Is your Minecraft genius looking for new maps to explore? Maybe they’re ready to take on virtual challenges that make them apply real-world concepts, like exploring gravity by tilting their iPad. Whether your players are looking for strategy-building games or problem-solving brainteasers, we’ve done the tech research for you. Scroll on to see which 10 creativity boosting games made our list.
photo: Adventure with Companions
Adventure with Companions
This simple app game takes place in an online world, where you place to build anything you want, from a cottage to a spaceship. Builders ages 4 and up will enjoy the ease of stacking with block-shaped cobblestones, trees, stones, glass and other materials. Need inspiration? Travel ’round to see what others have created, and even collaborate with them to make something new!
photo: Monument Valley
If you’ve seen any of M.C. Escher’s illusionist drawings, then the mind-bending puzzles of Monument Valley will look familiar to you. Go on a beautiful adventure, guiding a lost princess through architectural levels of rotating stairs, topsy-turvy buildings and 3D roads that challenge your perspective. The trial-and-error method of play makes Monument Valley skewed towards older kids, but with its soothing music and scary-free creatures, it can also be a story time opportunity for tots under five. Eventually they’ll even be able to play after watching you.
Soothing music and minimalistic art makes Blek a calming gaming experience, no matter how challenging the level gets. Take your time to create lines that form moving patterns. The open-ended experience is similar to Minecraft in that doodlers are allowed to draw without restrictions, but still need to aim for the end goal (collect all the colored dots and avoid the black). Doodlers under five will be able to play the first 12 levels on their own before they’ll start asking for help.
Made for your digi-tots aged 6-8, Windosill is a surreal 3D game engages your clicker’s penchant for tapping on everything. Explore 11 dream worlds by clicking and dragging the pictures to obtain objects and find the tiny box that acts as the door key. Windosill’s visual style looks picture-book easy, but the game explores physics concepts like motion and gravity (tilt your iPad to manipulate objects). In fact, when you visit the website, you’ll be jumping right into the game! Here’s our hint for the first level: Click on the light bulb and move the box above the door to open it and move through.
photo: Block Story
If your gamer thrives off completing quests, living a story and playing with dragons, then Block Story is just right for them. Like Minecraft, Block Story players will collect resources, use blocks to build strongholds, and explore worlds. There’s no multiplayer aspect, but the medieval setting brings a lot of interesting characters for them to interact with.
Known as the 2D version of Minecraft, Terraria also has no storyline or ultimate objectives, leaving players to roam the world as they please. Kids need a real-world understanding of how objects are made, like how wood becomes shelter, or metal makes swords, in order to successfully create new inventory. There are also different enemies — from slime to zombies — to battle, but the game mostly focuses on exploration and creation.
LEGO Creator Islands
Bring your LEGO obsession into a virtual reality with LEGO Creator Islands. Assemble digital helicopters, homes and docks to help your Minifigures defend, rebuild and live on your island. Earn yellow bricks to unlock special models, build on more islands and strategize to keep your island protected. It’s the digital combination of our kiddos’ favorite toys, LEGO and Minecraft — what’s not to love?
With Roblox, your imagineer can create their own game and publish that world so that their friends can join in and play. Or jump into other user-created worlds where you can pretend to sell pies or battle each other in an arena. Complete activities to earn tickets as Roblox currency, or make in-game purchases for more advance builds. There are also plenty of regulations, such as a chat section for those under 13, that make it safe for children.
photo: My Dream
For parents who aren’t keen on the spooky sounds and creepy monsters in Minecraft, give My Dream a trial run. Created by a mom who wanted to give her players a less intense experience, this game maintains all the creativity, collaboration and strategy aspects that Minecraft has, but in a more peaceful way. Fighting is designated to specific areas, so players can avoid violence by opting not to enter the arena. It’s currently in Beta mode, but you can test-drive the game before it’s released in 2015.
Get sent into space to discover new environmental habitats, ancient artifacts and asteroids in a world that looks like it popped out of classic fairytale “The Little Prince.” Instead of using people, Eufloria features plants and seedlings as your characters. Engage in plant-on-plant battles to claim new asteroids. Gameplay is in real time, and can range from difficult to casual (you may need to help your kiddos out in the beginning as the instructions must be read), but that all depends on how your explorer wants to play.
What other games do your kids like to play? Let us know in the Comments below!
— Christal Yuen