Time for another game of What’s-On-Our-iPod! First I’ll just say that our ipod touch remains our most beloved game platform, over the ps2, the nintendo DS, and running neck and neck with the PC only it probably wins because it has the added advantage of being mobile. As I’ve said before, I had no idea when I bought this little thing that I was buying a gaming machine, but gaming turns out to be one of it’s primary uses in our household, for our primary gamers, Luc, almost 5, and Sophie, 6 1/2. Here are some of the games they are most interested in these days…
These games are so cool. There is no winning or losing, and some people may not, as a result, even call them games. But since the kids are clearly playing when they do these little activities, I’m calling them games, so there. What am I talking about?
We have a bunch of these. Basically, you cook something, you decorate something with a myriad of toppings, and then you eat it. That’s it. Sounds like something that would last a few minutes, right? Well, it turns out that decorating and eating cupcakes or waffles or toast or tacos is endlessly interesting to little people. These games have stayed in constant usage for months. Sometimes they want to make the most beautiful (fanciful, gorgeous cake decorating or funny faces made out of vegetables in a salad bowl), or the most seasonally appropriate, or the most silly (sardines on your pancakes, anyone?), or the most outrageous (thirty scoops of ice cream on your Sunday, for example). When you eat your creation, by touching the screen, there is an audible crunch crunch sound and each touch takes out a bite-shaped chunk. The kids love this. Highly recommended.
I’ve written before about our love of this game on the pc. Well, it’s fun on the ipod touch, too. This is just a terrific game. Don’t hesitate.
This is a funny game, very engrossing, where you fire bird of differing capabilities into a puzzle/maze structure to get some greedy pigs. Sound silly? Of course it does. But the puzzles are cool and the solutions funny and surprising And the kids, Luc especially, and Paul, come to think of it, can fall into this game for a quite a while, figuring out solutions and strategies. Great game.
This is another process over ‘the win’ game. Basically, you make pots, that is, you draw clay on a wheel up into whatever shape you want, fire it, and glaze it. You can see the pots to buy more and different glaze patterns, categorized by location, say, Greek vase patterns vs. Japanese or Celtic or Egyptian, etc. Or you can keep your pots in a big collection. No winning or losing, just this semi-meditative pot creation. Sophie loves this game.
This game makes the kids giggle like maniacs, all the while they are interacting with this world, problem solving and making stuff happen. In this game, you are an all powerful god to a group of funny little villagers. You can be benevolent or wrathful, you can do whatever you want. You can help the little people fish or swim or you can feed them to the sharks and strike them with lightening. There is a TON of stuff to do on these little islands and the game is very open ended. Slingshot villagers into the volcano! Make a passing pelican poop on a villager’s head! Make the villager pick his nose! Cause the fish to be biting and let the villagers all get a good meal, then maybe whip up a tornado or a tsunami and wash it all away. This may sound destructive and harsh, but, as a previous addict of the ancient game Despair…
…where the only activity was doing terrible things to a bunch of tiny stick figures (oh my god, I loved that game) I understand the appeal of all-powerful destruction. It’s just pixels, no actual villagers are harmed in the playing of this game, and feeling powerful in a game is a great mood lifter. It does not translate into destructive behavior, only better jokes. That’s my experience, from myself and my kids, anyway. Terrific game.
Some other games that have been in mild rotation lately are Yumsters 2, Ninjatown, and Fling. Some games I’ve mentioned before that are still getting played are Trace, iWriteWords (which recently added numbers, too. Luc loves this game.), and Blowfish.
Have fun playing with your kids!