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Old 12-01-2012, 04:13 PM   #1
Jessica Lares
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Kid friendly apps/games to pre-load on holiday Kindle Fire gifts

I know that a lot of people here are starting to order Kindle Fires this holiday season for their kids (I'm getting one for my brother even after passing my dad my original that I had from day 1), and I have nothing better to do except procrastinate, so I thought I'd list some of my favorite games and apps that you can select from to autofill the Kindle with the moment it connects to the internet. This way the first thing they don't do IS ask to go into the Appstore.

No freemium games here, but some paid ones that are worth the few dollars (and remember the MP3 credits you can get for doing so). I'll list the file sizes too.

I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DEVELOPERS!!!! I just like these games A LOT. You will see my reviews on some of the Amazon listings though, hahaha.

Console-like games
Well, maybe not, but these are games with lots and lots of gameplay that aren't like 5 minutes and done

Fibble - Flick 'n' Roll ($0.99) | 271.8MB - 507.9MB - This is the game that is on the promo shots of the new Fires. You can either use touch controls, or tilt the device. You basically have to get him to his goal in every level, but the fact that he rolls around, has limits on how much he can move, and can even fall off the courses makes it challenging.

World of Goo ($4.99) | 45.9MB - It's a tower strategy game, kinda like Tiki Towers, but you're using goo balls that have to reach a tube entrance. The thing I like about it most is that you can skip around levels, so if you can't finish one after 20 tries, you can just move on. Tons and tons of chapters and levels.

Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II ($6.99) | 375.0MB - There are two episodes to this game, but this is the better one. Graphics and effects are awesome, soundtrack is awesome, gameplay is awesome.

Also check out Cordy and Sleepy Jack, which are both $4.99 each.

Retro fun
Either is retro, or inspired by that classic 8-bit/16-bit look

EDGE Extended ($2.99) | 22.7MB - You move a changing color block around a bunch of different layouts. Love the soundtrack. It reminds me a lot of FEZ (Xbox Arcade) because of the look.

Radiant HD ($1.99) | 12.6MB - Based on Space Invaders. Cool graphics, nice bosses. All of Hexage Ltd's apps are worth downloading, and even though some are freemium, they aren't pushy about it.

Bean's Quest ($2.99) | 20.9MB - A great platform game about a jumping bean. Collect jewels and save the axolotls in every level.

Velocispider Zero is pretty good too, and it's FREE.

Multiplayer
Good for two people, whether it be taking turns with one device, or via wi-fi

Star Arcade (FREE) | Varies - http://www.star-arcade.com/ I'm grouping these together because it's a whole network of apps that you can download, including Jelly Wars (my brother and I's favorite), Diamonds Paradise, Spawned, Battleships, plus a few others. They're about to add Checkers too. You can play with people around the world, or you can play with your friend across the street. It's multi-platform too, so both Android/iOS compatible.

UNO ($0.99) | 86.6MB - Classic UNO, pass it around between turns and it works great.

Casual
Everything that isn't Angry Birds or Temple Run

Freebies: Happy Jump, Foozle, Tiki Lavalanche, Tiki Match, Jetpack Joyride (Make sure you disable 1-click), Garfield's Defense: Attack of the Food Invaders

Paid: Where's My Water? ($0.99), Plants vs. Zombies ($2.99), Fruit Ninja ($0.99), Cut the Rope: Experiments ($1.99), SPY Mouse ($0.99), Roll in the Hole ($0.99), Greedy Spiders 2 ($0.99), Jelly Defense ($2.99), Monsters Ate My Condo ($0.99), Muffin Knight ($0.99), Puffle Launch ($0.99), Saving Private Sheep! ($0.99), Shark Dash ($0.99), Saving Yello ($0.99), Spirits ($2.99)

There are a lot more games I can think of, it's just I tried to list games that would be of interest to those 7-12, wasn't so basic as hitting a button or taking a test, and of course wasn't a money grabber. Star Arcade is the only one that encourages you to use its own system, which is why I listed it and not the Zynga/Gameloft junk.

