. Image: Nintendo

amiibo Nintendo’s answer to Skylanders and Disney Infinity is amiibo. These collectible figures come to life within the game–starting with Super Smash Bros.–and can fight for you or against you. Each figure can learn new stats and tactics the more you play! $12.99


© Nintendo
© Nintendo

Pokémon Art Academy If you have a Pokémon fan in the house, picking up this game is a no-brainer. Pokémon Art Academy walks players through step-by-step lessons, from novice to expert, to teach them how to draw some of their favorite pocket monsters. $29.99

TMNT game

Hero Portal by Jakks Pacific Portal runs off the same concept as Skylanders with an 80’s themed twist. The graphics and fighting style are very much like the games I would play in the arcade as a child. My son seems to enjoy it, but I think his favorite part is that it plugs right into his TV in his room without a bulky console to set up first. The game comes with Leonardo and Raphael. You can purchase other characters separately, starting at $20 for a pack of two. $39.99 (Boosters $7.99 each)

Don't Starve Game
Image: Don’t Starve Game

Don’t Starve This is a survival game in much the same vein as Minecraft where the player collects stuff to make other stuff while exploring, building, and avoiding (or fighting) monsters. The goal in this game though is to last as many days as possible without dying. The longer you make it, the more experience you gain and the more characters (with fun talents) can be unlocked. Plus, the art style is great! $14.99

Image: Minecraft

Minecraft This game has done nothing but gain popularity since it hit the market. I still talk to parents who don’t want their kids playing it. This is a family game. If you want to, monsters can be turned off and you can turn off internet access to avoid playing with other people. It is a great spacial recognition and building game for anyone. It’s an adventure game. It’s a survival game. It’s a logic game. It’s a creative game. It is available for tablets and pretty much every platform. My favorite thing is that it is a lot less messy to have Minecraft on a tablet on long car trips than a bucket of Lego bricks in the back seat of the car. $7 for the tablet version/$17.99 for other platforms

Image: Good Old Games

Fez This platformer puzzle game has gained popularity this year and is on the wish-lists of many late elementary school kids. You play as Gomez, a strange pixelly humanoid, solving puzzles through 2D and 3D maps. $9.99