Kid-Tested Toy & Product Review
New App and Video Game Reviews
The Hottest Apps, Computer and Video Games! We've got the scoop on the latest and greatest video games and apps to get the year started.
Skylanders Imaginators Starter Pack
Skylanders Imaginators empowers players to unleash their imaginations by giving them the freedom to create their own Skylander. Portal Masters will enjoy the immense possibilities available in the game -- including appearance, powers, abilities, names, catchphrases, musical themes and much more -- to create the wildest Skylanders imaginable. The game also features Sensei toys and characters including this year’s guest stars Crash Bandicoot, Dr. Neo Cortex and Kaos. Skylanders Imaginators supports all 300+ Skylanders from previous games. Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, WiiU.
LEGO Dimensions Ghostbusters Story Pack
Provides a complete movie-based gameplay experience with six puzzle-packed levels and new LEGO Gateway bricks that allow players to build Zhu’s Chinese Restaurant atop the LEGO Toy Pad. It comes with a buildable Abby Yates LEGO minifigure with Proton Blaster and 3-in-1 buildable Ecto-1 which can be rebuilt into the Ectozer and The PerfEcto. The pack unlocks “Rip,” a new Toy Pad mode allowing players to tear open an alternate universe. In this mirror world, players have the ability to solve puzzles and affect objects and other items in the primary universe. Available for PlayStation4 and PlayStation3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U.
Song of the Deep
Song of the Deep is a metroidvania-style action-adventure game following a young girl’s quest into the unknown to find her missing father. Combining discovery, skill, and suspense with an unforgettable narrative, this underwater journey will challenge players to explore, experiment, and skillfully navigate a vast ocean landscape. Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Talent Not Included
Talent Not Included is a humor-filled action-combat platformer that takes place in the land of Notthatmuchfurther, where players encounter three monsters: Zordok, Derp and Kevin, Shakespeare aficionados who love slaughter and bloodbaths. Brace yourselves, for the play won’t exactly be a walk in the park.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens marks the triumphant return of the No. 1 LEGO videogame franchise, immersing fans in the new Star Wars adventure like never before. Players can relive the epic action from the blockbuster film in a way that only LEGO can offer, featuring all of the storylines from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, retold through the clever and witty LEGO lens. The game will also include exclusive playable content exploring New Adventures set in the time leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, providing further insight about the new movie and its characters. Available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Steam (Windows PC).
Assault Suit Leynos
$19.99 on PS4 boxed edition; RisingStarGames.com
A classic reawakens – Assault Suit Leynos is back and in high definition. Get ready for all-out robotic war as the fan-favorite Mega Drive classic is reworked with all new HD visuals for the ultimate alien-blasting experience. As Earth reels from the impact of the fourth world war and dwindling resources, an uneasy truce between nations sees mankind reach for the stars. Colonies are settled, resources are mined and the future starts looking a little brighter. But just as peace finally seems possible, an unknown enemy emerges from the deepest region of space to threaten the very existence of humanity. Only one thing can stop them: deploy the Assault Suit Squadron. Rated E for Everyone, 10+.
$19.99 on PS4 boxed edition; Play-Lumo.com
Witness the rebirth of a genre in Lumo. A modern take on the long-lost isometric platform genre, Lumo can be enjoyed by anyone looking for an absorbing, challenging and rewarding adventure. But for those who lived through the golden age of videogames – the 80s and early 90s – or know about the games and culture from that time, layer upon layer of nods, winks and touches to those times help build upon an experience that’s as heart-warming as it is exciting. Rated E for Everyone, 10+.
Dr. Panda Bath Time
By helping Dr. Panda’s friends clean up, children learn how to practice good hygiene and stay healthy in a fun, interactive way. The Dr. Panda characters motivate players with their fun personalities and expressive reactions. Getting clean in the bathtub or shower, washing clothes or going “potty” has never been so much fun. Designed for kids ages 3-5.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens App
Now available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, fans can relive the galaxy's greatest adventure on-the-go, with a campaign designed to best utilize the pick up and play style of mobile devices, enjoyed anytime, anywhere. Play the first chapter for free with subsequent levels, character packs and additional content available throughout the year via in-app purchases. The mobile game will be coming soon to Google Play for Android devices.
Finding Dory: Just Keep Swimming
Kids and families can swim through the story of “Finding Dory” in an underwater adventure for mobile devices. Players can help Dory collect bubbles through the side-scrolling mazes consisting of 13 total levels including the Reef, the Marine Life Institute, the Kelp Forest and more. Along the way, players will meet Marlin, Nemo, Bailey, Destiny, Hank and other friends as they use the ocean’s current for boosts, avoid unexpected underwater obstacles and try to earn three stars for each level.
