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Mickey Under the Tree

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Category: Software Published on Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Is There a Mouse in your House for Christmas? 

Mickey Mouse is making a big comeback this Christmas season as Disney hits the shelves with three products aimed at the kid in all of us.

The Disney Creativity Studio ($49.95), Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion ($39.99) and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two ($49.99 for Wii and $59.99 for Xbox and PS3) bring the mouse to your house and open new vistas for the youngsters on your gift list.

The Disney Creativity Studio was developed for the iPad to help nurture the creative talents of the younger set - - - and many of us that are quite a bit older.

The box contains a stylus that is designed to work with a free app created by Disney artists that you can download through the iTunes Store.

The stylus is used to draw various shapes that your children can trace using the app or draw freehand to create their own cartoon characters. If they make a mistake, they just need to use the other end to erase their work and begin again. Basically, it's a tool that teaches them how to draw.

You can also:

  • Click the top of the stylus to switch between styles, including, pencil, marker, crayon or stamper.
  • Adjust line thickness.
  • Shake the stylus to create art effects.

This is guaranteed to keep your offspring, or in my case grandoffspring, occupied for hours.

Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion, created for the 3DS, is more than just a game where you try to defeat the bad guys in a magic castle. It allows players to create their own magical world using the stylus that comes with the 3DS. The objects are actually drawn in 2D but can be converted to 3D by moving them to the top of the screen.

The game also sends kids on various adventures in Wasteland, where they battle Mizrabel, a witch that dispenses evil in her "Castle of Illusion."

Playing as Mickey Mouse, they wield a magic brush that spews paint and thinner to save the Toons, which are other Disney cartoon characters.

We played the Wii version of Epic Mickey 2: The Power od Two, which teams Mickey up with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Mickey still has his magic paintbrush, but Oswald brings a remote control that controls electricity into the frey. 

This game also takes place in Wasteland, which is fill with Disney characters, many of which were created 80 years ago.

Players are confronted by a bevy of challenges with various outcomes, depending on the decisions the players make.

All of these Disney creations passed my in-home six-year-old test. But I recommend you perform your own test on a child of your choice on Christmas Day.

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Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek.  You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net.  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-l-berman/.