Gold Award Winners
|Core fx Three Level, Core Learning Ltd., 2005, $54.95; WIN 98 and up; www.core-learning.com; for ages 6 and up. Core fx is a blast. Turn your computer screen into a painting canvas with colorful pencils, paints, spirographics, click art, textures and animations. Small children can scribble, paint and erase endlessly, while teens can scan in, embellish, animate and re-invent their art. Players stay riveted to the screen as one cool option leads to the next. Art may be free-form or computer generated - using pattern and tiling effects, shape constructions and stamps. Kids can also experiment with realistic mediums that include crayon, charcoal, oil, chalk, felt pen, acrylic paint, watercolor and airbrush.|
Eco-Rangers: Animal Kingdom DVD Game, Snap TV Games, 2005, $24.99; DVD player; www.snaptvgames.com; for ages 6 to 10. A good bang for your buck, this versatile program can be played with one or multiple gamers on any DVD player. Combining cartoon-style graphics with legitimate documentary-style visuals, the game's five missions span the Arctic to the Pacific Seas in a mix of nature images blended with classroom-style test questions presented by space-age rangers. Throw this game in the car for a long trip or play at home with the family.
Jam Trax, Sony Media Software, 2005, $19.95; WIN 98SE, 2000/XP; www.sony.com/mediasoftware; for ages 10 and up. A steal for the price, this sophisticated composing program allows budding composers to create, record, play and e-mail original music from a switchboard screen that is visually easy to comprehend. Add a microphone for vocals and select a range of instruments - from electric bass to strumming guitar - to create a full band or even a full symphonic sound track. For younger musicians, Sony's Music Looper offers the same concept for ages 6 to 9. In both programs, existing songs can be modified or embellished to expedite the learning process and produce music that sounds superb.
2 Animate!, 2SimpleUSA Inc., 2004, $32.95; WIN 98/98SE, 2000/ XP; www.2simpleusashop.com; for ages 6 to 15. Future animators can create cartoons in this classroom-like instruction by capturing, scanning or creating an image they then turn into a moving picture. Very young kids like playing this game with a parent; teens go wild on their own. Also from 2Simple are its Early Learning Toolkit, in which players paint, publish, count, plot graphs and build databases; and a Music Toolkit, which explores pitch, melody, rhythmic patterns, harmony and music composition. This bright company has solid, intelligent software that's worthy of attention.
Honor Award Winners
|Lil Bratz Luscious Lil' Laptop, MGA Entertainment; 2004; $49.99; stand-alone unit; www.bratzpack.com; for ages 5 to 10. This adorable mock laptop runs a series of simple programs on a flip-up screen. It's a "go-anywhere" toy, allowing youngsters to role play adults at work and to play easy learning games that include music, voice and an easy-to-type keyboard. |
Return to NAPPA 2005 Award Winners: Software to see winning programs for other age groups