Bloxels: Build Your Own Video Game
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- Build your video games with a mix of physical and digital tools that include designs to help get you started creating your first game
- The Toy Insider STEM 10 winner. Get into the game -- hands-on video game development -- with Bloxels video game creation platform
- The Bloxels Builder app is free to download to your compatible device (not included)
- Create game rooms, characters and game art using the 13" x 13" Gameboard and 320 blocks in eight different colors
- When creating game rooms, each color in your design represents a different element, like green for terrain, blue for water or red for a hazard. When working on art, the color blocks represent the pixel art
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From the manufacturer
Build Your Own Video Games!
Bloxels is an innovative video game development platform that allows you to create your own video games. With easy-to-use physical and digital tools, the imaginative gaming worlds of young gamer's come to life in a cool retro arcade style. You decide what the game looks like and configure how it is played. You tell the story of the characters and design their looks. You create the obstacles and the power-ups. And then not only can you play, but you can share your game with fellow gamer's for both game play and content remixing.
Blocks to Bloxels!
Game development is easy. Download the free Bloxels Builder app to your compatible device (not included) and get started. Create an unlimited number of games, starting with the map of your world -- add game rooms (up to 169) for endless hours of creation and play. Use the 13 x 13 game board and colored blocks to build a room’s layout, create and apply backgrounds, add story blocks, place coins, lay ‘pixel bombs’ and hide hazards. Snap a picture with the ‘in-app camera’ and then continue building with the digital editor.
Design Is Easy and Elemental!
You can add the elements and artwork (or use existing options) within the rooms in the same way, using the colored blocks and Bloxels game board, then snapping a pic. Create up to 169 elements in each room and decorate with artwork you create. The same process works for the creation of characters, from hero to villain. As you create, you have the opportunity to animate, test and reconfigure instantly!
Build your own video games with Bloxels! The innovative video game creation platform makes concepting and execution easy. Watch your game world come to life as you create and animate play spaces, characters and objects because you are the artist, game designer, storyteller, programmer, publisher AND player! The physical pieces in the Bloxels game set work with the free Bloxels Builder app to digitize your creations, put them on-screen and make them playable. Just download the FREE Bloxels Builder app to your smart device (not included) to get started. Then use the 13 x 13 Gameboard and colored blocks to design a room, create the art for game elements and bring your heroes and villains to life. When creating game rooms, each color in your design represents a different element, like terrain, water or a hazard. When working on art, the blocks represent the pixelated image. There are eight different colors and 320 blocks for lots of endless possibilities. Once you have finished adding blocks, snap a picture with the "in-app camera" to digitize your creation. Go from blocks to "bloxels" instantly! On-screen test your game, edit layouts and change the colors of your art assets. The process of building the game is easy to follow, with instructions and tutorials to help beginners. From creating the map of your game to animating your characters to adding power-ups to full-on playing, you make the decisions and produce the work. When your game is ready for the world to play, post it to the Bloxels Infinity Wall to share. Fellow 13-bit builders can play your game and buy your creations to use in their own games, earning you coins. Coins you earn can be used to buy content from other players to remix within your game in new and creative ways. How will your game evolve? How will it start? What story will you tell? Get ready to get in the game -- video game development -- with Bloxels. Includes Gameboard, 320 blocks, challenge poster and instruction manual; the Bloxels Builder app is downloadable for free. For a list of the latest supported devices, please visit www.BloxelsBuilder.com. Colors and decorations may vary.
By Mattel Games
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This item Bloxels: Build Your Own Video Game
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|Item Dimensions||11.25 x 2 x 11.25 in||4.75 x 5.5 x 9 in||3.88 x 5.63 x 9.13 in||0.75 x 5.5 x 9 in|
Top customer reviews
I got this for my 11-year old son, but I had to take it for a spin myself for this review. (This is going to be a reward or a Christmas present later, I think. Don’t tell him!)
