Game Review: The Survivor

The Survivor is a fun, but somewhat limited Crafting Survival Game.

You start off with your hand and a rock. Like a crazy person, you bang that rock against other rocks and against tress to collect resources so that you can survive. As a word of caution, like most Survival Games, the worst mobs come out at night, so make sure that you have some light, a weapon, and some shelter to protect you when the sun goes down (basically just chop down a bunch of trees with you rock at the beginning of the game).

Game of the Week: Rebuild

Rebuild is a fantastic app! The premise is to develop a post-apocalyptic town and make it safe for all of the inhabitants. You do this by recruiting additional helpers, finding weapons, searching for food, and completing quests. As you build your town, you will discover quests that ask you to find several locations on the map ore recruit certain numbers of followers.

I played the Rebuild game on a 6 hour flight. I started it, and I thought “This will keep me entertained for a few hours.” After six hours of solid play, I had the game figured out, and completed the majority of the quests. It is a great game, and has a great amount of gameplay packed into a small price tag. This would be a fantastic purchase for anyone who is a fan of zombies and strategy games.

The Dwarves have come! (Craft the World Review)

I was just minding my own business yesterday and out of nowhere a dozen well armed and smell dwarves dropped in. They did not ask me to join them on their quest to slay an overgrown reptile, but they did hold my iPad hostage and destroy my battery. Just a short 48 hours ago, Craft the World was released on the iPad and I have done very little on the device since then.

To be honest, I downloaded the game on a whim – probably because I was in the spirit of Dwarves with the hype surrounding the next Hobbit Movie. Unlike most downloads, I got it just as I had time to play. Three hours later, I put the game down and realized that I had blown my entire day.

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.

App Essentials: iStudiez Pro

There are a ton of planning apps out there for you to sink your teeth into. I have used a bunch of them as I tried to find the best programs in my productivity series. What I learned is that as a Teacher and a Student, you have different needs than a business professional.

As a student, I love using iStudiez Pro to manage my calendar, assignments, and grades. This application is a great purchase if you want to get all of the functionality of a physical planner on your iPad. As a technologist, I always watch for those apps that are an integration platform. iStudiez Pro is a great app because it syncs with the default calendars to give you a complete view of your schedule and what is going on. I used this daily in my graduate courses to ensure that I had every assignment marked out and broken down for me and my team to complete.

This is a great app for integrating your normal planning in your iOS devices.

App Essentials: Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is the best resource app on the iPad. It has a very STEM tilt, but works great for language as well as math and science. As an education and productivity app, this cannot be beat.

In an educational context, you can have students do real time calculations with moving celestial objects, evaluate expressions, and of course do advanced mathematic modeling. It is a great way to give the power of science and math to students.