EA for the Holidays! Videogames for the Whole Family


‘Tis the season for giving and if you have some rabid video game enthusiasts in your home there are some great offerings from EA/Origin that fit virtually every genre and type of gameplay your family may enjoy!

Family Game: Plants vs Zombies Battle for Neighborville: Feastivus

Plants Vs Zombies has been a staple in my house for years. Popcap Games released the tower defense title in May of 2009 for PC and Mac and it has evolved over the last ten years. In 2011 PopCap was purchased by EA games and became a part of its large family. Eventually, the tower defense title turned into a shooter with the announcement of Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.  With Plants Vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville that evolution reaches another milestone and this year it is battling for the holidays!

Plants vs Zombies Battle for Neighborville is a great entry-level shooter for your geek child that is not yet ready to tackle the worlds of Fortnite or Pubg. That being said this game is a bit more like Halo than the newer battle royal titles out there which is fine by me. With 6 different modes of gameplay available to you in the entry lobby, it offers diverse and incredibly fun options to keep the game fresh and interesting. A notable addition is a semi-open world feature that allows you to do a little exploring and have a bit of fun outside of constantly defending yourself.

Plants Vs Zombies the Battle for Neighborville is just flat out fun. There are very few games outside of Nintendo titles that are so wonderfully colorful and playful for the entire family. The characters have so many fascinating personalities and traits that choosing one offers a different and engaging form of gameplay for the player.

At a very light and comfortable 24.99 Plants Vs Zombies: The Battle for Neighborville is an almost must-have for any console or PC that inhabits the family living room.!

Genre: Action, Shooter, Strategy, Third Person
Release Date: December 2, 2019
Rating: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: PopCap Games

Price: 24:99


NHL 20

Twenty-two years ago, I was in the Navy. Back then while we were floating around the Persian Gulf, there was one thing that helped up maintain our sanity and that was a copy of NHL 97 for the PS1. We became so dedicated to it that we built our own Stanley Cup out of Pots, Cans, and copious amounts of aluminum foil. It was a massive honor to have the DIY monstrosity displayed in your office to let the entire fleet know of your stick handling supremacy.

It has been a few years since I have played any of the newer entries in the legendary EA Hockey title so I was more than willing to try it out and capture some of that old icy magic with NHL20.

I have to say that EA has done well by my old favorite, creating a visually stunning game that offers players so many  fun options to make their hockey experience enjoyable. Being able to play in an open-air park in the winter is aesthetically pleasing and just a soulful way to play the game.

For many of us, it will take you back to your youth playing pickup hockey games with your friends.

I spent quite a while in the tutorials sharpening my game. I recommend it to anyone who has not played it or is coming back after a long hiatus such as myself. They are simple and fun and really allow you to hone your skills before facing the computer or the hordes of on line skaters chomping at the bit to annihilate any noobs that come their way.

Once I had sufficiently practiced, it was time to try to guide my hometown team The Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup! Or so I hoped. After a week of checking and wrecking my opponents and them returning the favor, I was not close to Lord Stanley’s great prize but never the less, I had a smile on my face as I enjoyed my wild NHL ride. I think that if you are a lover of hockey or just someone that enjoys a great digital challenge that NHL 20 may be a great choice for you and your friends battling it out this winter!

Features from the Publisher EA include:

      • Speed and Shooting Fueled by RPM Tech
      • A New Generation of Hockey Broadcasting
      • New Mode and Icons in Hockey Ultimate Team™
      • New Ways to Play With Friends
      • An Ever-Expanding World of CHEL

Studio: Vancouver
Genre: Sports

Rating: Everyone
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4
Release Date September 13, 2019

Price: 59.99

Purchase: NHL 20


Geek Dad Gary Catig covered the legendary worldwide monolith of European Football FIFA 20 in our Holiday Gift Guide  There is little more that can be said about FIFA 20 and the FIFA franchise other than it is the first and last word when it comes to Soccer on any platform.

Suggested By: Gary Catig
Mfg: EA Games

Rating: Everyone
Price: $59.99
Purchase: FIFA 20

Simulation: The SIMS 4

My colleagues have done a tremendous job covering The SIMS 4. So if you are looking at great breakdowns of what this title has to offer click on Elizabeth MacAndrew’s  Channel Your Inner ‘Harry Potter’ Fan in ‘The Sims 4: Realm of Magic’and Andy Robertson’s  10 Things Parents Should Know About The Sims 4 to get the full rundown of simulation stimulation!

Studio Maxis
Genre Life Simulation
Release Date September 1, 2014

Rating: Teen

Price: 49.99

Purchase: Sims 4

Action, Adventure: Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order

Jedi Fallen Order is one of my favorite games of the year and possibly my favorite all-time Star Wars games! Luckily my colleague Sophie Brown agrees in her excellent review of itStar Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’: The Force Is Strong With This One Definitely give her review a read and absolutely pick up this game! Jedi: Fallen Order was also included in the Geek Family Holiday gift guide. It is a must-have for this holiday season and you won’t even notice the brutal cold outside while you are snug on your couch battling the Empire this winter!

Studio: Respawn Entertainment
Genre: ActionAdventure
Release Date: November 15, 2019
Rating: Teen
Price: 59.99

Action Shooter: Apex Legends

Not to be outdone by Plants Vs. Zombies, Apex Legends is having a Holo-Day Bash event for the Season. Since the days of Wolfenstein 3D, action shooters have been a big staple of my gaming diet. I would be embarrassed to see a detailed breakdown of how many hours I poured over Doom, Quake, Unreal, Unreal Tournament and everything after those legendary titles.

Apex Legends is another great title in the tradition of those games as well as part of the current Battle Royale titles like Fortnite, PUBG, and more.

Apex Legends is set in the Titanfall Universe but does not include the Titans which is an interesting choice. Instead, there are hero characters broken down into 20 teams of three who are dealing with a detailed yet shrinking map and attempting to find as much loot as they can to sustain themselves during the process. (Sound Familiar).

Even though this type of game may seem superfluous in the current gaming atmosphere, Apex Legends simply does all of the above very well while looking great to boot.

Possibly the best asset of Apex Legends is that it is free…kind of. Like many of the top battle royal games of the day, you can play for free but upgrades and extras cost a few bucks.

Loot Boxes have become a thing of loathing in modern gaming, but I find that if it does not hamper gameplay and sticks mostly to cosmetics, that it is acceptable. With Apex Legends being free to play, I had no issue throwing the programmers a few extra bucks for some goodies. Just remember if you have a young one to keep an eye on their tendency to go all-in with your bank account!

Apex Legends is a great game for new shooter enthusiasts and old Doom curmudgeons like myself. It is totally worth a download to see if it is your taste. If it is you may have found your new battle Royal passion!

Genre: Action, Shooter
Release Date: February 4, 2019
Rating: Teen
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Price: FREE!


When you are looking for something to do with your new-found gift cards this holiday season you should consider some of the above titles. My personal pics being Jedi: Fallen Order, which I beat and am not waiting patiently for DLC; Plants Vs Zombies Battle for Neighborville will be the thing most played on my couch with my son; and NHL 20 will be my go-to sports game this winter. So find your own personal favs and have very digital holidays!

Disclaimer: Review Codes for these titles were made available by EA Games

The opinions in this article are mine and those of my collegues at Geek DAD/MOM

To read my previous articles click here.

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