Tag Archives: game

5 Reasons Why Computer Games Improved My Son’s Spelling

Spelling Pic

I know what you are thinking! Computer and we limit the children’s time on it, trust me, I’ve been there, I still AM! But my son was reading very complicated books and was really great at understanding and reading them, but when it was time to write answers, to spell, oh no! Even words he had just read, simple day to day words would come out like some foreign language and trust me, they were not in any known dictionary!

Well, Minecraft and Clash of Clans came along and he needed to chat, sometimes, unusual words were involved in the game! He started observing other players and started mastering the most common words and also the harder ones. Let me share a secret – 7, 8 even 9 year olds don’t chat with acronyms or abbreviations, they write things down, full words as a way to communicate with each other. It’s their brain trying to make sense of thinking and typing at the same time, fast enough to ask for resources, for donations, for troops and for their buddy who is playing with them to follow them and attack.

So after my frustration with my son’s literature answers, and observing his progress and maturity in the written language and how it had developed in parallel with his game skills, I have reached the conclusion that games can have a positive impact on your child’s education, as long as they are playing games  that reach and use those skills.

As a linguist, these are my findings, comparing my observation and the data on my son’s homework:

  1.  Games can improve spelling if your child uses chat mode, because the speed and level of concentration will require that they master their spelling to write while they play.
  2. At age 6-8, children are trying to make sense of building sentences, without proper punctuation and connectors, so words need to have full meaning, because most times, two words will convey the meaning of a full 10 word sentence. Well, no better place then games, where speed will require precision and concision, above all.
  3. Children don’t want to sound “not cool”, so sometimes my son would shout across the room, mom, how do you spell? Spelling becomes a must have skill, so the cool older kids playing don’t make fun of you!
  4. My son’s communication skills also were enhanced while playing Minecraft, Clash of Clans and Terraria since he had to master Skype, research mods, glitches and tricks on You Tube, which brought extra hours of reading and learning, prior to playing the game.
  5. His typing skills were also developed, because with no formal typing lessons, he suddenly became a very fast keyboarder.  There is a chat section on Minecraft which has motivated him to learn to type faster and more accurately and sometimes communicate with several players at the same time. 

So more specifically about Minecraft, my favorite, way beyond spelling, when you spawn in Minecraft you are in the middle of nowhere with trees, caves and animals around.  If you are playing in survival mode, you will also see creepers, skeletons, zombies, spiders or endermen that will attack you starting at sundown.  You need to try to survive by cutting down trees and building some type of shelter to protect yourself from the monsters that come out at night.  You also have  hunger bars and if you don’t find food, you will die.

Sounds easy, but trust me it’s not.  You must come up with a strategy for surviving that first night and be quick about it lest you die at the hands of the monsters in the dark or a hungry belly.  I have seen the kids come up with elaborate plans for surviving that first night.  They’ve learned to hunt for food, build shelter, mine coal for torches and make tools from natural resources all within the span of a 10 minute Minecraft “day”. Tough, huh?

I’m impressed so much I have even recommended some parents to use games to help my foreign language students enhance their reading and spelling skills. Check it out on my post on favorite apps!

Just remember, the best way to help your child excel at any subject is to make it fun and help him feel successful. Nothing is more fun then playing video games!

Amazing Surprise = Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo 2DS

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My son was pleasantly surprised two days before Christmas with a Nintendo 2DS, absolutely loved it and of course, wanted to share with you, since most stores now have AMAZING New Year Sales, why not get one NOW?

Basic Features:

  • Dual-Core ARM processor
  • 4GB SD Card included
  • 3.5-inch, 400×240 upper display; 3-inch, 320×240 display
  • 1300mAH battery, good for 3.5 – 5.5 hours 3DS game play
  • MSRP: $129.99

Design:

Nintendo’s design for the 2DS at first appears somewhat different. They’ve taken the trademark two screens of the traditional clamshell DS and 3DS hardware and simply stacked them one on top of the other vertically on a single plane. It’s like a 3DS without a hinge in the middle, and after seeing and touching the thing, my son loved it!

