Category Archives: Video Games

Best AR Toys (Part III)

Parker is a whole new level of teddy bear.

PARKER THE BEAR

Forget the adorability! This ball of fur is cleverer than your average bear!

Filled with games and puzzles, Parker the Bear is your cute new BBF. Limited to Apple in the UK, this bear has plenty to teach and tell. Upfront Parker is a traditional bear, no batteries or connectivity inside but brought to life via the app.

Acquire a medical role and remedy his ailments whilst you play and watch his levels get better the more you interact. There’s fun to be released as you get to know your Parker with problems and puzzles to solve.

But more than that, Parker provides a lot of educational content on subject matter such as math, education, science, technology, and arts. There’s no reason not to have a bear like this.

SMART GLOBE EXPLORER AR

Including an interactive smartpen that taps on the surfaces of the planet to give audio info, this AR-infused globe ticks plenty of boxes.

First, everyone must have a globe at home and this one has all the info on culture, geography, and such with the capability to open and see a solar system in the interior.

Have the AR part functioning and bring all the educational elements to life to keep you informed and entertained.

SWAPBOTS

The Swapbots project has been funded for a while and grafting such as crazy beavers are used to get the product out to the first round of financiers. The latest version of this mixed reality play has folks getting more than they bargained for.

The video-like gameplay of these cardboard boxes is incredible. Nine original creations can have their three pieces exchanged with each other to make new characters, with more than 600 combinations in total delivering vast playing potential. Collect currency, uncover new characters, and create stories.

 

Best AR Toys (Part II) 

 

JEDI CHALLENGES

This toy is part of other buying guides. However, this mixed reality stroke of genius warrants its place in this round-up entirely due to its “wow” factor. Put your handset into the headset, put the guidance orb on the floor, boot up and then you’re set. Play is picked from the different planets provided which you look at and push the hilt to select.

As well as fighting the red-faced adversary, there are several more enemies and droids to face off against. You can change up and be a part of battle planning before unleashing AR troops in your office-based battlefield.

Most significantly, you can get down to some typical Star Wars holographic chess.

MERGE CUBE

Cheap as chips but twice as nice. The merge cube has been having a good time overseas with selling millions of its AR infused cubes. There’s no reason we can see it not doing really well elsewhere, too, with the little spongy thing collecting plenty of approvals for its content provided via the QR-like glyphs on each side.

The merge cube has a kid-friendly content platform, the Merge Miniverse, containing more than 24 merge cube app experiences. Merge cube educational experiences let children get immersive and discover by going back in time with Dino Digger and through space on the Galactic Explorer. All inside the body with Anatomy AR which is pure animated excellence.

You can slice watermelon the cube. 

The cube also has gaming experiences like Things with one-minute wonders such as winding a jack in the box out of his dwelling or slicing a watermelon. On their own, fairly mundane tasks. But highly entertaining for a couple of moments.

Other gaming experiences are a striking Minecraft-like game Dig, and leading a virtual ball across different animated terrains in Tiltball, each one taking a minute to perfect and great fun to play. There’s also solid retro gaming Snake Attack which is very cool.

Get on board with this convenient holographic cube and take pleasure in the ride.

The Best Virtual Reality Games for Kids (Part IV) 

Your kids can enter a whole different world with these virtual reality games.

Rec Room

Rec Room is a true VR playground. It lets users come together and play games like charades, paintball, Frisbee golf, and dodgeball in a social setting. Like with anything social, you will meet good folks and not-so-good folks. Overall, it appears to be a really safe and fun environment to discover.

In Rec Room, you begin with your own private “dorm room” where you create and outfit your in-game avatar. You choose gender, clothing, hairstyle, and accessories. Once correctly outfitted, you move to the common area called the “locker room” where you get relaxed with the controls, meet with other players, and determine what games you want to play. You can start and stop a game when you want and are taken back to the locker room area.

Rec Room is fun for anyone. Though, recently, creators have limited access to 13 years and older.

Fantastic Contraption

Fantastic Contraption is an ingenious game in which you make “contraptions” (simple machines) to pilot obstacles in every level of the game. You construct these simple machines out of animal-like parts that you get from a cat. Once you’ve built and put together your machine, you test it to see if it will do its intended function so that you can finish the level. If it doesn’t, you perform changes and try it again. The game necessitates plenty of trial and error.

