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Here's where you'll find all the latest news about technology for children. We love to follow cool new inventions on Kickstarter and we hunt out all the latest announcements about tech toys and gadgets for the coming Christmas holidays. You'll also get our take on children's technology stories in the media.

REVIEWS$show=/search/label/review

Our kids technology product reviews are intended to help you work out whether a toy, gadget or kit is a good fit for your child or family. There's lots of cool stuff available, but is it the right choice for the child or teenager that you are buying for? We'll help you make the right choices and get the best value for money.

GIFT GUIDES$show=/search/label/gift%20guide

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends assemble. We create gift lists to help you make good choices for kids technology which helps them develop the right skills for the future. We research the best in Coding Toys and Games, Making / Craft Tools and Kits, STEM/STEAM related gifts, Programmable Robots, Electronics Kits and Gadgets for Tech Age Kids and Teens.

PROJECTS$show=/search/label/project

Get crafty with technology. Here we'll post all our ideas and projects using technology to get creative and making with kids. You'll find anything from making a lemon battery to a glow-in-the-dark Minecraft sword. Our projects are tried and tested on our own kids or at events we run, so we are sure you can have a go at home with your kids. Some of our projects use specific tech gadgets which we provide links for you to purchase.

STEM$show=/search/label/stem

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In recent years there is an increased focus in these areas of study. We like to include Art and Design too, so we often talk about STEAM (A stands for Art). At Tech Age Kids we believe Coding is a new literacy and children need to understand how technology works, practice making skills and grow in their curiosity to make a better future for us all.

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Coding is increasingly being recognised as an important skill for children to learn. Some will learn to code at school or at a coding club, but it's brilliant if they get support at home too.

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We think it's really important for kids to get hands-on with electronics and learn how to make circuits and write code to control hardware. Younger kids can start with conductive playdough. For kids who like to combine craft and tech, littleBits are fab. And we love SAM Labs wireless electronics components for making it easy for kids to make Internet of Things inventions. Lots of electronics kits for kids have support for the Arduino microprocessor environment. The DuinoKit Jr is one of our favourites. Arduino is a fab skill for older kids and teens to develop.

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We love robots at Tech Age Kids, especially programmable ones. We've got lots of them and write reviews and projects that use them. Our programmable robots for kids buying guide is a good place to start if you're not sure what's available. Roby the mBot Meccano robot dog is one of our popular projects and has been with us to lots of events. Our Ozobot LEGO trailer is fab for kids who love LEGO and robots.

MAKING AND CRAFT$show=/search/label/making

We're advocates of the creative use of technology, but this needs to be balanced with developing physical skills such as papercraft, woodwork, clay modelling, technical drawing and soldering. If children don't develop these skills as they grow up then physical making projects can become frustrating rather than fun. The Maker Community uses the term 'making' as a broad term to include all sorts of artisan skills or craft activities. Being able to make things can lead to life-long hobbies or even careers. It's a great feeling to be able to take a project from an idea in your head to a real object that does something. We're particularly interested to explore products that combine maker skills with tech skills such as electronics but others focus purely on the physical making skills that are still important to modern making.

New Battles and Beasts for Connected Game - Beast of Balance


We were an early adopter of Beast of Balance when we backed their crowdfunding campaign in 2016 The company, Sensible Object continuously developing the game by adding more game pieces and new gameplay strategies.

Beasts of Balance hasn't been out to play for a while in our family, so my boys were keen to try out the new beasts and gameplay modes. The connected game is a fab choice for family board game nights! I love the new flamingo and unicorn beasts.

Disclaimer: We have been sent some add-on packs and Battle Cards for the purpose of this review. As always your opinion is our own.


Read our previous review of Beasts of Balance here. You can also read the Beginner's Guide on the Beast of Balance website.

What's New?

New Beasts

Sensible Object, the creators of Beast of Balance have a lot of fun creating new beasts for the game. If you're a design fan, you'll appreciate the care taken to create both the physical characters and their digital counterparts. Even the animations are thoughtfully designed.

Since we got the game there has been a number of new beasts released. Our favourites are the latest! The Unicorn known as Fancyprance is a legendary beast. It's like the Omnibeasts and you start the game using this beast with 30 points. The other new legendary beasts include Moby Brick: The Space Whale and Hotbelly: The Hangry Dragon (my youngest son really liked the sound of this one, because he can relate to that 'hangry' feeling!)



We also received 3 additional 'normal' beasts. The Flamingo (6 points), Anglerfish (6 points) and Chameleon (6 points).


The beauty of Beasts of Balance is that you can create new beasts in the app by crossing and migrating* them (see our previous review for more details).

*Remember to migrate a specific beast you need to wait for the firefly to be over the beast on the screen before you scan the migrate item.




Battle Mode and Battle Cards

Battle Mode is a new way of playing Beasts of Balance, where up to 3 players can play against each other to gain the most points before the tower of balancing beasts is knocked over.

You use all the pieces, and new battle cards in the Battle Mode. Some pieces like the migrate change function, so that in battle mode you can steal an opponent's beast and add it to your collection.



We still have more to explore in Battle Mode, but it definitely adds an exciting element to the game. My boys were much more engaged with the game in Battle Mode and enjoyed discovering gameplay as they tried out different battle cards.

It's worth noting that you can play Battle Mode without the battle cards or legendary beasts. So if you just have the simple Beasts of Balance game you can still enjoy competitive game play.

There is a tutorial available in the app, but we think the best way to learn this game is to just play it and make new discoveries as you go.

Challenges

Challenges is another new feature in the app. It's a cool way to use the game to do different things. My boys particularly enjoyed this feature and was keen to put their skills to the test.

Currently, there is one challenge in the app - Balance 6 beasts blindfolded!

My boys spent ages finding 6 beasts that would fit easily together and practiced balancing them without the blindfold. Strategic thinking is a key element of the Beasts of Balance game, especially in Battle Mode.

One of my boys was fixed on the idea of working out the order in which the beasts had to be placed so that none will go extinct. He then carefully ordered the beasts in front of him. The blindfold came on and the challenge started! It took a few tries, and the boys took turns to complete the challenge.

Tip: Make sure the sound is on, it helps you know when you have scanned your beast!

Here's their attempts:



Competitive (Battle) vs Collaborative (Co-Op) Gameplay

The Beast of Balance game has received a new lease of life in our family with the addition of Battle Mode. The ability to play different modes, however makes it really accessible for families with different aged children.

When my kids where younger they really enjoyed playing board games where we worked together to achieve the goal. Now that they are older, competitive play provides an opportunity to learn useful skills for life!

My one son likes competitive play because of the addition of the battle cards and he is also very competitive. The other prefered collaborative play because he enjoyed others helping and working as a team (plus he said he always lost in battle mode!).

Verdict



We give Beasts of Balance a huge thumbs up from Tech Age Kids. It's a wonderful mix of design, technology, logical thinking and physical play! The game is engaging and fun to play across a wide range of ages, making it a perfect game for family game nights.

The Battle Mode may be frustrating though when you are two adults and two kids. Only 3 players in this mode. You could take turns, make teams or opt to play Co-Op Mode. The Challenges are definitely fun for the family game night!

Although the game is more expensive than a standard board game, you get your money's worth. The app is brilliant and constantly updated. Over time, you can also add more beasts and battle cards.

Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: New Battles and Beasts for Connected Game - Beast of Balance
New Battles and Beasts for Connected Game - Beast of Balance
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2018/12/new-battles-and-beasts-for-connected.html
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