Video Games that Teach on Western Mass News

As kids head back to school this fall, the learning does not have to stop when they leave the classroom. Toy Insider Senior Editor Marissa DiBartolo stopped by Better Western Mass News to talk about video games that are as educational as they are fun to play. For more on the products featured in this segment, check out the notes below, and for more on the hottest new toys of the season be sure to view our Spring and Summer Toy Guide.


Roblox (Roblox Corp.)

  • Roblox is the largest social platform for play that allows kids to imagine, create, and play together in immersive 3D worlds. Over 22 million user-generated online games have been produced on the Roblox platform with over 48 million players visiting Roblox every month to create adventures, play games, role play, and learn with friends in a family-friendly environment.
  • Roblox games are created by the Roblox community, except for a few that are created by the Roblox staff. There are both single-layer and multi-player games available to play.
  • Players can customize their characters, and also trade items, some being limited edition. Kids can add friends along the way and gain followers.
  • Roblox is accessible on all modern smartphones, tablets, desktops, Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and other popular VR platforms.

Roblox Single Figures (Jazwares)

  • Figures are available in mystery packs, single packs, two-figure game packs, and six-figure Champions of Roblox pack.
  • Age: 6+
  • MSRP: $3.99-$19.99
  • Available: Target, Walmart, Toys R Us

Minecraft (Microsoft, Mojang Studios)

  • Launched in 2009, Minecraft is a sandbox videogame where users can build and go on adventures in a 3D block world. The game received immediate praise by fans, as it quickly became a must-have for adults and kids alike. To date, Minecraft has sold more than 106 million copies.
  • Minecraft stars players in a virtually infinite game world. There are jungles, deserts, snowfields, different terrains, and bodies of water. The creative and building aspects of Minecraft enable players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, resource gathering, crafting, and combat.
  • Multiple gameplay modes are available, including a survival mode where the player must acquire resources to build the world and maintain health, a creative mode where players have unlimited resources to build with and the ability to fly, an adventure mode where players can play custom maps created by other players, and a spectator mode where players can fly around and clip through blocks, but cannot place or destroy any.

Minecraft Figures (Jazwares)

  • Minecraft figures are available in new 3-inch Action Figures that come in six different versions Alex Survival and Alex Skeleton packs are also available. There are two larger Animal Packs that come with six figures each: Wild Animal Pack or Tame Animal Pack. And the Dungeon Pack that includes: Zombie Spawner, Skeleton Spawner, Spider Spawner, Golden Apple, Chest, Iron Ingot, Collect all Series 3 Minecraft action figures!
  • Age: 6+
  • MSRP: $9.99-$24.99
  • Available: Amazon, Walmart, Toys R Us

LEGO Worlds (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

  • LEGO Worlds is a galaxy of imaginative Worlds made entirely of digital LEGO bricks where players can explore, discover and create together.
  • Create anything you can imagine one brick at a time, or use large-scale landscaping tools to create vast mountain ranges and dot your world with tropical islands.
  • Drop in prefabricated structures to build and customize any world to your liking. Explore using helicopters, dragons, motorbikes or even gorillas and unlock treasures that enhance your gameplay.
  • Watch your creations come to life through characters and creatures that interact with you and each other in unexpected ways.
  • Age: 10+
  • MSRP: $29.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart

CodeGamer (Thames & Kosmos)

  • This kit introduces kids to programming in a fun, step-by-step way. An Arduino-compatible gamepad connects wirelessly to a tablet.
  • Using the gamepad and four interchangeable sensor modules, kids play through a video game app.
  • In each level of the game, kids can learn a piece of the Arduino programming language and how to use it in order to solve puzzles and challenges and move forward in the game. In this way, kids progressively learn the basics of coding.
  • Kids will learn to write programs on their computer using the four sensors and invent new applications.
  • Ages: 10+
  • MSRP: $149.95
  • Available: Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, Amazon

Splatoon 2 (Nintendo)

  • For the first time, take Turf War battles on-the-go with the Nintendo Switch system, and use any of the console’s portable play styles for intense local multiplayer action. Even team up for new 4-player co-op fun in Salmon Run.
  • Two years have passed since the original Splatoon game was released, and two years have also passed in Inkopolis, so expect a fresh wave of fashion, not to mention new weapons and gear.
  • Dual wield the new Splat Dualies or stick to mainstays like chargers and rollers, which have been remixed with new strategic possibilities. As always, Turf War is the favored sport among Inklings, but they also dig ranked battles, taking down Octarians in a robust single-player campaign, and battling enemy Salmonids in one dangerous part-time job.
  • Age: 10+
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart

Lightseekers (TOMY)

  • Introducing Lightseekers, an action adventure role playing game built for mobile devices that fuses together fantasy and reality, integrating video games and smart action figures with the latest in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, interactive trading cards and more.
  • The powerful mini-computer, known as the FusionCore, is embedded within each action figure and is the “brains” behind the smart connected toys. This completely eliminates the need for cumbersome NFC portals, allowing two-way communication between TOMY’s 7” collector-quality, articulated smart action figures and the robust action adventure role-play game.
  • Players can take their experience to another level, adding physical accessories to their figures and scanning trading cards with the Lightseekers game app to customize their gameplay.
  • Age: 8+
  • MSRP: $69.99
  • Available: Toys “R” Us

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