Fantastic Contraption is a blast. It entails creativity and problem-solving. You receive a few basic parts (wheels, axles, etc.), and it’s your job to construct something that will work and let you go to the next level. It’s a true STEM-inspired game.

Controlling the virtual machine parts in VR has you feeling like a mechanical engineer. It may be just the spark that some child needs to determine they want to do this for a living.

 

 

The Best Virtual Reality Games for Kids (Part III)

If your child likes mini golf, this vibrant game is one that they will love.

Cloudlands VR Minigolf

Remember going on family trips when you were a child and winding up at a miniature golf course? They always had some cheesy dinosaur or pirate theme. But you were a child and you loved that stuff, so it was incredible.

Cloudlands VR Minigolf tries to refine that “putt-putt” experience and bring it into the VR world, and they have done a pretty great job of making it into an immersive experience.

Cloudlands is colorful and bright and the controls are simple to use. That doesn’t mean it’s simple to play though. This game can be as challenging as mini-golf is in the real world. However, that frustration is what makes it maddening and fun for all ages.

The included courses are both complex and fun. But the real replay value comes from the game’s “course creation mode.” You can create and play your very own mini-golf courses, and you don’t have to tear up no one’s backyard to do it. You can even share your course with everyone when you’ve done making your masterpiece. You can play courses fabricated by other users too.

It’s easy to play, fun, and you can create and play your very own mini-golf course.

Smashbox Arena

Smashbox Arena is a part first-person shooter and part multiplayer dodgeball.

This game is dodgeball on steroids. There are many types of game balls, from homing missile-type balls to balls that change into huge rolling boulders that can crush enemies. You can even get a sniper-rifle-type dodgeball shooter for long-range, precise shots.

Many game modes and arenas make for all sorts of fun. If this game’s popularity sustains, there will always be someone to play against. If no human players are accessible, you can still play bot matches against AI opponents.

Even though this is a multiplayer first-person shooter, it’s basically just dodgeball, so there isn’t guts and blood involved, which keeps the game kid-friendly.

The Best Virtual Reality Games for Kids (Part II)

Your kids will love these VR games.

Candy Kingdom VR

Let’s be real, many VR shooters aren’t for children. There are some good shooting-gallery-type games for VR, but most of them are too frightening for children and involve killing monsters, zombies, or humans. They truly aren’t kid-friendly.

Candy Kingdom VR takes the on-rails shooter and creates something that is accessible and friendly for children. Yes, you’re still shooting at things. It really isn’t a violent game. It was more like a whimsical Disney ride or a sensible carnival game.

The game is bright, colorful, and challenging. It’s candy world theme most likely won’t induce nightmares like all the presently popular zombie shooters might.

It’s fun for kids with fun action, bright colors, and candy of course.

Tilt Brush

Remember when you had your first computer and you opened the paint program that was built into the operating system? You devoted at least a couple of days playing with different colors, brushes, stamps, and blending tools. You were amazed by it since it was a totally new medium that you had never used before.

Tilt Brush uses a similar experience of studying a whole new medium and brings it to a new group of kids (and their parents too).

Tilt Brush is a 3D VR paint program that lets you create drawings in three-dimensional space. You can draw things that have depth. Then, you can scale them down or up, erase them, walk around them, or change them. Whatever you can imagine.

You don’t have to use customary brushes, either. You can paint with smoke, fire, neon light tubes, electricity, whatever you want. There are so many choices that you can lose yourself in Tilt Brush for days. The controls are intuitive and turn into second nature within minutes of usage. Once you know the controls, then it’s all just raw creativity.

It’s a whole new medium that children have never explored before.

The Best Virtual Reality Games for Kids (Part I) 

Virtual reality has been around for a while but it has become more popular within the last decade. 

If you were 10 years of age or older back in the mid-90s, you possibly remember the first group of virtual reality devices that were on the market. They were just available to the super-rich or folks in academia.

Our only foretaste of VR technology was in movies like The Lawnmower Man. The sad truth of virtual reality, in that time, was that the technology to make really immersive virtual worlds just wasn’t available.

