The Flare Play video game console works with a service that’s almost like the gaming version of Netflix. We set up the gaming console with help from adults and tested it. When we turned the Flare on, it said it had to connect to the controller. Luckily, there is a USB cord to connect the microconsole to the controller. It takes a while, about 10 minutes or so, but after that you either have to create an account or log into one. There are a variety of games, but to play you have to go to the store first. There were tons of games, each in its own category (example: Disney Games were in a specified section of games called Disney Interactive). But the majority of the games are streamed, so you need a good Internet connection or Wi-Fi. Although you have to pay for some of the games, the majority are free. It is excellent for new kids playing the games because there are parental controls and there are just so many games to choose from.

PROS: Cheap — cost is $30 or so. Easy and portable — it’s just three wires, a controller and microconsole, and easy to set up. Safe for kids — comes with parental controls so you can control what your kids play.

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CONS: You need a very good Wi-Fi/Internet connection to play most of the games. The console comes with one controller, so you have to buy another one if you have more than one player.

RATING: 4 smiles