What I actually found was that the Nintendo 2DS has a great design, and fits nicely in the hands. The 2DS feels durable and well-built. It feels, in fact, like the kind of gadget you can probably spill some snacks on without much effect, which makes it a great device, especially for younger children!

The hand positioning in terms of the controls fit my grip perfectly, but your mileage may vary.  The sleep switch ensures you wont’ burn through the battery too quickly in the absence of a clamshell sleep trigger, and the light/durable feeling of the overall package makes it seem like an ideal choice for children or for travelers who just want a game they can pack and know it will not suffer any trip damages.

Click below to watch my son’s review and how excited he was to finally get to try it! He tends to take it with him on trips instead of the other consoles, as in his own words: I just put it in my pocket and go!

 

I highly recommend it, especially if you have a younger child and you are looking for a great durable game option!

Lego Friends An Awesome Experience

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You already know we love Legos right? Well, I gave this new Lego game to my friend Olivia and she absolutely loved, she loved the new features I am sharing below! I wanted to share some specific information on the game, which I know, will make the perfect addition to your holiday gifts!

Offering creative gameplay based on the fun and excitement found in the already-popular LEGO Friends collection of building sets, the LEGO Friends videogame lets young girls express their individuality, discover activities that interest them and, most importantly, share their experiences with their five new friends as they make their way through Heartlake City. Players also have the chance to shop for the latest outfits and accessories, select the perfect hairstyle, decorate their bedrooms and even pick out a pet! The wide variety of activities in the game all allow girls to express their creativity and build fun memories with their new LEGO Friends.

In LEGO Friends, players visit Heartlake City, playing the role as Olivia’s cousin who, with Olivia, joins other LEGO Friends like Mia, Stephanie, Emma and Andrea on fun adventures.  Throughout the game, players will complete a variety of activities, such as rescuing a wounded fawn, practicing their soccer skills, choreographing dance routines and training pets. Each of these activities builds the level of friendship with each LEGO Friend the player encounters.  The ultimate goal of the game is to become a “True Friend” with each of the LEGO Friends, while exploring and uncovering all of the secrets, badges and rewards in the amazing city of Heartlake.

Using an interactive map, players can explore Olivia’s House, Heartlake High, Main Street, Clover Meadows and Heartlake Marina, all of which are based on the LEGO playtheme.  Players can further explore and enjoy total freedom in each core area by visiting the Karate Dojo in Heartlake High, the Rehearsal Studio on Main Street, the Riding Camp in Clover Meadows or the Dolphin Cruiser in the Marina to collect items, play mini-games, complete tasks, solve puzzles, and build objects from piles of LEGO bricks found throughout the game. They will also collect and unlock new pets, each with a unique ability, that helps players solve puzzles and access new areas to explore.  Heatlake City is filled with exciting activities, such as rescuing a dolphin and teaching them tricks and discovering hidden pirate treasures with a secret map.

LEGO Friends also gives players the opportunity to express their individual style and personality through various customization options. Players will be able to pick their character’s outfits, hairstyles, and accessories, select a pet or design and personalize their character’s bedroom.

LEGO Friends is now available for Nintendo 3DS for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and is rated “E” for everyone.  For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/LegoFriendsVideoGame

Pictures are property of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment and subject to copyright laws and were given us to be used in this review. 

When you wish upon a star….my son’s wish

This review of Nintendo 3DS XL and Two Pokemon Games was made possible thanks to Kidzvuz and Nintendo but all opinions are our own.

Well, my son had written a letter to Santa, only 6 items on the list, two of them were a Nintendo 3DS XL and games to go with it, since it was the second year he had asked for that, he looked at me while writing and said: Mom, do you think Santa will bring it?
I answered, you need to wish, really hard! You wish and it will come true!
Needless to say I had plans to go buy the game for Christmas, I even shared that with all my blogger friends!
I received an email last Monday, from Kidzvuz,an amazing website where children upload their own videos about things they like or products they received for review and share their honest opinion! They invited my son to review nothing less than the Nintendo 3DS XL and 2 Pokemon games! I was so excited to be “working” with him and on a video to share about a great product and about something he had asked for so long!

