I’m a sucker for just about anything to do with Star Wars. I love Star Wars Games, the movies, the novels, and the comics and I don’t care if it’s Canon, EU, or Legends. I am fully aware the franchise is also a merchandising machine and often I’ve been guilty of buying Star Wars trinkets to display on my desk.
As you can imagine, when I’m online I spend a fair amount of time checking out Star Wars stuff. I really like the official website and image sites like Pinterest have a ton a great fan art and mashups that range from hilarious to spectacular. I’m not much of a gamer but I do like those easy-to-play free online games. They’re great for killing some time in line-ups and waiting rooms.
Most online games I play were introduced to me by my students. I teach middle school and these kids love free online games. My complaint with a lot of these game sites is the overabundance of ads. Plus, a lot of the sidebar ads aren’t appropriate for young gamers. Also, many of these sites are always taking you off site so the main page looks family friendly and safe but the game is on another page or site that is not meant for younger users. When I found Poki, a free online game site, I was pleasantly surprised.
While I have checked out a few games from each category, I will admit I haven’t gone very far beyond Star Wars games on Poki. Over the years I have found most games fit into a limited number of categories like puzzles, jumping, attacking, and tower defence. The difference between games boils down to theme, setting and characters. I don’t play Star Wars games exclusively, but I do have a strong preference for them because I’m a fan of the Galaxy Far, Far Away.
I was very impressed not only with the number of available Star Wars games on Poki, but also the quality of the games. The graphics are high quality and detail-oriented with an excellent refresh rate. Some are meant for very young users. For example in Star Wars Hidden Stars you simply locate stars hidden in a Clone Wars movie poster. As you level up the stars become increasingly difficult to find. Others are more challenging adventure games that feature Star Wars worlds and classic characters.
My favourite game on Poki right now is Yoda’s Jedi Training. In the game you are Luke running through the swamps of Dagobah with Yoda on your back. It’s a running, jumping, and slashing game much like Mario Bros. As you progress through the game you collect coins and other rewards that improve your abilities. You also earn arcade tokens that you can use in an special separate room that features other Star Wars games. In the arcade I played a Rebels game that is similar to Angry Birds.
I was able to try the games on my tablet, phone, and laptop. In all cases the games were easy to access and play. When in doubt I was able to access the instructional videos that accompany each game. I like how the site remembers what I’ve played so I don’t have to search for games each time I return to the site. One of my favourite features is the recommended games. As I play games the site recommends similar games and the games more I play, the more accurate the recommendations become.
I understand ads are necessary. Surprisingly, the ads that begin each game are quite unique; many seemed like small company ads and had a grassroots feel. I like how the ad descriptions clearly explain that the ad helps Poki provide a free service. Unlike other free game sites, the sidebar isn’t full of inappropriate or irrelevant ads.
As a dad, what I liked best about Poki was the family friendly focus of the site. There are several kid friendly games at various ability levels featuring non-violent characters, settings, and themes. The site is very well-organized and the thumbnails are large enough to give users a clear idea of what each game offers.
Enough talk. I’m going to improve my Jedi skills.