The only access children have to virtual reality at that time was the bad Nintendo Virtual Boy that could only show black and red and gave plenty of folks’ headaches. Back then, VR was a passing fad and one that most children never even got to know.

Now to the present. Over the last 12 months or so, VR has made a big comeback, and children of this era will probably have a way better chance to experience it thanks to VR going mainstream with items such as Samsung’s Gear VR, Sony’s PlayStation VR, and other head-mounted VR displays like those from Oculus and HTC. The good thing about PlayStation VR is that you can utilize it for other stuff besides virtual reality games.

Take a look at some of the best VR games available for kids

Pierhead Arcade

Another staple of any vacation is a trip to an old-fashion arcade. The one with Skee-Ball and those quarter guzzling prize claw crane games. You always believed like those things were fixed so that no one would win, but you kept playing because you wanted that stuffed bear that was just out of reach.

What if you can have your very own private virtual arcade with Whack-a-Mole, Skee-Ball, the claw machine, and any other classics? Good news, you can with Pierhead Arcade.

Pierhead Arcade possesses all the classics you put thousands of quarters into, and it offers you virtual prize redemption tickets so you can pick your prize at the prize counter. You can almost smell the cotton candy.

Pac-Man is Back! Retro Games on the Come Up!

Classic is the new black. From clothes to vehicles, what was once old is new again and in real demand. Video games aren’t any exception.

Classics that for years was found in barrooms and arcades have come back as current hits in an assortment of formats, like phones, touchscreens, and tablets. Not only are these retros bringing nostalgia for the ‘80s, they’re also getting a whole new fan base that didn’t grow up with the original.

Here are some games that pick up where their old-school ancestors left off.

Pac-Man/Now: Pac-Man 256
Pac-Man became 35 this year and was long due for a remake. In comes Pac-Man 256! First brought back in July ‘15 as a mobile game, with over 10 million downloads in the 1st 30 days, this one is going to quickly gain popularity on PCs due to their bigger screens to have fun with all the new features, such as the power to get around ghosts using tornados and lasers.

Old: 1942 
NOW: Shooty Skies

Matt Hall and Andy Sum are game specialists (retro). Their Crossy Road is a solid, smart throwback to the classic Frogger. This new version, Shooty Skies, gets its feel from the ‘80s game in which a plane sets off to destroy its enemies.

The basis of 1942 is carried over in Shooty Skies, and though the design of the game has an old feel, it’s much more lively than its inspiration. Instead of a cargo plane flying over an ocean, Shooty Skies has lots of landscapes, enemies, and new characters. Fun enemies such as piñatas that blast confetti and computer screens with cat memes that blast keyboards.

Pokemon
NOW: Mino Monsters 2

Cool, chilled characters that are cute and lethal at the same time are base to Pokemon and its current rebirth, Mino Monsters 2.

With Mino, you are introduced to a whole new cast with which you can battle. Mino’s creators also brought on a new story element to the game geared at older players, a tongue-in-cheek, Adult Swim type narrative.

Websites Your Children Will Enjoy

Let Your Kids Have a Blast on These Websites! All Kid Appropriate!

Fizzy’s Lunch Lab
Web-exclusive animated series encourages good nutrition.
URL: http://pbskids.org/lunchlab/

Arthur Family Health
Good information on allergies, asthma, allergies, children health.
URL: http://pbskids.org/arthur/health/ 

HTE Kids News
Current events crafted for children.
URL: http://www.htekidsnews.com 

Nick Jr. Beyond the Backpack
Personalized help preps children for preschool.
URL: http://beyondthebackpack.nickjr.com

Pocoyo World
Virtual world preschoolers can have fun with adults.
URL: http://www.pocoyo.com/ 

Duck’s Alphabet
Fun, easy phonics games presented by Word World character.
URL: http://wordworld.com/ducksalphabet.php 

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
Activities and lessons help preschoolers absorb life skills.
URL: http://pbskids.org/rogers/ 

Sesame Street
Brought to you by the letter “F” — for fun.
URL: http://www.sesamestreet.org

