Whether you are shopping for the top handheld electronic games for yourself or as gifts, with so many different toys and games on the market, it can be a bit overwhelming. However, there are some tried and true classics that you are probably familiar with, and new titles that are great fun.
Electronic Simon and the Electronic Simon Hand Held Game
Electronic Simon, handheld Simon, and key-chain Simon are classic, tried and true handheld games. Match the patterns in solo play as the colors flash, producing light and sound. Every time I am around a working Simon, I can't help but give it a couple of plays. There is something very satisfying about remembering patterns, especially when you get well into the game. It is also great to have a game that you can play by yourself. Currently out of production you can still acquire this classic easily through Amazon or eBay. If you shop around, and are willing to be patient, you can get the version you want for about $20.00 shipped.
Bop It, Bop It Extreme, Bop It Extreme 2, and Keychain Bop It
Bop It, Bop It Extreme, Bop It Extreme 2, and Keychain Bop It are modern day classics in the same vein as Simon. After starting the game, you are given a voice command: Bop it, pull it, twist it, flick it, spin it, or pass it. You have a moment to perform the command and continue the round. Failure to perform the command quickly will result in the round ending, as well as some somewhat annoying harassment from the Bop It device. You can play the game individually or as a group, and the cost of a new Bop It will run you about $19.99. Bop It Extreme and Bop It Extreme 2 are both out of print, but can still be found on eBay or Amazon in the range of $20.00 to $35.00.
Electronic Handheld Connect Four
Connect Four is often one of the first memorable strategy games introduced to children. If one of the young ones in your family can't get enough of this tic-tac-toe variant, an Electronic Connect Four might be the perfect gift for them. Boasting multiple difficulties, hi-score tracking, and an appealing red plastic interface. This single-player version of electronic Connect 4 is available for about $10.00 from numerous retailers online. The item pictured is an older version. A touch-screen Connect four edition is also currently available. If you want the touch screen version, expect to pay about double the price.
Bop It Bounce
Adding another variant to their Bop It brand, Hasbro has released a new title with a twist, or perhaps more accurately, with a bounce. Reminiscent of the old wooden-paddle and ball games you probably remember from your childhood, Bop It Bounce provides a number of different games that you can play with the electronic paddle and ball. With six different game modes, from Infinite Bounce, where you try to bounce the ball as many times as you can without dropping it, to Hang Time, where you try to get the ball to "hang" in the air for as long as possible over the course of five bounces. For about $19.99, you can own a great electronic spin on some good ol' ball-bouncing fun.
Electronic Catch Phrase
A tremendously fun game, and easily one of the top handheld electronic games available, Catch Phrase packs all the fun of a barrel full of monkeys into a disc about the size of a mini-frisbee. A team game that is great for parties, electronic Catch Phrase offers on-board score keeping, multiple categories, a random electronic timer, and thousands of words. The game retails for $26.99 and is still commonly available in brick-and-mortar and online stores.
Photo Credits and Resources
Electronic Simon: Image by Larry D. Moore, used under a Creative Commons ShareAlike License.
Bop It Bounce and Catch Phrase: Promotional images courtesy of Hasbro.com
Other images courtesy of Michael Elkins, aka, lilrut.
Bop It Bounce Demo: http://www.hasbro.com/play/details.cfm?guid=2C987537-5056-900B-1084-0BC5BF7646B8&src=endeca