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One of the most important demographics in modern computing is children. While many see games and apps as a distraction, the fact is a whole generation is growing up with new experiences, shaping their brains for a computer-first world.
The question many researchers are asking is can children learn from and benefit from these digital creations? Today, we're taking a look at Crayola Bubbles, which children will not only enjoy, but lets them express themselves artistically and improve their memory.
Crayola Bubbles is a teaching tool
Crayola Bubbles is a children's app from Legacy Games (a subsidiary of Legacy Interactive). The company was founded by CEO Ariella Lehrer, who has been working on interactive gaming for over 30 years and has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology. Her area of interest is how comprehension and memory vary depending on the medium e.g. video, audio, or text and she applies her understanding of the brain in creating interactive games for young adults and children.
Five games are included in Crayola Bubbles, and they have fun names like Castle Defender, Bubble Runner, Lights, Color Memory, and Karate Frenzy and fun things like Paint by Bubble. There are also many other smaller features like Playground, Splatter & Draw Acidity, Selfies, and Free Paint Activity. They're all meant to be Educational, fun, and sneakily teach children about things such as color mixing, fast reactions, and pattern memorization.
Selfies is particularly funny as it lets you use your phone's camera to take a photo with bubbles floating around (they can even be moved). Unfortunately, the images stay within the app and do not save to your Camera Roll. Then again, with kids, perhaps that is a good thing as your photo albums won't be filled with dozens of colorful selfies.
The game also has built-in Achievements (not the Xbox kind, however) that let the child win accomplishments for finishing paintings, defending the castle, popping 250 bubbles, and more. Another very exciting feature for kids that keeps them coming back is the ability to unlock items like new wands for blowing bubbles. This grinding aspect gives children goals in the game as opposed to a game with no progression.
Released on iOS, Android, Windows 10, and Windows 10 Mobile, Crayola Bubbles joins the increasing number of Crayola and Legacy Interactive titles available across platforms. The Bubbles game is one of four available from Legacy Interactive including Tarzan Unleashed, Paranormal State: Poison Spring, and Crayola Color, Draw, & Sing.
Crayola Bubbles is set in a large playground park where you can blow bubbles using wands of different types and colors. The app lets kids have fun by learning to play with differently colored bubbles that pop when you tap on them. The graphics also have realistic physics along with beautiful effects. In Paint by Bubble, children can color in pictures using the floating bubbles. The goal is to match the paint bubbles with the corresponding area in the image and by popping them, fill it all in all while being encouraged by the narrator.
Bubbles everywhere on Windows 10
For those with small children being able to play Crayola Bubbles anywhere, anytime is a great addition. The game works best on devices with touch displays like the Surface or any Windows 10 Mobile device.
Crayola Bubbles also has built-in gyroscope support, and I cannot stress how neat it is on a phone. Enabling this feature under settings will turn all the playgrounds into 360-degree environments that your child can explore by just tilting and moving the phone. With bubbles floating around and the capacity to show you this virtual world from all angles Crayola Bubbles takes on a whole new dimension that even adults will find impressive.
Karate Frenzy is one of the most fun built-in games as it is very reminiscent of Fruit Ninja, but with colorful bubbles that need to be slashed, while avoiding the black bubbles that will take away your hearts (lives).
No accounts are necessary to be created to use Crayola Bubbles, which is perfect for those with multiple kids or who are worried about providing any meta-data sold to a third party company. In fact, there is no login at all as anyone can just pick up and play. With the guided tutorials any young kid can just start playing and learn from the many included mini-games and free-time explore areas.
Just as important there are no in-app purchases, so you do not need to worry about your child racking up a bill on your Microsoft or carrier account.
Being a parent is no easy task, especially in the digital age where there are plenty of distractions and lots of unhealthy activities. Crayola Bubble is a fantastic game for young children — not only will it keep them occupied, but their skills in memory, reaction times, and listening to directions could be improved as well.
Parents will appreciate the ease at which kids can pick up and play the many games whether it is on a phone or Windows tablet. Not only will parents get some respite, but they can feel good that their child is getting something educational.
Between the excellent graphics, fun physics using the phone's gyroscope and no in-app purchases there is a lot to like about what Crayola and Legacy Interactive have created.
If you have young children make sure to pick up Crayola Bubbles. Even better is that through the month of June the game will be available for 99 cents on the Windows 10 platform instead of the regular $2.99! That one-time purchase will unlock the game for any Windows 10 devices including phones, tablets, and the PC, and it can be installed up to ten Windows 10 devices making it a great value.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.