little shopping

Little Shopping Helps Teach Preschoolers Counting Skills on Switch

Posted by | News, Switch | No Comments

While many games on the Switch are kid-friendly, few are explicitly educational, and even fewer aimed at the under six crowd. Little Shopping is a counting game for toddlers and preschoolers to teach and foster counting skills. It’s out today on Switch for $1.49. Best of all, there are no ads or microtransactions.

In Little Shopping, your preschooler can shop at four different kid-friendly stores, such as grocery, pet, and toy. They have a shopping list to identify which products they need to buy. Then they’ll need to pay the appropriate amount in coins. The touch screen controls let your little one drag the items they or coins they need.

Using coins for counting is a tool that kids will learn throughout their early years in Kindergarten and first grade.

Little Shopping was developed by Polish company Baked Games and published by Ultimate Games S.A., a Polish producer best known for Ultimate Fishing Simulator. Baked Games has developed a number of kid-friendly mobile titles, including Guess Word, Theater Tales, and Pet Care.

Little Shopping is available today on Switch. It’s also available on the Polish App Store and Google Play digital mobile stores. Naturally, it’s rated E for Everyone.

hello piano

Learn How to Play Piano with Hello Piano App

Posted by | Mobile, News | No Comments

Mobile developer Gismart has launched Hello Piano on iOS. Hello Piano is a music-focused educational app that teaches users how to play piano through games, trivia, and puzzles.  It’s available now for iPhone and iPad.

“Hello Piano is the start of music education products for Gismart,” said Dmitri Lipnitsky, CEO, Gismart. “We are aiming to fight boredom, a chief enemy of educational success, and offering gamified learning experience, featuring a balanced mix of theoretical knowledge and practice. We’ve had a great success with our music entertainment apps such as Beat Maker Go that has amassed over 25 million downloads to date and is a leading beat making app on the App Store, and now keen to expand our product portfolio with music educational products.”

Hello Piano focuses on four teachable areas: ear training, reading music, rhythm training, and playing techniques. The app is designed as a serious, daily exercise, with lessons that can be absorbed in 15 minutes a day. It features a Daily Practice mode to ramp up skills, and tracks progress in the My Stats section. It gamifies much of the teaching, including adding achievements and difficulty settings.

Hello Piano works as a subscription service. The app is free to download and includes a 3-day free trial. Subscriptions cost $7.99 per week or $19.99 per month.

Gismart is a UK-based mobile developer that specializes in music-focused game apps. Hello Piano is their first foray into edutainment and educational software.

cities: skylines

Learn Civics with the Educational Version of Cities: Skylines

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Paradox Interactive announced a partnership with TeacherGaming to launch a special educational version of Cities: Skylines. Cities: Skylines – Education Edition is designed for teachers to use in their classrooms as part of TeacherGaming’s subscription service.

“Transitioning our games into teaching tools that make learning fun and interactive is something near and dear to our hearts at Paradox,” said Shams Jorjani, VP of Business Development at Paradox Interactive. “We chose TeacherGaming to help structure our games for the classroom, because this is a new field for us and they have the right experience and knowledge to do it right.”

Cities: Skylines is the heir apparent to the SimCity builder series. It originally launched on PC in 2015 before coming to consoles last year. It’s been hailed as the definitive city builder sim, and Paradox have released numerous expansion packs since release. The most recent, Parklife, released earlier this year and added national parks and zoos.

Cities: Skylines – Education Edition includes eight custom lesson plans. Each scenario covers different relevant topics, such as government, engineering, and budgeting. The educational version also includes student progress tracking and in-game tutorials.

“Paradox Interactive titles turn niche topics like civics and serious history into unexpectedly entertaining experiences that educators will fall head over heels for,” said Santeri Koivisto, TeacherGaming CEO. “Committing to such an unconventional portfolio means Paradox is combating prejudices about the very nature of video games, and that’s also what we have been out to do for the past six years. In that sense, and many others, this partnership is a perfect fit.”

TeacherGaming offers both individual gaming licences as well as an all-in-one subscription service. Each game, including Kerbal Space Program, Universe Sandbox, and Epistory, offers multiple lesson plans tailored to classroom learning. The company was founded in 2011 in Finland by gaming educators. Their most successful program was MinecraftEdu, which has since been purchased by Microsoft.

Cities: Skylines – Education Edition is available now in the TeacherGaming Store.

discovery tour

Assassin’s Creed Educational Discovery Tour Mode Launches Today

Posted by | News, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One | No Comments

Not many blockbuster games get an educational mode as a free add-on. Today Ubisoft released Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt. It’s available now as a free download for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC owners of Assassin’s Creed Origins. It can also be purchased as a separate tool from the game on PC.

The Discovery Tour mode allows players to freely explore the world of Ancient Egypt where Origins takes place, without any combat, missions, or time limits. You can also play as 25 different avatars, including Caesar and Cleopatra.

“With the Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt, we give everyone interested in Ancient Egypt the chance to enjoy its beauty and the realization that video games can be a source of inspiring knowledge,” explains Jean Guesdon, Creative Director of Assassin’s Creed Origins.

The Discovery Tour is billed as a new type of edutainment tool. In addition to exploring the detailed virtual world, it also features 75 themed tours created by Ubisoft, in collaboration with History experts and Egyptologists.

“We’ve been in touch with teachers from the very first installment of Assassin’s Creed games. Many of them already used the games during their History classes but soon came to realize that what they needed was an easily accessible educative tool based in our historical reconstructions,” explains Maxime Durand, in-house Historian at Ubisoft Montreal. “With the Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt, you can visualize and understand thousands of things from Egyptian history in their actual context. As both a game and a learning tool, it is quite a unique asset for teachers to integrate as part of their history classes.”

Discovery Tour mode is free to download starting today for existing Assassin’s Creed Origins owners on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Non-owners can still enjoy the educational mode by purchasing it separately on PC for $19.99.