Miscellaneous
Non-games

Drawing: I think that Drawing Pad ($1.99) is the best app for drawing and coloring, it has a nice interface, with crayons, markers, brushes, and erases that are actually that. And it has stickers too.

Weather: The Weather Channel (FREE) is the most simplest to use and read.

Pretty much all I can think of at the moment. I didn't post links because there's too much listed and it would be a pain to edit. Some of these have free versions that might be shorter, or just have ads, so of course decide which works best for you.

And yes, some of these games are pretty expensive (and they also have PC/Mac ports that are even more pricey), but it's better than letting them go out and buy some "Stupid Test" or some of the other dumb games in the store, they come out with a new one every other week, and it's not worth the time, nor your hard earned money!! Especially if this will be their only gift, you should go ahead and at least buy them ~$20 worth of stuff to play with. That and a few Kindle eBooks from the store to start with.

That's my plan for my brother's Kindle anyway. The top lists and ads all over Amazon don't really help you in deciding what's good, and the reviews are even worse because they aren't limited to just verified purchases, so I thought I'd pass along my picks and give a better picture of what's actually good in there. Sure these aren't educational, but most will help build reasoning skills.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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This is a great list with a lot of good titles (I'd add Polara and The Lost City, the free apps the past couple days to the list). After all the work you put into this, it's too bad nobody has already responded.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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Jessica,

Thanks for the list, I will have to check some of these out for my kids. They aren't getting Kindles but both my 3 year old and 2 year old like to use mine.

3 year old loves cut the rope....the first game you mention with the tilting sounds cool.


I really really really really wish that the FreeTime mode for kids would allow you to access sideloaded videos. It would make it useable!

I am not worried about my kids getting into things they shouldn't, its more convenience that they dont have to flip through all my stuff to find theirs on the carousel. But it does me know good if they are in FreeTime and want to watch sideloaded Winnie the Pooh.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:32 AM   #4
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DOODLE JUMP :-)

I'd also like to add Shopping mania - my kids (8&9) love it!
And Skylanders Cloud Patrol, although I am a bit disappointed that no other Skylanders games are available on Android.
Tank Hero is a great free - kid-friendly - shooting game


Best regards,
Andy
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:07 AM   #5
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Dr. Panda's Hospital - Fun Animal Game for Preschoolers

This app is free today only (05 Dec) and has a 4.6 rating.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:34 AM   #6
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Have you played Battleship? Seems like 2-player would be simpler than one (networking vs artificial intelligence). Two players on two tabs seems like a natural fit.

We already have single player Sea Battle, so this may be the two player answer.

Last edited by wizwor; 12-13-2012 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:45 AM   #7
Jessica Lares
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Have you played Battleship? Seems like 2-player would be simpler than one (networking vs artificial intelligence). Two players on two tabs seems like a natural fit.

We already have single player Sea Battle, so this may be the two player answer.
No, not yet. I'll probably give it a go during the weekend. Sea Battle is pretty cool too, that was a nice FAOTD awhile back.

Oh, and speaking of FAOTD, Bean's Quest is free today.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:49 AM   #8
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There are TONS of FREE games on Amazon. Check them out!
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #9
Jessica Lares
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Toca Boca is now on the Amazon Appstore as of today, just saw the ad on the Appstore! Exciting! They make really, really nice stuff. Can highly recommend Toca Hair Salon 2 and pretty much anything else that they'll probably put out in the next few months.

And yeah, lots of free games, but a lot of freemium too. Just say no to coins!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:49 AM   #10
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I know how much kids like Fruit Ninja but what I see them doing at a local B&N store to the poor Nook screens........
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:35 PM   #11
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I know how much kids like Fruit Ninja but what I see them doing at a local B&N store to the poor Nook screens........
My son (12 years old) loves playing Fruit Ninja on his mom's iPhone 5.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:28 PM   #12
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I know how much kids like Fruit Ninja but what I see them doing at a local B&N store to the poor Nook screens........
They have it on a huge touchscreen at this one game place my brother and dad always go to, and it's even worse when you have 10 kids trying to slice all the fruit going in different directions.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:43 PM   #13
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Just wanted to update... I finally got around to playing Battleship. It's pretty good. Maybe just a little too slow though.
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