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But Namco didn't go far enough with the game. There are only 12 levels, and they're oversimplified so that an energetic kid will tire of the game, and if he or she doesn't, the whole experience is finished too quickly. Also, kids weaned on games full of lurid colors and flash may not really respond to a George video game. And, if you're looking to find the movie stars' voices in the game, they're not here.

You'll find unlockables within like mini-games and George artwork. But why not throw in an actual George book or two as a prize? I realize this isn't done with, say, the Harry Potter games, but that's because they're primarily text. Even if the makers had put in only the first George book, the inclusion would have added value and history to a generally bland game. If you really love George, you'll like this. But if you want a deeper video game experience for kids, go and pick up the original The Incredibles game. Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nana On Sha

Tamagotchi, the virtual pet, was all the rage about 10 years ago. It wasn't as big as the iPod, but it sure was omnipresent. In an effort to revive the brand in the U.S., Bandai has released Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop for the Nintendo DS. (There's also the successful Tamagotchi Connection toy, egg shaped and on a keychain like the original, but with a kind of wifi capability.)

Artificial Intelligence at work in WSWE9
image: Konami
Artificial Intelligence at work in WSWE9

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World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 International
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami TYO
For: Xbox, PC, PS2

NHL 2K6
Publisher: 2K Sports
Developer: Kush Games
For: Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2

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In the game, the characters are super cute and rendered with a child-like charm. In a move of inspired genius, Bandai hired the makers of the first (and some say the best) rhythm-based dancing game, "PaRappa The Rapper" to make the game. In addition to some wonderfully cheesy music, you'll enjoy the big-eyed but paper-flat 2D graphics that made "PaRappa" so endearing and timeless.

While Corner Shop is endearing, it's in no way timeless. Here, you pick your character and open a shop to become a dentist or do laundry or perform music. Sure, drilling a tooth is fun, especially when a little tooth demon pops out and you have to catch him. And, hey, think the makers, it makes a kid learn about money when a customer pays you. But in my mind, a kid has his or her whole life to work and make money, so why start before one has to? I mean, there are so many reruns of Toy Story and Shrek to watch.  

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