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We received the Nintendo 3DS XL and the games to be downloaded and he hasn’t put it down since! I had a hard time asking him to put away today and save it for Christmas! We recorded a non scripted video with his opinions and after we finished recording it, he looked at me, sitting by the tree and said: Mom, you were right, when you wish, when you really wish, it happens! I had no idea Santa would find a way of sending the game with your work! But I’m happy he did!

The Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL systems open up a whole new world of eye-popping gameplay possibilities. The stereoscopic 3D display of the upper screen gives objects within the game world a feeling of space and depth that extends far into the back of the screen. It becomes easier to see the position of characters and obstacles in the world, making many game experiences even more intuitive for all types of players.

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In Pokemon X and Y for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, trainers embark on amazing new adventure through the gorgeous Kalos region, where they will find new Pokemon and classic favorites, experience dynamic battles and enjoy new game-play features that enhance their journey through this exciting new world. 

Mega Evolution, Fairy-type Pokemon, PSS (player search system) are among many new features. 

For more information on the games and challenges, please click here.

For a complete review, watch my son’s thoughts and information on details on the Nintendo 3DS XL and the Pokemon X and Y Games. 

Here is my son’s video:

So what are you waiting? If you had any doubts, doubt no more, this is the perfect Holiday Gift!

Holiday Gift Guide Game Edition

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I know, I know, Holidays call for games!

So we have decided to highlight some of our favorite new releases and share special reviews on some of our favorites!

For this special Edition, we will be giving away a Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack for your console of choice, courtesy of Activision!

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Skylanders is “mixing it up” with the newest game in the award-winning, top-selling franchise. Skylanders SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding an all-new dimension to the “toys to life” innovation. The game introduces a compelling play pattern – – swapability — that lets gamers transform 16 SWAP Force inter-action figures into more than 250 unique characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys. Now, Portal Masters can mix and match characters’ powers and moves and experience an unprecedented level of choice never before seen in a Skylanders® game. Fans also can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of 100+ characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure® and Skylanders Giants®.
Skylanders SWAP Force features new abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – which can be used in previously unexplored areas of Skylands centered on these play mechanics. Additionally, the game features 16 new core characters, eight new LightCore® characters and 16 new versions of fan favorite Skylanders from previous games. Kids will have more than 100 characters from which to choose. The game’s high-resolution graphics brings detailed characters and richer environments to life, immersing players in the game like never before. For the entire review click here.

Skylanders fans can now become the ultimate Portal Master with the new Skylanders Collection Vault app on iOS. The free app allows fans of the franchise to discover new Skylander characters and learn more about their backstories all in one place. In addition, Activision will be kicking off a Holliday Wish List Sweepstakes around the app to help fans complete their collections. Five lucky individuals can win their wish list collection of up to 25 Skylanders SWAP ForceTM toys available in retail.We will be reviewing each game starting tomorrow, stay tuned for Nintendo 3DS XL Review! One of our favorites!

Please don’t forget to enter our giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pac Man Adventures – An adventure in NY

We were invited to attend the launch of Pac Man and The Ghostly Adventures at the Nintendo Store a couple weeks ago and you had the inside scoop in our social media channels but we wanted to tell you all the details since, they are about to do another big launch and that we had included the Pac Man game in our Holiday Gift Guide- Game Edition coming up next week!

We were greeted by Pac Man!

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We had a chance to play the game which was not in stores yet and try on different game consoles!

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Even I tried it and decided I need a WiiU for Christmas along with new games!

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My son loved trying out the amazing looking cookies!

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My son would like to share his opinion on the game, how excited he was to bring it home and try it!

