Good apps for kids
December 17, 2017 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Since my kids have asked for nothing for Xmas this year I am giving them itunes credits to buy ipad games. They pretty much only play lots of Toca Boca and Minecraft. There is so much junk out there, please give me your fun recommendations (educational is probably a reach, but appreciated). Girls ages 8 and 11.
posted by gryphonlover to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's free with some library memberships, but the language learning app MANGO is interactive and fun. Only mentioning it because my son has similar gaming tastes and he really likes MANGO.
posted by jbenben at 10:00 AM on December 17, 2017


My 8-year-old likes: Fantasy Forest Story, Colorfy (coloring book app), Cut the Rope, Bubble Pop, Candy Crush, Hungry Babies, Mystery Word Town

10-year old suggests: My PlayHome, Wizard School, Pet Bingo (math practice), Little Alchemist 2, Ultimate Wolf Simulator

Most of these are free.
posted by belladonna at 10:56 AM on December 17, 2017


Oh - if you want to use Mango, see if your library has a subscription. I know ours does, which makes it free for us to use.
posted by belladonna at 10:58 AM on December 17, 2017


My kids (girl and boy, 9 & 11) and I have really enjoyed playing some games together. My favourites are Machinarium, Botanicula, Monument Valley 1 and Monument Valley 2, Lume and Lumino City and Broken Age. They are all point and click puzzle type games. Some of the puzzles might be tough for your kids but that's where the family playing comes in. They aren't educational per se, but they are all beautiful and require strategic thinking, including some math and other problem solving skills.

My 11 year old also likes Roblox, Terraria and Minecraft, but these he plays mostly on his own.
posted by Cuke at 12:45 PM on December 17, 2017


Terraria is the 2D Minecraft. Aquaria is sort of like an underwater Metroidvania. Scribblenauts is a fun franchise if you haven't tried it. Paper Monsters is a decent Mario-like.

Loopimal, Bandimal and Miximal from Yatatoy are great musical toys that are basically beatboxes, synthesizers and sequencers in disguise.

Don't Starve, maybe, if they like the survival aspects of Minecraft.

They might also like some kind of cartoonish management game like Soda Dungeon -- about running a team of adventurers out of a soda tavern, so less grim than similar adult titles. (Haven't played it but have seen it mentioned a few times.)

ZenBound might be good as a puzzle game.

TinyTower, PocketTrains and PocketPlanes are fun but they're clicker games so be careful. Likewise the currently popular Pocket Camp (Animal Crossing).

Ticket to Ride is a faithful translation of the railbuilding board game. It might be a bit much for the 8 year old but I'd think a 10 year old could get into it easily.

SuperStickman Golf might be a winner.

If you think your 10 year old might like it, some of the old text adventures that first got people into gaming in the early years (Zork, etc) are available as Lost Treasures of Infocom.

I know I'm forgetting more...
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:38 PM on December 17, 2017


Also a Toca and Minecraft aficianado, my 8 year old girl likes "How to Train your Dragon" and "Club Penguin" (warning: monthly membership fee to do many things).
posted by nkknkk at 2:46 PM on December 17, 2017


Minecraft has a ton of add-ons you could get them...outfits (they come in packs for (basically all of) the different entertainment franchises: Simpsons, Marvel, Adventure Time, Doctor Who, etc) and different block themes and levels and stuff...you can check them out from the main game menu...
posted by sexyrobot at 4:00 PM on December 17, 2017


Mini Metro and Freeways are both educational and super fun imo, ymmv.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:25 PM on December 17, 2017


Dragon Box Algebra. It is fun, and, it will help them when they get to algebra concepts that are starting at younger ages these days. It is set up like a game...no explanations really given, but when my youngest was 7, he did the first version before me and was able to explain the concepts well. (Despite the fact that he has dyslexia and was not able to remember addition up to 10.)
posted by 101cats at 8:36 PM on December 17, 2017


Contre Jour
A surreal puzzle game where the player manipulates the environment - malleable ground, dangly sticky things, stretchy sticky things, etc. - to manoeuvre a small blob from A to B, avoiding hazards and collecting bonus lights. Hauntingly lovely music.
- Demo video

Spirits
I generally refer to this as 'Zen Lemmings'. It is basically Lemmings, but calmer (though no less fatal to the poor wee things), with beautiful graphics and soundtrack.
- Demo video
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 5:56 AM on December 18, 2017


Oh - and World of Goo!
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 1:26 PM on December 18, 2017


Thank you everyone, what a wonderful list. I marked all the best answer because there are so many great ones to go through.
posted by gryphonlover at 8:15 AM on December 19, 2017


My ten-year-old daughter loves all the apps from TinyBop - they are more educational - human body [ but you can make it fart!] robots, the planet, etc. but still lots of fun. And no in-app purchases! I like them too :-)
posted by drinkmaildave at 4:59 PM on December 19, 2017


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