Today, childhood games and toys are moving into the digital tech age in the forms of apps and other interactive handheld devices. I remember playing for hours with my Barbie play phone and today’s kids are given iPhones to play with. Real iPhones. Although technology has gotten a lot more advanced for youngsters, some things will never get old. Here are ten of the best ‘90s toys turned app.
Talking To Hot Mystery Men
Dream Phone – A game where cute mystery man answered the phone and gave you hints about your secret admirer. To guess who they are, you make a special call to that boy. If you’re right he’ll say, “You’re right! I really like you!” You win.
Tinder – Today we talk to real mystery men and instead of cards, we have real pictures to scroll through with the Tinder app. Using your location, it helps you find those in your general area. If you both like each other, you have a match- close enough to a win. And we got giddy talking to robot mystery hotties…
The Social Network
Oregon Trail – The original social network. Unfortunately, though, it didn’t come with any features to send your friends extra lives when ALL OF THEM died of dysentery.
Facebook – The social community where you can brag about your gaming scores to your friends, whereas you had to rely on word of mouth for Oregon Trail scores. All of your friends are leaving because of Twitter – not dysentery.
Vintage Photo Sharing
ViewMaster – Nothing says ‘nostalgia’ like one of these: a stereoscope and its corresponding View-Master “reels,” thin cardboard disks containing stereoscopic 3-D small color photographs on film. These included a variety of scenic pictures sorted by reels — not hashtags, accounts or threads. Portable, compact photo sharing of the ‘90s. In a time where photo sharing meant swapping and trading reels with friends.
Instagram – A live, online photo sharing feed of vintage-filtered pictures. A convenient, 21st century photo sharing experience.
Can You Draw? — We’ll see.
Pictionary — A Hasbro game since 1994, this game is a classic. Partners compete against another team in a race to see who can draw and identify specific words from their teammates’ drawings (scribbles). This was, and still is, the ultimate way to either show off your artistic talent or embarrass yourself. That blob you just drew was an elephant?
Draw Something — What used to be family game night has turned into an online gaming experience with the Draw Something app. Now, we can play pictionary with another person all the time– and the best part is, we’re rooting for each other to guess so we can get to the highest level possible.
HitClips — This was a huge revolution in portable music: the ability to listen to music (granted, only about the same 30 seconds of one song) without moving parts. Instead of CDs, there were “hit clips” that clipped to the mini music-playing device, ready to pop in so you could jam out.
iTunes for iPod-– We all know what an iPod is. Finally, in 2001, we were finally able to listen to an entire library of our favorite music playlists, using iTunes, without moving parts — or hit clips.
Boombox — Remember the days of this? Batteries for anything portable or having to keep your boombox plugged into the wall. Not to mention the hassle of turning the dial juuuust right to find a station: a) without static b) not playing commercials c) playing music you actually like.
Spotify/Pandora — Internet radio has completely taken over. With apps for Pandora and Spotify, now we can personalize our radio stations to what we want to hear, at home or on-the-go. Commercials are 60 seconds at most and there’s no fuzz when flipping through stations.
YakBak/Talkboy — Talkboy, as made famous by Home Alone, was a portable cassette recorder and player where you could change the sound of your voice based on playback speed. For those of us who couldn’t afford one, Yakbaks were a cheap alternative.
Talkboy App — Although today we have an array of digital recorders for voice manipulation, our favorite ‘90s toy developed its own app — and the logo art suggests its beginnings. Now you can feel like Kevin in Lost In New York using this nostalgia-inducing app.
Tamagotchi — Remember these little guys? Always beeping and letting you know that they needed to be cared for to improve its hunger, happy and discipline meter. Nano Pets and Giga Pets also emerged in 1997 in the midst of the virtual-pet toy fad.
Tamagotchi is celebrating its sweet 16 by releasing its app called Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. The game is based on the original virtual pet you once loved and cared for.
Whistle — If you’re not interested in a virtual pet, you can now take care of your REAL pet remotely! Whistle is an app that allows you to “add happy, healthy years” to your pet’s life through use of an on-collar device that measures your dog’s day-to-day behavior and activities: walks, play, rest. The app gives health reports and updates on any changes in behavior that may need attention– alerts you can’t just ignore like letting your poor Giga Pet die.
Brain Training — For a stronger and smarter brain.
BrainQuest — Remember these little booklets of cards you used to flip through for hours, matching up the answers with their respective questions? Ah, childhood education.
Lumosity — This app has over 20 million users and is used to train your brain by enhancing your core cognitive functions: attention, speed, memory, attention and mental flexibility through a series of games that track your progress.
Talking To Robots — Ultimate boredom. Sometimes all we need is someone to talk to.
SmarterChild (AIM) — Remember how huge AIM was? Everyone had a screenname and spent hours chatting with friends online. But what did you do when your Buddy List was dragging? You talked to SmarterChild, of course — a intelligent robot for fun conversation without the hassle of waiting for your friends to respond.
Cleverbot App — Cleverbot is an app where you can chat with a bot about anything. Literally, anything. If you wanted to have an entire conversation in Japanese for kicks and giggles, you could do that.
TalkBack Dear Diary — A personal outlet with buttons to navigate you to different categories: favorites, interests, dislikes, scheduler, homework, wishes, secrets and your horoscope. This was the ultimate girly outlet for that “Dear Diary” experience without pen and paper.
Twitter — A personal outlet where people tweet about their favorite things, bitch about things they hate, tell the world their every move throughout the day, complain about homework, tell secrets via subtweets, whine about their wishes and retweet their horoscopes like their followers care. This personal diary is published for the entire world to see.
[author]Written by the editors at Fueled, world class mobile app developers in New York City.[/author]