Kick & Fennick
Kick & Fennick tells the story of a young boy named Kick who finds himself waking up in a bright and colorful, yet dangerous world. Besides shooting down enemy robots, Kick can make huge jumps by using his gun's powerful recoil. Together they must explore this strange new world, jumping and shooting their way through 45 levels of collapsed skyscrapers, treadmills, bounce-pads, magnets, teleporters, and a big guard robot that are out to stop Kick at all costs. Available for Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One. Rated E10+.
LEGO® Jurassic World™
The action-packed adventure game brings the excitement of all four Jurassic films to one mobile game for the first time, spanning more than two decades of epic films from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, including Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III and the recent box office blockbuster Jurassic World. Reimagined with TT Games’ signature LEGO humor, the thrilling adventure recreates unforgettable scenes and action sequences from the films, allowing fans to experience for themselves the franchise’s most memorable moments and the opportunity to fully explore the expansive grounds of Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna. Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Google Play for Android devices. Rated E10+.
$6.99/month or $29.99/6 months; PlayKidsApp.com
PlayKids is filled with over 200 video shows, stories and educational games that are constantly updated to provide full entertainment for children ages four and up. Popular shows on PlayKids include Daniel Tiger, Callow, Peppa Pig and Super WHY. PlayKids allows children to watch videos anytime and anywhere--even without an internet connection. The app is downloadable via iOS and Android devices.
With Toca Dance, kids are in full control as the dance instructor. They pick three characters for their dance squad before going wild in the costume closet and selecting their song. Once that’s done, the squad scrambles off to rehearsals. Kids teach the dancers their moves with six sequences to create and string together — shake the choreographer’s head and the characters will mimic, swing her arms and the characters will follow. When it’s time to head to the stage, kids can change the backdrop and use special effects and pyrotechnics. Hit play and watch the show. If kids want an encore performance, they can simply save the video to their device’s camera roll and show it off to their friends.
Free, each new jam $.99; MelodyJams.com
An interactive and fun way for kids to hear new instruments, play along, go on tour and become a rock star at any age. Mix and match your favorite characters in fun combinations to create your own songs, then jump in and play along. Join your Melody Jam band on the road to meet new friends, play new instruments and experience the fun of making music with others. Kids will love the original animations and they can choose the sounds they want. Mix different melodies around to create your own music.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is the first videogame to feature characters and storylines from the critically-acclaimed film Marvel’s The Avengers and the hit sequel Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as content based on additional Marvel Studios blockbuster films, including Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Gamers can play and unlock more than 200 characters, with over 100 new characters that have not appeared in a LEGO videogame before. For the first time, players can execute incredible Avengers Team-Up Moves resulting in incredible combos when using core Avengers, including Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man. Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and PC. Rated E 10+.
Smurfs™ Epic Run
Free to download on iOS, Android and Amazon, Smurfs Epic Run is a fun 2D platformer featuring gorgeous graphics, 100+ levels and more than 250 challenges to complete. Inspired by Peyo, the creator of the Smurfs, the game’s storyline sees the evil Gargamel casting an evil fog spell to capture all the Smurfs. Players, who can play as their favorite Smurf and more than a dozen other famous & funny characters, must run away from the fog, journey through lush worlds, gather powerful magic artifacts and save all of their Smurfs friends to become the hero of the village.
Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for youth ages 8-14, offers a series of sophisticated yet fun online courses designed to “create creators.” The latest is Server Design 1, an exciting course that teaches kids how to program and customize their own Minecraft server. The experience extends the creativity of Minecraft into coding—children learn how to code in Java from scratch. They’ll be able to invite their friends to join the Minecraft world and can control the rules for play. Other Youth Digital course subscriptions include: Fashion Design, 3D Animation, 3D Printing & Modeling, Mod Design and App Design.
$19.95 monthly-$399.95 lifetime; iTunes
Fit Brains now offers a more holistic approach to brain health, taking brain training to a new level. The Fit Brains app helps boost cognitive skills such as memory, concentration, focus, speed of thinking, language and visual-spatial recognition. By using the emotional intelligence function, users are able to improve self-control, self-awareness and social awareness. Improvement of these skills can result in better work performance, stronger and healthier relationships, better health and less stress. Available for iPhone or iPad.
Published: November 2016
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