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The Stay At Home GeekMom Weekend Edition 3/19-3/20

Pump’s Points: Top 10 Games for iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad: Grade School Ages 5-12 – Part One

Hi Again,

Today I have something different. If you’ve read my About Me page, you have met Pump, my 7 1/2 year-old co-reviewer.

I had planned to bring you MY top-10 list of games for kids his age, but when I asked him to name his favourites, none of my first picks even made his top-20! That said many of his choices were better than ones I pick. He’s getting good at this.

I am bringing you the first five today and the second tomorrow but they are not in any order. (Click Here To Read Part 2 and see the 10 that didn’t make the list!)

All mentioned apps are universal apps, or have a version for both iphone/iPod’s and one for iPad.

If you see only one icon, the app works on all, otherwise icons on the LEFT are iPhone iPod touch, on the right will be the iPad HD version. Clicking on them will take you right to iTunes.

What a KID thinks KIDS should play.

The first game Pump named would never have made my top-100! LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 By Warner Bros, $4.99 is a great game, but I really feel Lego is am almost sacred toy. But I will put my bias aside and tell you what little I know.

The Lego series of consoles games (Xbox 360, Wii, PS3) and this first iOS offering are not building games. They have some thematic small building challenges  and everything has a cute Lego-like appearance, but this game is about Harry Potter in the first 4 instalments of the series.

Pump’s Point: This game is very good for kids because if you lose a life you just get another chance and it’s fun to play the broomstick game. Also Harry Potter is like a wizard and a human so it’s cool. Moms and dads should get this because the kids will play for two hours.

Here is a video that explains far better than I ever could:

I didn’t even know I still had physics puzzler classic Tiki Towers, the runaway hit for Gamehouse anymore, but Pump found it on my old iPhone 3 and went nuts for it.

He likes physics games a lot, and is more patient and clever than I could ever hope to be.

When you add cute monkeys to the award-winning mix for  a mere .99 for iPhone (left) and 1.99 for iPad, this an amazing Edu-App No-Brainer for everyone in your family including you!

The only thing Pump prefers to Tiki Towers for a puzzler is the recently launched Tiki Towers 2, which is universal and a great deal @ 2.99, espcially since it works across all iDevices.

Pump’s Point: OMG why do I like it?!? You can teach monkeys (heavy emphasis -lol) to climb buildings what do you think? And if you get 5 bananas you gt a prize!

I don’t think he even realizes this is a pretty serious physics puzzler in the vein of World Of Goo. It’s gets pretty tricky, requires concentration and patience, and promotes logical reasoning and spacial relations. But if he’s learning unaware, all the better! Check out the video trailer.

Marble Mixer by Gamehouse, .99 for iPhone/iPod touch, 1.99 for iPad is a slick marbles game. It’s fun the graphics are adorable and colorful, and it brings a classic game back from the grave. I think it’s an ok distraction, but to my surprise it’s one of pump’s faves so I’ll let him explain.

Pump’s Point: It’s really fun to shoot marbles and aim them, and there are a bunch of different games and you can play with friends or even your parents. And when I put it on auto-pilot I find it relaxing.
(Now I’m OMG, relaxing? I have a budding reviewer here for sure!)

Now Sandslides, free, by Logik State, is one Pump and I totally agree on! And it’s an Edu-App No-Brainer, an amazing game, and one of the rare games by indie devs to make Pump’s list.

I think this was .99 when it launched but it now free, and had in-game ads, not my favorite, but they are not too intrusive.

 The object of the game is simple. You need to draw a line to guide the sand from the dispensers on top, to the correct collecting bins. You can draw baskets to hold sand in place, criss-cross, whatever it takes to guide the particles to their correct destination.

Pump’s Point (his best!): This game is easy to learn but it gets hard too. But sometimes i like to forget about winning and just make pictures with the sand. It’s like playing with the sand art at school but it doesn’t make such a mess.
I knew I liked that kid for a reason. 😉 What a clever idea. I tried, it’s fun!

Here’s a trailer for you:

Ok since I’m splitting this list in half here is today’s last pick. Again these are not in any order other than the order I grabbed the icons so each list, as far as Pump is concerned, is of equal value.

Pump had several Chillingo games on his list, so I to ask him ton make a hard choice. But when push came to shove he picked now-classic family casual game Sneezies (the original for .99, we both don’t love the iPad version at 2.99 as much, it gets too hard) over the equally awesome Cooties for iPad (see SAHGeekMom review here) because we have had it so long and both still play it regularly.

I have covered Sneezies recently, and I don’t want to be redundant so I’m going to let the video speak for itself and Pump makes his point. All I want to add is that while I never thought of watching marbles on auto-play as being relaxing, this game is one of my go-to apps for stress relief. It’s really mellow and satisfying to play.

In brief the object is to touch the screen anywhere releasing sneezing powder. All Sneezies that start trapped in bubbles who are touched by the power sneeze, get released and distribute the powder further. The goal is to create chain reactions and clear a specific percentage of them per level.

Pump’s Point: I could even play this game when I was like 4 [he was 6 actually but who’s counting] and your kids can too.I t’s easy and there is lots of help on the screen and it doesn’t get boring even after a long time.
And my mom loves it so it has to be good for grown-ups too. [If he only knew, I’ll be 41 on Monday and I am very much still a kid!]

Here’s a final trailer for today:

That wraps up part one, since it’s only still today in a few time zones, but I’ll be back tomorrow with the rest of the list and my observations and in the meantime, please check out some of my recent reviews:

Click Here To Read Part 2 and see the 10 that didn’t make the list!

Happy App Hunting



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