Screentime is an issue at our house (like yours too, right?).
As in, we set timers and our kids (one boy, three girls, ages 10 through 6) get no more than 30 minutes of video games a day. That includes educational games, though on snow days and weekends I am more flexible.
So to say my kids are discriminating when it comes to their video game time… well, that is an understatement.
We have three or four go-to games in our house. One is Minecraft (natch). More on that in another post.
But one game that my older kids (who love to read) can’t get enough of is Scribblenauts. This is an iPad-friendly game that is ad-free (and also short-skirt, hot-skinny-Monster-chick-free).
It’s also learning + fun that has sucked my kids in.
Who Doesn’t Love Puzzles + Adventure?
The Scribblenauts was originally designed for the Nintendo DS, and its is described as a cross between “solving life situation puzzles alongside Madlibs”. A player ascends through levels by achieving “Starlites.”
She achieves these by “summoning any object (from a database of tens of thousands) by writing its name on the touchscreen.”
Does your character need to physically go up? Type “ladder” and it appears. Or maybe “trampoline” will work better in this instance? Type, bounce and see if that takes you where you want to go.
Do you need to cross some water? “Rowboat” seems simple enough. Or why not try “pogo stick” and see what happens? Mr. I likes to use helicopters and sledgehammers whenever he gets the chance.
It’s Not just for iPad!
Now, the makers have partnered with DC Comics, and a new version of the game is available for Nintendo’s 3DS and our beloved family fun machine, the WiiU, in the form of Scribblenauts Unmasked. If you have an awesome town library like ours, you can check it out for free there.
Scribblenauts Remix for iPad is $.99 with in-app purchases. It’s also compatible with the iPhone and iTouch.
The games are rated 9+ for “Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence”, but nothing I saw was really troublesome for kids of any age.
Really, the age restriction is more about ability: It’s for kids who can spell, so ages 7 and up is about right.
It’s also fun to play with friends, brainstorming on different ways to solve the puzzles. So if the kids are dying to stare at the iPad during a playdate, this is a good game to suggest they enjoy and work on together.
But be careful… It has been known to suck in kids of ALL AGES.