Holiday gifts to get them thinking

November 27, 2008

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Have global economic conditions got your family down? SFU Surrey computing scientist Toby Donaldson’s "Santa’s List" of favourite thinking toys will pick up their spirits.

Run through this crazy 2.5D craft-world as a sock-puppet boy or girl to collect stickers, objects and points. The game’s graphical detail reveals the individual yarn fibers of your sock boy/girl, the cardboard ripples of your home "pod", and the grain of the wood teeter-totters. A good multi-player game.

World of Goo
A humorous, physics-based puzzle video game where you create structures (such as bridges and towers) using little balls of goo. Cross chasms, climb cliffs and perform other feats on these flexible structures that wriggle and move in interesting ways.

In this cooperative board game players working together must save the world from being wiped out by disease. Players have different abilities and must discuss how best to make their moves each turn. Challenging and a lot of fun.

In this appealing game, players use letter tiles to make their own crossword. It plays quickly, doesn’t require paper or pencil, and comes with a lovely banana-skin carrying case.

Line Rider
In this physics-based game you draw tracks for a boy named Bosh to follow on a sled. The tracks can be as long and elaborate as you like, and the rides become wild and fast. Available as a free web game, there is also a graphically pumped-up version for Nintendo Wii and DS hand-held systems.

Sony eBook Reader
A thin hand-held computer for reading books, its unique E-Ink screen doesn’t shine light in your eyes, making it more like reading on paper. It’s expensive, but works well and holds approximately 100 books.
Sony eBook Reader


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