This first time partnership with Kaplan and a video game company, namely Aspyr (get it), creates a fun tutorial that concentrates on test skills and familiarization more than pressure-filled scenarios. This skill building game has a nice format with eight game types and approximately 1,200 questions in the subjects of reading, math and writing. Stick figure icons and customization add nice variety to an engaging experience that still challenges and rewards some serious mental workouts.
Each subject has two sections – glyphs and prediction in reading, ante up grade and writer wrong in writing, and grid swap and connection in math. Glyph mode lets players combine words from prefixes and suffixes while prediction lets players fill in missing words in sentences then choose from a formulated multiple choice list. Both modes present great core learning opportunities in smaller steps that let future SAT test takers tackle the text heavy reading section thoroughly.
The similar ante up grade requires completion of a sentence from three possible choices. Writer Wrong requires specific grammar and editing of each sentence in a slightly annoying spinning wheel mechanic, which contains the selectable answers. Grid swap puts “mathmateers” and gives four math questions (easy to forget to do them all) and a grid number pool as the answers. Connection has a pool of two questions (choose one) then four possible multiple choice answers.
Clock watchers can rest easy because this game has no timed tests. Developers created a nice statistic system as well that helps players assess their skills, which adds further customization to the game. The comprehensive quiz section (15 reading, writing, or math multiple choice questions) also includes a helpful review feature where players compare their answers with the correct ones.
Studious players also get to practice essential question skipping skills with the Skipper option, where players read through all the questions then choose several to skip. A solid, challenging life skill game with expanded interactions and entertaining formats – a long way from the 1980s Reader’s Digest version I used.
The game manual includes helpful references, but like the game, does not have an exhaustive amount, which is just not an ideal player pace, especially those filled with test anxiety. Players will need patience though because answers take a while to process at times. The upcoming Nintendo DS version of this game will feature unique touch-screen interactivity for certain problems. The downloadable version may alleviate some selective video card issues. Recommended (*** out of four stars)
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler