VTech to Add STEAM Curriculum to Learning Lodge Content for InnoTab

VTech-LogoVTech will continue to grow its Learning Lodge app store with the addition of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)-based content for its InnoTab children’s learning tablets. VTech will be adding these subjects later this year.

The Learning Lodge features a language arts and reading, math, science, social studies, problem solving, and creativity titles to download. VTech’s Expert Panel, made up of top educators from key knowledge areas, has reviewed the apps. Content on the Learning Lodge is available for the whole VTech InnoTab range.

COMMENTARY: Back to School Goes Full STEAM Ahead

The back-to-school season usually means the smell of newly sharpened pencils, a new wardrobe, and denial that the precious summer months have come to a close. You’ve probably heard the acronym STEAM being thrown around here and there, but this movement is making a bigger impact on the toy industry than ever before.

STEAM puts an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art, and math, and these concepts have definitely made their way to back-to-school gear. But companies are doing a lot more than just making educational toys. They’re creating products that have value added to them—something kids appreciate without even knowing, and parents love for all of the extra benefits. [Read more...]

Atari’s New Minimum Features Maximum Customization

Minimum.TitansAtari will release a third-person perspective, multiplayer online combat game, Minimum, for PC. It will be available for early access on Steam this spring.

Set in a minimalistic, stylized universe, Minimum features session-based combat that pits teams of five against each other with craftable weapons. Each team has their own gigantic, robotic Titan that they power up, which helps them fight and destroy the enemy’s base. At the core of Minimum is an elaborate blueprint crafting system, where players collect resources to create customized weapons and armor that can be powered up.

Minimum was created by TimeGate Studios, which early on, engaged in discussions to cooperate with Atari on the project. Atari then worked with TimeGate to help extricate Minimum out of the TimeGate bankruptcy. Human Head Studios, a Madison, Wisc.-based developer, helped Atari to further develop the game.

Fans can visit www.playminimum.com to pre-register for game updates and receive free bonus in-game items.

Warner Bros. Throws Down Gauntlet, This Time for Digital Game Service

GauntletAn updated action-RPG version of the classic dungeon crawler, Gauntlet, will be available this summer via Steam for PC. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, it will lead the launch of WB Games Vault, a direct-to-digital portfolio that will deliver paid games based on popular Warner Bros. and Midway brands across multiple digital networks.

Developed by Arrowhead Game Studios, Gauntlet lets players select from four classic fantasy-based characters: Warrior, Wizard, Valkyrie, or Elf. Each character has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Meanwhile, gameplay is set within dungeons where the object is to fight through the chambers, slaying evil creatures and completing challenges.

Female Lead Singles DLC Available for Rocksmith 2014

March12.SingThe Female Lead Singles DLC pack for Ubisoft’s Rocksmith 2014 Edition is now available for download on Xbox Live, Xbox 360, the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3, and Steam for PC and Mac. The 3-song pack includes “Crazy on You” by Heart, “All Around Me” by Flyleaf, and “Love Bites (So Do I)” by Halestorm. The songs are available both as a pack or individually.

Warner Bros. Interactive Launches New Batman: Arkham Origins Games

Batman.ArkhamWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment have released Batman: Arkham Origins. Developed by WB Games Montréal, the game is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license, and introduces an original prequel storyline in which a young, unrefined Batman faces the defining moment of his early career, and sets his path to becoming the famous Dark Knight.

Batman: Arkham Origins, in which Batman is hunted by eight of the deadliest assassins from the DC Comics Universe, is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Windows PC. New to the franchise is a multiplayer mode, developed by Splash Damage, which allows friends and foes to engage in online play that blends traditional Arkham gameplay with those of third-person shooter mechanics.

Also available now is Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, a companion game developed by Armature Studio, which brings core Batman Arkham pillars to the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS handheld formats. It allows players to continue the storyline of the console game.

Players looking to extend their gameplay experience can buy the Batman: Arkham Origins Season Pass, comprised of five of the game’s upcoming downloadable content packs. The Season Pass is available on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft, Nintendo eShop, and Steam.