 

 

The store associates were so knowledgeable and friendly, giving us all the details not only about that game but also other upcoming game launches! We wanted to share that the Nintendo Store is hosting a special launch:

Thursday, 11/21 (Times 8PM-12AM)

•Triple launch at midnight on both floors
•The Legend of Zelda: a Link Between Worlds available for purchase
•Super Mario 3D World available for purchase
•Mario Party available for purchase
•Commissioned chalk artist to create an in store Zelda installation of which will be unveiled during launch
•Meet and greet with chalk artist
•Zelda cosplay character in-store appearance
•Mario and/or Luigi characters in-store appearance
•Gifts with purchase available
It’s an amazing store, hope to see you there!
Disney Infinity – Infinite Possibilities

Disney Infinity Logo 

 disclosure-disney

 

In Disney’s most ambitious video game initiative ever, Disney Infinity introduces an all-new game universe where a spark of imagination unlocks a fantastical world where players have unprecedented freedom and endless opportunity to create stories and play experiences starring the beloved characters from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios’ most popular franchises.

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For the first time, players will place real-world interactive figures – characters, power discs and Play Set pieces – on a device called the “Disney Infinity Base” to activate original, story-driven adventures in the game worlds, also known as “Play Sets,” of “Monsters University,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Incredibles.” In each respective ”Play Set,” players will take on the role of a variety of popular characters including Sulley, the naturally gifted scarer; Captain Jack Sparrow, the sword-wielding double crosser; and Mr. Incredible, one of the world’s greatest crime-fighters, and battle enemies, solve challenging puzzles, overcome obstacles and complete a variety of other unique quests.

I can’t even tell you how excited my son was when the set arrived, he couldn’t wait to open it and play!

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As players advance through each adventure, they will collect characters, vehicles, upgrades, gadgets and more which they can save to a virtual “Toy Box.”  At any time, players can access their personal “Toy Box” and use the items to create one-of-a-kind Disney adventures featuring any combination of characters, environments and items across all franchises. The possibilities are endless and players are only limited by their imaginations.

My son and my husband spent hours enjoying the Toy Box feature! Here are a few screen shots to give you an idea of this amazing feature!

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KEY FEATURES:

  • Unprecedented Creative Play – Featuring a virtual “Toy Box” and a vast open world environment, players can create their own stories and customize their adventures combining characters, environments, gadgets, vehicles and more.  The possibilities are truly infinite as Disney will add new additions from the company’s vast library of entertainment properties.
  • Infinite Storyline Possibilities – Disney prides itself on its storytelling culture and for the first time ever, Disney Infinity will put the story creation into the hands of consumers. Players will be able to create their own adventures in an open-world environment and will give players unprecedented freedom for creative play.
  • Multiple Franchises Across All Platforms Disney Infinity introduces an all-new universe, featuring a toy-inspired art style where multiple Disney franchises and characters can exist and interact in one game and across Xbox360, PS3, Wii, Wii-U, 3DS, PC and online, as well as on smart devices including tablets and mobile phones.
  • Interactive Figures Activate In-Game Adventures and Customizations Disney Infinity will initially introduce a line of 40 collectible interactive figures – characters, Play Set pieces and power discs – that allow players to expand and customize their play experiences. Over time, Disney Infinity will release additional characters and “Play Sets” and this platform will constantly evolve.
    • 17 interactive character figures allow players to experience a variety of their favorite characters in each ”Play Set” and in “Toy Box” play
    • 3 Play Set pieces that add new Disney and Disney•Pixar “Play Set” locations
    • 20 power discs enhance environments, add gadgets and more
  • Co-op Multiplayer Action Disney Infinity supports 2 player co-op play in structured adventures and up to 4 players in “Toy Box” mode.

My husband and son had a blast playing the game. My son is already asking for more characters to join the fun! For more information, check out the website: www.disney.com/Infinity. I can assure you, this will make an amazing holiday gift, for all ages!!!

Watching Disney Interactive Intro

Video game images were provided by Disney. 

What A Gamer Needs For Halloween

We asked our favorite gamers, friends and family, what do you need for Halloween? You will be surprised by their answers … or not! Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Lucas 10- said, holding his Pacman cookie: ” Every gamer needs gamer sweets for Halloween!”

