Here is the fifth installment of 10 games reviewed.
Big-Time Butter Baron
Big-Time Butter Baron is a Tetris style game where the player is given a base platform that needs to be covered with different shaped butter blocks. The blocks can be arranged and rotated for fitment. The player has to reach a minimum amount of stacks and then continues until the platform is filled and move onto the next level. Each level tells the player how many stacks need to be filled.
The Graphics are nice but not clean to the eye, so you do need to look around a bit. Rotating the blocks requires pressing a button with the block, which is confusing at first. This game improves both eye-hand coordination and helps develop pattern recognition and arrangement.
Grade: 3 to 5
Conclusions: A nice game, with a neater graphics it would be a real winner.
Birthday Candle Counting
Birthday Candle Counting is a very simple counting game for youngsters starting out in the world of numbers. This game presents the player with a birthday cake that has a number of candles on it. The player is asked a question and then directed to click on the candles to light them. While clicking on them the numbers are read out and the total number is then presented among three options to choose from. The player clicks on the right number as read out and moves onto the next question.
The graphics are clean and focused, the directions are clear, and the questions are comprehensible.
Grade: Pre K to K
Conclusions: A winner, a great way to help newbies in the world of numbers start to count, understand the name and relate it to the figure. It also teaches eye-hand coordination for lighting the candles when counting them.
Blobble is a stacking game, where you get a little creature like squares that produce more squares, and you need to fill a grid. The game has rules, obviously, and the initial rule is that you have an orange blob that creates purple blobs and has a direction. You create purple blobs by pressing the orange ones, and they move the blobs in the direction you press. You can also move other colored blobs that are in the way of the purple ones. It sounds simple, but it gets more complex as more creatures with different attitudes re-added and you need to know how to navigate the grid using the blobs and how they work.
This is a puzzle solving game that requires focus on rules, understanding two-dimensional space and patience.
Grade: 1 to 5
Conclusions: A winner, with great graphics and an easy to understand the methodology. The player needs to know how the bobs work, but once the player does figure it out, then it’s up to the player to navigate the grid.
Blue Box is an eye hand coordinator game, and it teaches motor skills for fingers. It is a game where the player has to move a bouncing blue block from the green box to the red one, using cyan boxes to mark the way. The game only uses the left and right arrow keys. The cyan boxes disappear, and come in different sizes, the small ones are only good for one bounce, and the larger ones require more than one bounce to remove them. The player needs to move after the bounce over the cyan box otherwise the blue box will fall. The only safe havens are the green and red boxes. Once the last cyan box has disappeared, the player needs to land on the red box to move on to the next level. Levels obviously get harder to manage.
Grade: 4 to 5
Conclusions: This is a winner in its simplicity, frustrating in its simple complexity, and reminds me of the early digital games from the 1970’s when basic ruled the world of software gaming applications.
Brain Trainer is a very nice set of games that challenge the player’s pattern recognition, memory, and eye-hand coordination skills with a daily set of challenges and onsite training. The challenges include remembering the last icon and matching it with the next, basic card addition, matching icons to a target and more. The graphics are crisp and clear, the games are easy and fun.
Grade: 4 to 5
Conclusions: Players will enjoy trying to be as fast and as accurate as possible to push their finish scores higher and outdo the competition. This is a solo game to test personal capabilities, but children will be children and the competition starts here.
Brainie Maths is an arcade Tetris style game without the different shapes. This one comes with blocks of different numbers. Each block contains a number, and there are different colored blocks. The game poses a number, and the player has to click on the corresponding box or boxes that add up to the number. There are also negative numbers, so you can also subtract too. The player gets a bonus for matching colored boxes, and the game is over when the top row is full in at least one column, just as in Tetris.
The graphics are clean and crisp, and the game reacts well to the mouse click.
Grade: 3 to 5
Conclusions: A winning Tetris addition game where players have to calculate numbers quickly to remove the blocks from the grid.
Bridge Hopper is a logic and memory (recall) puzzle game where the player must navigate the bunny across a bridge to reach three carrots. The game is over when the bunny east all the three carrots and moves onto the next level.
Movement is simple, using the four arrow keys. However, this is a moving maze where the bridge components can disappear, the player has to remember which areas of the bridge disappear, and recalling this for the next attempt.
The graphics are basic, this is a 1970’s era type of maze game and is perfect for fast action without all the razzle-dazzle of modern turbocharged virtual reality games.
Grade: 4 to 5
Conclusions: A great game, is suitable for younger children then the grades provided.
Build the Bridge
Build the Bridge is a classic building puzzle game where there is a steam train on the left, a big crater in the middle and some materials to use to build a bridge. There are also all kinds of additions along the way including dynamite mines and more.
The player has to understand basic mechanical principles and be able to construct a simple yet effective bridge across the gap. Materials can vary and the game offers a lot of surprises. The only issue is in moving the parts, the programming is not smooth and moving parts can be extremely frustrating, this is a negative for accurate motor skills and will prove to annoy players over time.
Grade: 4 to 5
Conclusions: A winner, this is a great thinking game but the moving of parts is its downfall. All in all, a great game to play, just factor in the movement of parts as an obstacle.
The COIN is a game, it’s not an educational app and it’s frustrating since the launching mechanism is faulty. In this game, you get a ball to launch at a grid that holds coins. There are all kinds of blocks, magnets and other stuff that can be collected or avoided. However, the directional pull of the coin before launching is not accurate and as such players get frustrated when they realize how inaccurate the launch process really is. The graphics are very simple and clean.
Grade: Pre K to 5
Conclusions: A great game with a poor launching mechanism, it could have been a winner, but this bug makes it a total bust.
Cake Topping is a fast stacking game that develops eye-hand coordination only. The concept of the game is to accurately stack ever decreasingly wide cakes one on top of the other until you miss a stack. The final score is the number of stacks you have successfully created.
Now, here is the clincher, if the player is accurate and the upper layer matches the bottom one, the width stays the same. For any variance, left or right, the difference is cropped, and the stack becomes thinner. Once you reach a very thin stack, you end up losing because it’s too hard to hit the target.
This game teaches accuracy over speed, and the patient player will win.
Grade: Pre K to 5
Conclusions: What a great game, teaches patience over speed, where eye-hand accuracy is paramount to success.