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Updated: July 8, 2013 19:33 IST

Surf the wave

PRIYANKA TALREJA
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Internet is as vast as the ocean. Sometimes, if you are not careful, it can be as dangerous as the rough seas. Check this list of options that promise safety along with a lot of education and entertainment!

Super addictive: 4 Pics 1 Word

The name of this game says it all, you are given four pictures as clues and you have to guess the one word hidden behind them. As soon as you guess the word, you will be given coins. Whenever you are stuck in the game, you can use these coins to buy ‘hints’.

Highlights

- Makes for a great game to play with friends and family

- Each level brings a new word

- Challenges the knowledge of the player

Pay for an edge

Paid apps are not as popular as the free ones. But some of them are superb. Having them on your device not only gives you an added advantage but also helps you in tricky situations. Here are two paid apps that we liked the most.

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary for Rs. 1650

Priced at the higher end, this dictionary is expensive but yet outright grand. It provides everything - word origin, culture, Thesaurus and an example bank. Having this on your smartphone is as good as having a personal English teacher. Along with photographs depicting each word, this dictionary makes for a great app to have.

Highlights

- Understand what words mean

- Learn how to say them

- Know how to use them

Aldiko Book Reader for Rs. 169.99

This app transforms your mobile device into an eReader. For those who love to read, there is no need to buy a kindle. Pay Rs. 169.99 and you can download and read free classics and modern works. You can browse through catalogs that include best-sellers, new releases and classics.

Highlights

Customised reading experience

Change font type, colour, margin, night mode, etc.

Highlighting and notes features

PDF zooming while reading

Latest on the block: Worldoo

Looking for something more grown-up? How about being treated as citizens of a world, owning a home, going to work, earning and learning? Newly launched Worldoo encourages you to do just that. Made for six to12 year-olds, this game promises an ever-evolving online ecosystem.

Highlights

- Offers to teach life-skills, and other social aspects like making friends, managing virtual money and learning new things by playing games and participating in events.

- Encourages kids to express themselves by creating new things and sharing opinions on subjects of popular interest.

- Provides access to play the most age-appropriate online games, earn stars and design their own home

Amazing multiplayer: UNO & Friends

UNO is a card game that has been played and enjoyed across generations. With the app UNO and Friends this game moves into your phone and allows you to play live with participants from across the globe.

Highlights

- Moves are completely unpredictable

- Each move counts

- Highly competitive

Start a strategy: Titres

The good old Tetris is back in the form of Titres. Quickly decide how you want to place the falling shapes before they pile up and spoil the show. Be at your strategic best and you shall have smooth sailing ahead.

Highlights

- Demands players to plan ahead

- Highly challenging as levels proceed

- Moves require high levels of concentration

Adrenaline pumping: Subway Surfers

DASH as fast as you can! Help Jake, Tricky & Fresh escape from the grumpy Inspector and his dog. Jump onto trains and collect coins on the way, all the while experiencing a complete roller coaster ride.

Highlights

- Tests the user’s hand eye coordination

- Demands quick decision making skills

Virtual living on the World Wide Web

An all-time favourite: Disney’s Club Penguin

Would you like to be a penguin and waddle around on a snow clad island while playing a range of online games and tossing around snowballs?

If your answer is yes, log onto Club Penguin. Targeted at 6-14 year-olds, Club Penguin has been a very popular massively multiplayer online game since 2005. It is claimed that Club Penguin had over 30 million user account by the end of 2007!

Highlights

- Meet, challenge and interact with other player

- Play various mini games, use emoticons, collect and redeem virtual coins, and have pets

- Discover new environments

Child Safety

The major focus has been on child safety. The ‘ultimate safe chat mode’ is one such feature that enables users to select their comments from a menu, preventing swearing and revelation of personal information. Club Penguin gives children a chance to experience a positive and moderated environment before moving into social networking sites. It was awarded a “kids” privacy seal of approval" from the Better Business Bureau. In 2011, it was nominated for Children’s BAFTA Award.

Concerns

The game has been criticised for teaching consumerism and for the fact that the competitive environment might promote cheating. We, however feel that with a little attention from parents, these could work in positive ways — to teach money management and to promote healthy competitive spirit.

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