Board games are boring. Well at least that's what the makers of Swinxs will have you believe, but is the game that sees you wearing a wrist band really the answer? We get playing to find out.
Swinxs is, put simply, a games console aimed at children. The console comes pre-loaded with seven games that can be played both in- and outside, and brings some old childhood games right up-to-date for up to four players.
But unlike your average Wii or PS3 you don't plug this into your TV. This is a console for the bedroom, living room, garden or park. In fact it's such a random device that we spent quite a bit of time trying to work out how to actually describe it here.
Battery powered and recharged via a USB cable (with power adapter) the controls are simple. Three buttons on the top allow you to access settings. Instructions are given via voice commands (from it not you) so there is no need for a screen.
Light in weight (considering its size) and easy to carry, not to mention water resistant, it has the ability for 4 hours of playtime between charges (around 12 hours).
You interact with the Swinxs by wearing a wristband with a chip in it that the main green box (the console) detects as you get near. The wristbands themselves are small, brightly coloured and rubberised although only suitable for small children. With no adjustments we struggled to get it over our wrists without causing circulation issues. While we are aware this is "for kids", it would have been nice added bonus if we could play too.
Turn it on, follow the instructions and you've got those games to play with more to download from the website - hence the USB cable.
Games very from Swinxs Dash, a game that sees you running to a fixed marker and then being the first one back, to Count Down that sees the console count down from a random number in silence with you having to guess when the last moment will be to wave your hand.
All in all Swinxs is good fun. The voice is a tad patronising (just go to their website to see what we mean), but that doesn't detract from the fact that these are old fashioned games with a new-techie-age spin to them.
Where the console will appeal further is the downloading of extra games from the company's website. When your kids get bored of the games it comes with, at least you can download some more.
The catch? At £130 (although Early Learning Centre has it for £100) this isn't a flash in the pan 5-minute wonder. You can buy a lot of board games, balls, tennis rackets and other kids paraphernalia for that.
This won't be for everyone.
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