Bloxels Builder Review, video game creation made easy!
Video games can be a really great teaching tool. I know a lot of people will scoff and say that video games lead to brain rot, but before you totally discount the rest of this post…listen. Bloxels Builder is different, really. Disclaimer: I received a Bloxels kit at no cost to facilitate my review. As always, all opinions are my own. There are affiliate links in this post.
Why is Bloxels Different?
Most games give you one option: play the game. Sure, you can tweak things here or there based on your decisions while playing the game, but there is a definite beginning and end to every game. This goes for all games, from board and card games to video games.
When it comes to video games the user often has more decision-making ability, but it’s still limited. Or, it WAS anyhow…Bloxels Builder is changing everything.
Bloxels Builder is a kit that contains 320 small, plastic blocks and a game board. You’ll also need to download the FREE Bloxels app (available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire), the app must be used on a device with a rear-facing camera. The ability to use this on a Kindle Fire is awesome, so many programs overlook Fires so I was very, very happy to know the kids could use their own tablets for this.
Ok, so let’s talk about what Bloxels Builder is and how it works.
What is Bloxels Builder?
Bloxels Builder is a video game creation kit. By arranging the blocks your child will create both characters and a game world. Your child has total control over what happens in the game world and they can manipulate the world as they see fit.
What Are My Kids Learning When They Play Bloxels?
-STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)
-Planning & Storytelling
-Cause & Effect
-Fine motor control
What Skills Are Needed to Use Bloxels?
In order to use the app your child will need reading skills on a second-to-third-grade level but it is completely possible to read the directions to your child, plus it’s pretty intuitive so your child will probably pick it up quickly.
Your child will need moderate attention skills to best utilize this game but because it’s a video game, it’s highly engaging to many kids with attention difficulties. Your child is able to adapt their game to their needs.
What Equipment Is Needed to Use Bloxels?
Compatible tablet or smartphone (Bloxels is compatible with Kindle Fire, our tablet of choice)
For a complete list of compatible devices, click here.
How does Bloxels work?
Bloxels comes with 320 small plastic blocks in 8 colors. Your child places these blocks into the game board in order to create characters and worlds.
Create a character: Creating a character is as simple as placing the blocks in a pattern that resembles some sort of creature. You’ll see in the video below that my son created a duck.
World Creation: This is where Bloxels gets fun! Each color of block represents a different feature of a game world. Green is land, yellow is coin, pink is power-up, blue is water, purple is enemy, white is story, orange is explosion, and red blocks are hazards. Your child places the blocks into the game board to create their world. They have total control over the layout, making each and every game created unique!
Play the Game: After your child creates their character and world, they can play the game! Download the Bloxels app to your device and follow the set-up instructions (the app will also provide design tips and ideas!) Your child uses their device to take a photo of their character and world, and through the magic of data transfer your child will now be able to play their game and further customize it with music and other goodies!
Take a look at a character and world my 11 year old son created:
There are so many awesome things you can do with Bloxels Builder, and it’s one of the few hands-on kits that my children return to time & time again. Because your child creates something new every time, they won’t get bored quickly. My sons are 9 & 11 and to say that they love Bloxels is an understatement!
My 9 year old has known forever that he wants to be a video game designer and coding/design programs aren’t new to him. Bloxels is the first program that I feel ok allowing him to use without supervision, and it’s also the first one that he can use on his very own device! He is learning the nuances of making game worlds that are playable and I am enjoying the freedom of not having to worry about questionable content!
You can take your child’s exploration further with the Bloxels lesson plans and challenges, available for FREE! Click here to sign-up for the free Bloxels lesson plans.
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Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.