31 Top Kids' Software Titles

31 Top Kids' Software Titles

GAMES: Time to Play (continued)


The bare minimum? Far from it - here's the bear maximum!


Smart-Bear Adventures


This series is filled with tons of bear-related facts. The software is more of an interactive book than a game, and as you progress through the story, you unlock new features. For example, in Smart-Bear Adventures 1, you get new image stamps for the creativity center every time you read a new section of the story. You have to finish sections in order to uncover new ones, however, so older kids or those with short attention spans may find the linear track unbearable. And in an age of glitzy graphics and sound, Smart-Bear is refreshing in its still-image and single-narrator simplicity.


COMPANY: Leboe & Grice Multimedia
CONTACT: www.smart-bear.com
PRICE: $19.95 to $24.95
AGE RANGE: 4 to 6
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.3 or later
You'll learn a lot about bears. Printable goodies. Universal binary.
Pace is too slow for older kids. Linear storyline discourages random exploration.



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Big Bang Brain Games


They say that people who do crossword puzzles and other brain-teasing games stay mentally alert longer into old age. That's the idea behind Big Bang Brain Games, a collection of five games for kids and adults that are probably more mentally stimulating than, say, Mortal Kombat, but also likely less thrilling. No matter. Kids who are proficient with the mouse and solid readers will enjoy this game suite, as our testers did, particularly because if nothing else, the graphics are on par with Mac casual games meant to appeal to older gamers.


COMPANY: Freeverse
CONTACT: www.freeverse.com
PRICE: $29.95
AGE RANGE: 7 and up
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.3.9 or later
Graphics appeal to adults too. Multiple difficulty levels and game types make it fun for the whole family. Universal binary.
Some games may move too quickly for younger children who are less nimble with the mouse.



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Legos and lightsabers: together at last.


Lego Star Wars


If you grew up a fan of the Star Wars movies, here's your chance to share the sci-fi fun with your child. The characters, spaceships, structures, and other aspects of this game are designed Lego style, giving Lego Star Wars a cartoony feel. Your child needs nimble fingers to control the characters - our testers were a bit confused at first about how to use the buttons to get their character to do anything. But they got it after a few minutes of practice. At that point, it was hard to keep them from playing through all of Episodes I, II, and III of the Star Wars saga.


CONTACT: www.aspyr.com
PRICE: $29.95
AGE RANGE: 7 and up
REQUIREMENTS: 1.2GHz G4 or faster, Mac OS 10.3.8 or later, 512MB RAM, 2GB disk space, DVD drive
Lots of action. Follows the Star Wars saga. Multiplayer mode. Universal binary.
Controls take practice. Some camera angles are awkward.



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GAMES: Also try...


Androkids ($14.95, www.phelios.com) injects juvenile fun into the platform-game genre by using artwork reminiscent of a fourth-grader's drawings on blue-lined binder paper. It's time to save the princess in Captain Bumper ($25, www.macrun.com), a game chock-full o' colorful, fun graphics and lots of action. Ladybugs ($9.95, www.midoritech.com) is a collection of maze games that encourage color-recognition skills, memorization, and problem solving. Ignazio Fun House ($5.99, www.sakuragames.com) is filled with word and math games to teach the basics of letters and numbers.






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tsk ler thank you (:


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You are absoluterly right it helps you to develop the interest in the children so that they can learn while they think that they are playing, and also very helpful to judge the abiluities of the studenst so that you can know where you should workout on the speciefic child. Regards,David Patterson http://www.wholesalepages.co.uk


Mike R.

What a great article. As a parent, I'm sometimes hard-pressed to find good Mac software for my 5 and 8 year olds. These are very good reviews of what's out there.



It is good that someone writes articles which really matters something.

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