Game of the Week: European War 2

This game is old, for the app store, but is a fantastic game that I have not had a chance to review yet.

When I was in college, say 10 years ago, my friends and I would play board games. I very clearly remember the first time we played Axis and Allies. It is a game about managing resources, waging war, and making strategic alliances. The only games that have ever come close to that on the iPad are the European War Series.

A few months ago, I wrote about the more recent game in the European War Series, the Napoleon Wars. In that game, you can control the forces of the American and French revolutions. In European War 2, you explore a different, more recent, and more publicized war, World War 2.

Minecraft PE is Awesome! (Review)

Minecraft coming to the iPad gives me hope that we can finally get some great education games on the iPad.

If you have been living under a rock (or perhaps in a mine) for the past few years, you may not have heard about the Minecraft craze. A few years ago, a low budget production house called Mojang released an “Inde” game that allowed you to roam a made up world and create anything you want. It met amazing reviews and that small design house is now a multi-billion dollar business. Recently, it was announced that Mojang would be acquired by Microsoft.

The game itself is simple, you have blocks, and you mix those blocks together to make other blocks. That can be a forge, a table, or just the walls of your amazing Castle. There is widespread appeal in this game, since it is at heart a block creativity engine (think digital legos). Students can play the game with friends and build their favorite places. In adult versions of the game, people have created the lands of Middle Earth, Westeros, and even a replica of the Earth.

Game Review: European War 4

This series is the most similar to a board game that I love, Axis and Allies. On each turn, you create armies, manage your economy, and make strategic battle decisions. In European War 4, you manage a span of time from the American Revolution to the French Revolution.

Each step of the game allows you to progress through more and more history. The campaign itself lets you play the major battles of the Napoleonic Campaign. You can make this game more and more difficult for yourself as you play the game in online and pass and play multiplayer or individual skirmishes.

Game Review: NarcoGuerra

NarcoGuerra is a slightly scary Strategy Game produced by Game the News. GtN prides itself in making modern news stories approachable as games – and they do a nice job of creating the games.

Imaging playing risk with drugs, police, corruption, and lots of wars. If you can imagine all of that, with some great story lines and plot developments, you can picture what happens in NarcoGuerra. This is a realistic simulation about why the war on Drugs is so difficult to stop. When the game starts, you take command of the Police forces of Mexico. You help to develop resources, send men to battle and oust the Cartels.

Game Review: Plague Inc.

Plague Inc is one of my favorite games of all time. I remember sitting in a Drafting class playing the game for weeks on end (sorry Mr.Geesman – we still got our projects done though). Back then – almost 15 years ago, the game was called Pandemic 2 and was a great SWF. Now, Plague Inc. by Ndemic solutions is a fantastically complicated version of one of my childhood all-star games.

In the game, you take control of a plague. That plague then targets and eradicates the entire human race. While you play, you unlock additional game types, new plagues, scenarios, genes to mutate your disease, and of course a blood fever for killing the human race.

Game Review: Move the Turtle

Move the Turtle is a Kickstarter game turned app. It is designed to allow young students to approach object oriented programing through an easy to use graphical interface.

I have used the App as an extension of my basic programming course. In the elementary grades, this is a perfect app to teach elementary programming (hehe). Students use the interface to program the actions of a turtle. As the name implies, the students get more and more creative as they learn additional commands and processes that can get the turtle from point A to point B.

Game of the Week: Democracy 3

Democracy 3 is a game that snuck up on me! I was happy and minding my own business when an article came across my desk about a new App with an in “Depth Government Simulation.” I scoffed a bit because who would be able to explain the nuances of government in a single Application. I downloaded the game, and there it sat while I was waiting to review a couple of other simulations. During this past summer, I was cleaning off my iPad and stumbled across the app again, in my queue to delete. It did not seem fair that I delete the App without even launching it, so I took a few minutes to fire the game up. An hour later, I but the game down unable to think straight.

At its core, Democracy 3 is a government simulation game. You take on the role of the newly elected ruler of a country of your choice. Each turn in the game is the span of three months of your reign. During that time, you earn and spend political capital, try to balance the budget, and make changes to further your society. Where the app excels is in its description of the interconnectedness of policies. I was immediately tasked with wanting to reduce the crime rate in my country. I banned drugs, criminalized prostitution, and provided additional support to the legal system – which all made logical sense. After six months, my GDP was down, my parents were upset, and crime had drastically increased.

In an education context, I see this game as a very powerful way to model government. Students have the ability to manage policies and then see the downstream effects of those policies. In the skilled hands of a seasoned educator, this will be a wonderful way to engage students in Government.