When it comes to keeping kids preoccupied during summer, long rides, long rainy days or on any given day that boredom kicks in, electronic handheld games are among the top contenders. Electronic handheld games can make the time seem to go by faster and more enjoyably, not only for children, but for parents, too. If you want to keep the whining at bay, give your child an electronic handheld game to keep him entertained and happy.
Mattel first introduced the first LED-based, single-game handhelds between 1977 and 1978, with its lines of sports-related games, such as football, baseball and basketball. Non-sports titles, such as Missile Attack, Armor Battle and Sub Chase, soon followed. In 1979, Milton Bradley Microvision introduced the first handheld video game console, known as the Microvision console, which had interchangeable cartridges where the player can play a handful of games.
From 1980 through 1991, Nintendo has dominated the field of electronic handheld games with its Game and Watch lines of games, which included Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers and Balloon Fight. In 1984, the release of Epoch Game Pocket Computer in Japan did not take off quite as planned and only had just five games to its name.
Since 1989, Nintendo’s Game Boy has had several transformations and improvements with its upgraded versions during each subsequent release since then. Nintendo Game Boy switched its green screen to backlit gray scale through its improved pocket version in 1996, and then with Game Boy Color in 1998. Future releases followed, such as Game Boy Advance (2001), Advance SP (2003), Micro (2005), Nintendo DS (2004), DS Lite (2005) and Nintendo DS XL and 3DS (2010).
Others that competed with Nintendo were Atari Lynx (1989), Bandai WonderSwan (1999 to 2000), PlayStation Portable (2004) and Gizmondo (2005).
Electronic handheld games are, typically, lightweight, with backlit screen, push-button controls or a touch screen with stylus. As the name implies, it is a game that you can carry anywhere. Some models vary in sizes, but they should be able to fit in the player’s hands. Images vary from green screen to gray scale and colored images. They produce sounds for each action taken. Choose between a single-player and multi-player unit, or a single or dual screen.
Educational handheld games, such as those made by Leapster, are a popular choice of parents who want their young children to learn as they play. Young children can learn the alphabet, basic math, colors, shapes and beginner spelling, while older kids can learn advanced math, grammar, spelling, history and much more.
Aside from educational handheld games, war or battle games are popular for pre-teens and teens. Young girls can play with dolls and dress-up; boys can play with racing cars or construction. Both boys and girls can play animal games as well as sports games. Other games include role-playing, action and adventure.
Choose a game that is appropriate for your child’s age. Some handheld games may be too mature to handle. Watch out for those.
Electronic handheld games will continue to advance. As most of them already offer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, telephony, photos, videos (streaming or otherwise), music, e-books, social networking and even portable TVs as perks; therefore, you can only expect more advancements in the years ahead.
- playing video games image by Lisa Turay from Fotolia.com