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Palm-of-your-hand games. (Holiday Gifts Galore).

Digital technology is getting more and more sophisticated, as readily evidenced by the use Hollywood is putting it to. Among its many applications, it has filtered down to handheld games for kids, with activities that would have been impossible just a few years ago. A prime example is the Pixter Creativity System from Fisher-Price Inc., East Aurora, N.Y.

The basic LCD screen comes with a stylus and special function keys that lets youngsters create pictures, sort of like the old Etch-a-Sketch screens, but far more sophisticated, allowing children to change them around, add special animated effects, and even save them. Add software packages, and the system can be expanded to include Learning Fun (teaching letters and numbers), Art Safari (learn about animals and their habitats, and mix and match body parts, creating fanciful creatures), and On-the-Go Games (Tic-Tac-Toe, Bingo, etc.).

The Pixter Creative System is $39.99, while additional software runs $9.99 apiece. The games are designed for age five and up.

Hockey season has swung into full gear, though the holy grail of the Stanley Cup is months away. If you can't get to the rink, there's a funfilled handheld version that can help you while away idle moments. EA Mouse Hockey ($14.99) from Radica USA, Dallas, Tex., has a puck-shaped control and a screen that looks like it's exploding through a block of ice. With the device, you can either play a full version of a hockey game or have a shootout with a goalie. One rectangular button allows you to pass, shoot, or even bodycheck your opponent, another provides you with an extra burst of speed for breakaways or split-second saves. Even though the graphics are squarish pixels rather than fluid pictures, the game is fast-moving, and you don't need a helmet or bulky pads to enjoy it.
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Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Words:304
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