Oh Noah!
Learn Spanish along with title characters.
URL: http://pbskids.org/noah/index.html 

National Geographic Education
Rich resource get kids to be conscientious citizens.
URL: http://www.natgeoed.org 

New Moon Girls Online
Dynamite, fulfilling site for girls who want to get their priorities in the right place.
URL: http://www.newmoon.com/ 

Stop Bullying Now!
Games, videos, and quizzes inspiring kids to take a stand against bullying.
URL: http://takeastand.stopbullying.gov/kids/ 

Storybird
Create and craft wonderful books to share online and in print.
URL: http://www.storybird.com 

Starfall
When a mom mentioned she’s looking for some great educational websites for her children, it’s wasn’t long before Starfall was mentioned. The site has been online since ‘02 and works with your children through letter recognition all the way to reading nonfiction, comics, and plays.
URL: http://www.starfall.com/http://www.starfall.com/

CoolMath
CoolMath refers to itself as “an amusement park of math and more.” Kids can play online math games that aid them with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, money and more. CoolMath is for those that are ages 13 and up. However, its sister site, CoolMath4Kids is the one that is appropriate for kids between 3 through 12. CoolMath-Games has math games for preschoolers.
URL: http://www.coolmath.com/

Video Games for Young Children

As popular as video games and game systems are today most households contain a Play Station or an Xbox. If there are little ones in your home and they’ve grown up around it, they probably get excited about and ask to play too. However, some of those games adults and older children play can be not only inappropriate but also hard for younger children to understand. So, what are some games that are Play Station and Xbox compatible with the younger children in your household? Here are a few popular ones that can get your child included in the gaming fun at your house.

Play Station 4 Games

Little Big Planet 3 allows children to explore a mysterious planet called Bunkum. They will meet the inhabitants and battle Newton, the planet’s enemy. You can find this game online or in stores like Walmart and Target for around $20-25.

The Disney Infinity 2.0 Toy Box Starter Pack will give your child the freedom to explore, take adventures, and create new worlds with some of their favorite Disney characters. This game allows your child to open their imagination and create their own stories. This game sells for $9-17 at Walmart, Target, Game Stop, or online.

Lego City Undercover lets your children become a police officer named Chase McCain who goes undercover to hunt down an escaped criminal named Rex Fury who is terrorizing the city. This game is rated Everyone 10+. You can get this game for about $30-45.

Xbox One Games

Disney 2.0 Toy Box Starter Pack can also be purchased for Xbox One for around the same price as the Play Station Version.

Kung Fu Panda Showdown of Legendary Legends lets your child battle the legends of Kung Fu Panda across the Valley of Peace and compete in tournaments. This game sells for around $30.

Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare allows children to join the plants in regaining their town from the zombies that have taken it over with their evil leader Dr. Zomboss. You can get this game for $10-20.

Video Games Aren’t As Pointless As You Think!

Differing to the customary belief that gaming is just an addictive source of diversion and entertainment, recent studies has shown that gaming has many benefits and key among them, is the growth of cognitive skills in both adults and children.

Just as physical exercise aids in strengthening and improving your muscles, video games aid to indulge one’s brain in continuous stimulation, thus cultivating the brain’s performance. The following are some of the mental benefits of playing video games.

Advances coordination
When a child or adult is playing a video game, he or she is not only gazing at the computer inactively. The activities and actions on the screen offer plenty of mental stimulation. For one to play, he or she will necessitate to coordinate their audio, visual, and physical movements.

Betters problem-solving skills
Video games have specific rules. This means that the player has to think cautiously before making any move to guarantee that they stay within the obligatory rules of that specific game. The player needs to make quick decisions that will decide whether or not he or she will go to the next level.

Improves memory
Playing your favorite video game may necessitate both audio and visual memory. The player is needed to read or listen to the instructions which might only be given at the start of the game, thus the need to remember them during the entire game. Mastery of the keys on your keyboard aids you in effortlessly moving your characters in the game. This aids to develop your memory, whether short- term or long-term.

Develops attention and concentration
Video games particularly action games, have confirmed to be able to capture the player’s attention for the whole period of the game. This is brought about by the player’s demand to accomplish certain goals within the game and be able to get to the next level.