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Google Santa Tracker is for the kid in all of us

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Google posted its Santa Tracker YouTube video on Dec. 4, 2013. The video is cute and funny. Did you notice Wilson from "Cast Away" on Santa's peaceful paradise island? The link to the Santa Tracker app is provided at the end of the video and in the 'About' tab/section. Using the link will have Santa wave you direct to "The Village" landing page. Clicking on the red and white tab (top right corner) gets you to "The Calendar". It is arranged somewhat like an advent calendar as future dates are locked. The whole thing appears to be 'kid friendly".

Unlike the Norad Tracks Santa site, Google's Santa Tracker is more about fun and games during the holiday. But if you click on the round yellow Santa icon you can begin text messaging with old Saint Nick. When the Examiner clicked on a saved link to The Village it was taken to the site with Internet Explorer. You will want to use Google Chrome instead to access all the fun and games. The Village page also has a Countdown-to-Christmas timer at top. The first game is The Village Airport and apparently transforms passengers into Santa's Elves. It's definitely kid stuff.

The checkered flag pin indicates The Village Racer game. Gif-like animations give instructions - but operating the multi-skill game should be obvious to the kids. The wired cute reindeer pin is The Village Trailer – but you may skip that as it is mostly The Santa Tracker video reiterated. The propeller pin is The Village Wind Tunnel. Interaction with this game is not obvious - perhaps it has an 'Easter Egg'? The rubber duck pin is a multi-skill game - The Village Boatload. This should be fun to children of all ages.

The sign post pin takes you to The Village Streets Navigator on the Santa Tracker. It was ironic that - when tested - the game did not seem to track much of anything. The bouncing candy pin leads to The Village Factory. The red pinball launcher button will be irresistible to kids and pinball wizards alike. The bouncing rolling gift package is The Village Roller Coaster. The candy swirl pin is probably the most challenging game on Santa Tracker - The Gumball Challenge. It gets pretty challenging at level 5 - but should challenge the kid in all. Overall its a cute, fun gift from Google.

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