December 7, 2011
little space heroes
B and I have been testing a new kids’ virtual universe – Little Space Heroes.
The game has been created by Australian company Bubblegum Interactive and is designed for kids aged 6 – 12. The Age has published an interview with the game creator which answers some questions about how and why this game was developed.
To start playing you choose and name a virtual hero. Your hero then attends the Space Heroes Academy to learn to use a Jet Pack, Bubble Blaster and Star Jet.
Your hero journal guides you as to what skills you need to acquire and where you need to go to move on in the game.
As you move around trying to achieve goals or complete quests, there are many mini-games that you can play (like Jetpack Training in the picture below). These might remind some adult players of the arcade style games they played as a child.
Once you complete you space heroes training, you can blast off in your Star Jet to visit other worlds in the Space Heroes universe, like the Jungle Planet or the Glow Planet.
The aim of the game is to solve the mystery of the missing Glows and discover the whereabouts of the dastardly Lord Shadowbot. Kids can team up with friends to play and communicate via a chat feature.
Chat is a communication tool in the game. For younger children, you can set up your child’s account to use safe chat with a variety of set phrases. Or you can allow open chat which lets your child type their own messages. Messages are then subject to filtering for inappropriate language and content.
Basic membership of Little Space Heroes is free. Or you can purchase a premium membership for US$6/month. I didn’t test out the premium membership but it offers increased levels of customisation of your character, the ability to befriend more people and access to members only planets.
I thought my 6 y.o. son was a little young to fully enjoy this game. He doesn’t have the reading level required to participate in chat or to read the heroes journal and figure out his next mission. This was a bit frustrating for us because he likes to play independently, and while I like to be close and see what he’s doing, if I sit next to him I have a tendency to take over.
However, if he was a little older I would prefer this advertisement-free adventure to many other games sites available online.
What online games do your children enjoy? Do you prefer an advertisement-free site (even if you have to pay for it)?