Reviews

Toca Robot Lab Relaunch – Game Review and Interview

toco robot lab

Written By You

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Like many of our readers, we are big fans of Toca Boca. Their digital games are not made for boys or for girls, but for anyone who wants to play. 

The company regularly updates the apps to bring them up to date, and recently took a closer look at the Toca Robot Lab. Although the app was incredibly popular, with over 750,000 downloads, they realised that there was something that didn’t quite fit with their philosophy of gender neutral and child-centred design.

Our #jumpjourno Cat spoke to Rebeccca and Mathilda from Toca Boca to find out more.

 

 

Toca Robot Lab is FREE for a limited period  

Toca Robot Lab lets you build your very own robot with odd bits and bobs. Every time you play the game you can use different parts – choose the legs, body, head and arms and then let your robot fly around. 

Once you’ve built your robot, you can fly it around, collect the stars scattered around the testing area, and then get your Toca Robot Lab Report. There are no rules, no in-app purchases… you play the way YOU want to! 

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Events

Best New Games for Kids at the UK Toyfair 2014

Science4you 1 volcano kit cooking science 4 you

 

Can it just be my birthday already? I really want to get my hands on some of the amazingly cool toys, gadgets and new games for kids that I spotted at London’s Toy Fair 2014…

 

Toy Fair, which took place from 21-23 January at the Kensington Olympia in London, was an overwhelming experience – more than 280 exhibitors showcasing thousands of new toys and games. While I doubt anyone could see and sample all of them in three short days, I did my best to do a whistle-stop tour of the exhibition centre so I can show you my picks of the most exciting new releases. Check ’em out!

 

Science and Biology Kitsvolcano kit

 

 

cooking science 4 youcooking science 4 you Science4you 1 volcano kit

 

One of the things I loved about this year’s Toy Fair was the huge selection of fun science- and biology-themed games! The kits above are by Portuguese company Science4you, and the kits are developed in collaboration with Oxford University. How’s that for credibility? They have science games that combine fun and learning for ages 3-14 years, and to find your nearest stockist they suggest you get your dad or mum to tweet them or ask them on Facebook.

 

 first microscope future energy Kitchen lab

These science games are by toy company Clementoni. Their products are aimed at kids from 6-10 years, and cover everything from food and kitchen experiments, to gardening, dinosaurs and archaeology, chemistry, sustainable energy, electricity, climate and weather, and underwater and underground life. Find out more here.

Bug safari Butterfly garden worm world

 

If you’re into entomology (that is, BUGS), you’ll love these! Learn more about the insects in your world by keeping them close by for observation. Nick Baker’s Bug Safari and Worm World are available from Interplay, and the Butterfly Garden is by Insect Lore.

Building Toys

 

Goldieblox marble run spidey

We had a flurry of queries about GoldieBlox engineering toys for girls when we first posted about them on Twitter. Good news, they now have a UK distributor! You can find them on the Interplay website. They didn’t have an open box at the stand, but you can see inside two GoldieBlox games on the site. They look like great fun, and are aimed at age 4 and up.

 I also loved the idea of the Marbureka marble run sets. Each set comes with a combination of pieces you can fit together to build your own marble run. They are available online in several sizes and from a number of distributors – just search “Marbureka marble run” in Google

The scary spider in the bottom picture was built from KAPLA blocks. They are a similar idea to the wooden block game of Jenga, in that you build by just placing them on top of each other – no glue, nails or clips required. You can buy them in different colours, but I quite like the neutral ones as you could then paint or colour them yourself!

The main image at the top is of Lego’s prize-winning police station set – one of Toy Fair’s Best New Toys for 2014.

Just for fun

Ugglys pug petlego216

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So those were all my favourite finds before my phone died from over-enthusiastic picture taking!

I was really entertained by The Ugglys electronic Pug Pet. Just like a real dog, this pup snores, farts and makes other horrible noises to gross out you and your friends!

Fans of the Minecraft game (which you can read more about here) will want to get their hands on some of the many Minecraft toys and figurines I spotted. I like the idea of taking the fun and creativity away from the screen and into real life too. Lego and Minecraft teamed up to create classic Minecraft environments you can build from Lego blocks – take a look here.  Again, there are a few places you can buy your Minecraft toys from, so it’s best to Google “Minecraft toys” so you can choose where to make the purchase.

Find out more about Toy Fair 2014 here.

 

By Rebecca Dodd. Rebecca is Jump! Mag’s Social Media Volunteer and a freelance online journalist. 

Featured image: metro.co.uk

 

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Science, Nature and Tech, Toys and Games

Why DO Kids Want to Play Minecraft?

Sitting back, ready for another interesting and rather aggressive night on COD (Call of Duty), I launch my dashboard to see the usual suspects all gathered playing the latest shoot ’em ups.

Except one.  Looking again, I notice my 13-year-old brother Jimbob is playing a game I’ve never seen – MINECRAFT.

After much persuasion and explanation “COME ON BRO, BUY IT PLEASE, YOU BUILD STUFF”,  I decide to purchase it, in order to support him in our mum’s campaign to play online more responsibly.

The game launches and all I see is blocks. Have I got the right game? Where are the graphics?

Wandering mindlessly around, past trees, rivers and spiders, until Harvey Jimbob asks me to come to his house. Here’s the strangest part: he built it.

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