At my house, our kids watch enough TV, so when it comes to playtime, we try to look for screen-free toys. Jogoball from Yogibo is a new toy that combines a Bluetooth speaker, motion recognition, and smart audio to provide fun for the whole family. Pre-orders are already live, and orders will start shipping on November 5th.
Jogoball is a spherical Bluetooth speaker wrapped with a soft silicone protective cover designed to look like a cute character. Perfect for kids, since as you’ll learn, they’ll be tossing it around. The Jogoball is like a new-aged Bop It, except with many different game types to play. Each of the built-in games uses an announcer or game master that will give you instructions on how to play the game, and you either have to toss, spin, punch, or shake the Jogoball. The speaker has six-axis motion detection built-in, so it can detect if you follow the instructions given to you by the announcer.
Yogibo developed a companion app for the Jogoball, where you can sync your Jogoball with your phone to select and start different games or activities. Once the game is selected, you can put your phone away until it’s time to change to a different game. There are no subscriptions needed, and you’ve got hours of gameplay in the palm of your hands in the form of 16 games in four different categories. The categories include Active, Mind, Music, and Social. There are LED lights built into the bottom of the Jogoball that blink different colors when you perform different actions.
My family had a lot of fun playing with the Jogoball, even though my 3-year-old was a little too young to understand what he was doing. My 6-year-old got it, however, and had fun trying to keep up with the game master. If you’re not quite coordinated enough to follow instructions, there are also free-play modes where you can create music, and each different gesture makes a different sound.
While the app itself isn’t super-advanced, it gets the job done. Using the app, you can sync with the Jogoball, update the firmware, calibrate the gyroscope, and view a few tutorials. You can also create different accounts for each family member to keep track of your lifetime scores, which is a nice touch if you’re competitive.
Check out some app screenshots:
The Jogoball isn’t just a toy, though — it can also be used as a standard Bluetooth speaker when you’re not playing with it. The mono speaker isn’t the highest quality you’ll find, but it’s good for families with small children since a soft silicone cover protects it. To charge the unit, you’ll need to slip the silicone cover off and charge using a micro USB cable. I prefer USB-C since that’s where technology is going these days.
Yogibo also offers add-ons for the Jogoball, including replacement silicone covers of different characters and additional story content for your Jogoball. The Agent Ayo add-on is available for $29 and will tell you stories using their companion app, Storyball.
After playing with Jogoball for a couple of weeks, I can say that our kids are fans. It may get repetitive after a while, but they’re still asking to play with it; that it gets my kids to be active and uses some of their energy without being on screens is a huge plus. The game master is energetic and fun to listen to, which keeps the kids engaged. If you’re looking for a fun, indoor activity for the winter that doesn’t involve screen time, check out Jogoball.
The Jogoball sells for $99.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Fun, kid-friendly design; Energetic game master; Screen-free fun for the family
What Needs Improvement: Speaker quality isn’t amazing; I would prefer that it use USB-C to charge, to cut down on the number of cables we have to keep around