Gamestar Mechanic Teacher Blog

Games by Kids – Katya’s Favs

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Posted Nov. 01, 2011

CategoryGames by Kids

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There are thousands of kids publishing games in Game Alley on about almost as many topics.  Kids make games that tell stories about their lives, that simulate a system they are learning about in school, that features interesting puzzles, or that are simply full of as many sprites as possible.  While a lot of games in Game Alley are fantastic, these are two of my favorite:

Dinosaur Sustanability” by rhys

Dinosaur Sustainability

Dinosaur Sustainability

This game by rhys was a winner for the 2010 STEM Video Game Challenge, and rightfully so.  This is a resource management game where each level is a little trickier than the last.  You are a dinosaur trying to survive.  At first you have all the food you could dream of and no competition, but as the levels progress, you have other dinos competing for your rations and some who are even trying to eat you.

I love this game for two main reasons.  One, it’s an awesome portrayal of predator-prey relationships and resource management.  If you eat everything too quickly, you’ll have nothing left.  But if you eat too slowly, someone else might get to the goods before you do.  The key to winning this game is balancing resources, which is a lovely game mechanic.

This game also stands out because of its built-in scaffolding.  Level 1 teaches you the basics of survival, and the subsequent levels introduce new challenges.  Each level builds off of the last.  This is exactly how good games teach players.  Well done, rhys!

Missing!” by mustelidae

Missing!

Missing!

I like this game for very different reasons.  It does not have much gameplay (you collect a point here or there), but boy does it have story, and a unique way of telling it!  You are a tiny hero, solving the mystery of Mrs. Pickleton who did not show up to accept her “pie of the century” award.  By talking to the townspeople, you unlock the mystery of where Mrs. Pickleton could be and why she didn’t come to claim her award.  But here’s the amazing part, you talk to other sprites by using a combination of message blocks and teleporters to create a dialog tree.  Awesome!

This game features mechanics found often in RPGs (role-playing games) like collecting clues and conversing with NPCs (non-player characters).  Yet, mustelidae developed a unique way to use a component we intended for location changes (teleporters) to instead transport the player into a conversation.  Kudos, mustelidae!

At the top of Game Alley you’ll find our featured games section which we update weekly.  Some of the most innovative games by kids can be found here.  Happy playing! And let me know what some of your favorites are!

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