Family video games – Christmas 2014 buyer’s guide

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2014 has seen the video game business continue to go from strength to strength.  With consoles such as Sony’s Playstation 4 having sold over 15 million units more and more family homes are making use of these to provide family entertainment.

video game buying guide

Video games provide a great activity for children and their families to enjoy sharing at home but many are not suitable for younger gamers.  Despite various aged certification on game boxes children are frequently being exposed to games that are not suitable for them to play.  What games are children allowed to play and which ones are they likely to want to play?

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Phonics fun with Biff, Chip And Kipper update

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Following my previous post of first impressions HERE we have continued to enjoy playing with Phonics fun with Biff, Chip And Kipper on our 2DS.

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Moo has played through the initial Stages 1 games and activities that focused on sounds and is now beginning on stages 1+ and 2 which are more focused on simple phonetic words such as “bug, Dad and pot.”

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Classroom Murder Mystery

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Today we had our, now annual, in school murder mystery day.  The day has proved to be a HUGE hit with the children as they work to solve a murder in their own school.  As a drama activity I’ve never taught another lesson that comes close to the challenge that this provides the children.

Our current class topic is Games and so when thinking about trying to link some lessons to Cluedo a murder mystery day seemed like the way to go.

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Diablo 3 review

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Diablo 3 is a beast of a game.  I mean this of course in the nicest possible way.  I haven’t played either of the previous Diablo games but was aware of them before Diablo 3 came along.diablo33

The game is best described as an action role playing game or if your not video game savvy a game where you control a character who roams around killing creatures and in doing so becomes more powerful.  Being more powerful then allows you to kill more challenging creatures and so the gameplay loop continues.  That gameplay loop is key here because Diablo 3 is incredibly addictive thanks to that tight rotation of getting more and more powerful and therefore being able to take on more and taking on more allows you to get more powerful.

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Using Valiant Hearts as a teaching resource

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Valiant Hearts is a superb puzzle game set during the First World War. The game follows the lives of a collection of characters in different circumstances who are all caught up in the conflict, but this is far from your normal wargame.

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This year will see schools around the country give some serious time to teaching children all about the First World War. It’s Centenary and the New Curriculum fit the topic perfectly.

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Review: Spelunky

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Read my other game reviews HERE

Spelunky is an incredible procedurally generated platformer that sees you travelling further and further underground in an attempt to find valuable treasures.

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The gameplay feels like a modern day Mario-esque platformer in levels lifted from Indiana Jones.  You control an explorer who is trying to find the secrets of a tomb.  Every time you play the game the levels are created uniquely for you and that play through can never be repeated again.  That means that when you make a mistake you don’t get to go back in time to a previous save to try it again.

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