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Lucas also said: “Every gamer needs a costume of a character from your favorite game! That is why I chose Enderman from Minecraft!”

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Brandon and Luke agreed:

“Every gamer needs a gamer costume! ” So, Spyro was an easy choice for them!

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Our gamer said that the best trick or treat gift ever was what he received this weekend when Nintendo gave him the new Pac Man and the Ghostly Adventures to try! The full scoop on this new game will be coming up soon!

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Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver – Racing To One Of Our Hot Game Picks!

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We were invited for the game launch early September in NY when we had a chance to preview and enjoy a quick try!

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Our game arrived soon after, we also received a super cool car and sticker, the game is compatible to our PS3 but it is also offered in Wii U and XBox 360.

My husband and I played the new “Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver” game on our PS3 and had lots of fun competing against each other!

They drove motorcycles and snowmobiles in addition to some hot cars! The game play is for one person at a time so you have full vision of the television screen while its your turn. The graphics are great and the action is non-stop! My son’s favorite game play was the snow mobile trick course/competition. Lots of high flipping, twisting and turning as you go flying off the ramps.

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We have an older Hot Wheels video game which has long been one of our favorites and “World’s Best Driver” has already become a new favorite for us! Hats off to Warner Brothers for their great new “Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver” game.

The game is available in most stores, what are you waiting for?

Let’s Get the Party Started With Skylanders Swap Force

Skylanders SWAP Force Logo LoRes

I have received the Game and additional characters, but all opinions are my own.

Skylanders is “mixing it up” with the newest game in the award-winning, top-selling franchise. Skylanders SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding an all-new dimension to the “toys to life” innovation. The game introduces a compelling play pattern – – swapability — that lets gamers transform 16 SWAP Force inter-action figures into more than 250 unique characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys. Now, Portal Masters can mix and match characters’ powers and moves and experience an unprecedented level of choice never before seen in a Skylanders® game. Fans also can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of 100+ characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure® and Skylanders Giants®.
Skylanders SWAP Force features new abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – which can be used in previously unexplored areas of Skylands centered on these play mechanics. Additionally, the game features 16 new core characters, eight new LightCore® characters and 16 new versions of fan favorite Skylanders from previous games. Kids will have more than 100 characters from which to choose. The game’s high-resolution graphics brings detailed characters and richer environments to life, immersing players in the game like never before.
The game features:
All-New Characters – More than 50 collectible characters including 32 never-before-seen Skylanders heroes each with unique powers and personalities:
• 16 new SWAP Force characters
• 16 new Core Skylanders characters
• 8 LightCore® Skylanders characters
• 16 new versions of fan-favorite Skylanders from the previous games, each featuring an all new “Wow Pow” upgrade power
o Exciting Adventure – Portal Masters will embark on a brand new adventure, encountering never-before- seen enemies and challenges, as well as meeting memorable non-playable characters who can help the Skylanders defeat Kaos and his minions in the Cloudbreak Islands.
o Unique SWAP Force Zones – Skylanders SWAP Force characters feature new abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – each of which can be explored in new areas of Skylands.
o Assortment of Gameplay Modes, Solo Survival Mode, Team Survival Mode, Rival Mode, Battle Arena Mode, Ring Out Mode

The game is offered for:  (Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4) Beenox (Wii)
n-Space (3DS), Nintendo Wii®, Wii U®, 3DS®

So what better way to share an amazing new game? Invite friends to play with you! We invited some friends and their children to come to a Swap Party! Children tried the game, taking turns!

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Moms could relax downstairs and enjoy a nice chat, guess what was on our mind? Holiday Gifts and the game was our first choice, which we were sure Santa would approve!

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My son was so excited with all the options on the characters we received, it was hard to have him share his game controller!

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No better recipe for a successful party than happy children, enjoying an amazing game! We wanted to thank Skylanders for allowing us to try the game which was launched Oct 13th and is currently available in stores!