I installed the app on my Android tablet. One thing that was clear from the app is that there are a lot of young craftsman out there creating games. Also impressive is that Mattel has created an easy-to-use interface that allows these designers to share and play each other’s work. That’s what the Internet is all about!
After exploring the app for a bit, I got to work on the test pattern you’re supposed to create on the bioxels board to sync it with the app. That was a little tricky and took a lot of tries and different lighting conditions. My advice: get in a heavily lit room, and place the board on a surface that will make it stand out. A solid and light-colored place-mat works well. (Don’t place it on a glass or dark-colored table!) Eventually I was able to input the test pattern.
Next I started on my own background pattern. I created a simple one borrowing from one of the bioxel examples. After a few minutes of trying I wasn’t able to get it uploaded to the app. Even on the same background and lighting conditions as I used before. Bummer!
Then I discovered that the included board isn’t really necessary to the design process. A designer can do it all via the app too—picking colored blocks from a palette and dropping them onto a virtual board. The plastic board is only necessary to give the game a tactile dimension. My guess is that most bioxel designers stop using the plastic board after only a few tries. (Unless they farm out design aspects to siblings!)
So, really, this kit is a way to purchase access to the bioxels app and network. That’s where all the magic happens. It also makes a nice gift you can wrap for Christmas and serves as a good starting point. The instructions are clearly written to appeal to kids. I would’ve liked a little more straightforward and structured explanation, but what is here should be adequate for your young designer. Colorful and intriguing.
All in all, this kit is a fantastic concept implemented in an appealing and sure-to-please-your-kids way. I recommend it!
** Update: I wanted to add a note here now that my son has opened and used this kit. It was the first thing he played with after the Christmas gifts were all unwrapped. The first time I checked in on him, he was busy syncing the board to our tablet. The next time I checked he had stopped, saying he was "bored" and "stuck". What he really meant was that he couldn't go any further because his access to the online bloxels world wasn't set up. After I walked him through that he immediately went back to designing. Within a couple hours, he had fairly sophisticated level to show me, complete with a hero and villain characters. I was impressed. He even shared his game with others online. He also was no longer using the board, but designing with only the app. (Like I suspected would happen.) All to say: I still think this is a great toy! My recommendation stands.
** Also, thank you to everyone who has liked this review. I'm glad you found it useful!!
P.S. If you have any issues or questions, please check out the Bloxels website for support. They are super helpful and happy to answer questions and trouble shoot.
HOWEVER: the initial setup of the board was a major pain in the ass. It really was. Between my husband and I, who are respectively an accomplished computer scientist and a reasonably tech-savvy gamer, we played with the board for over an hour last night each and some more this morning. The board is not matte enough to use in super bright light, but it's not shiny enough to use in low light. We finally made it work in our son's room which has a medium ceiling light with a white light-filtering glass housing, positioning the board so that we can have the light off to the side to get light without glare. Also, my son's kindle wouldn't get a good picture of the board because it's an older kindle and has a lower quality camera. (My phone, with a really good camera, did work very well once we got the right setup area for the board.)
Now, my son has been playing with the board and making his own individual characters and levels and "what if" scenarios, exploring what the game can and cannot do, for the last couple of hours. He's having a blast and getting to be creative and think about game logistics and design! It's exactly what I hoped he'd get out of the game! But getting to this point gave me a few extra gray hairs for its difficulty.
I'm hoping that as Mattel refines this concept they can make setup easier so that the average person can do this much more easily. Getting to the point where it's fun for a kid (should really be able to be set up by the child in question) is way too difficult for the average person unless they get lucky on the first or second try.
Well, i kind of got that, but realized in the end that i didnt need to spend the money on this board. The board works with an app that you download from the Google Play store. My son downloaded the app onto my Samsung tablet. However, the app refused to capture the levels my son built with this board through my camera, which is how its supposed to work. However, you don't need the board to use the app. The app has stand alone functionality that allows you to build levels in the app.
In the end, interesting concept and both of my sons enjoyed it, but it would have been nice if it worked the way it was supposed to.