About Games with Sam

Most game reviews are focused purely on the enjoyment of the game. I’m a father with a pre-school-aged kid that enjoys playing games with me, so the choice of the game and what values it conveys is important.

I started this series of reviews for other parents who want to play games that both the child and the adult can enjoy, where the game is not just mindless entertainment but involves developmental skills. Each game review includes my observations of my son in each of the following categories:

  • Spacial Awareness - Awareness of the avatar in the environment and able to make decisions based on cues from the environment.
  • Memory Skills - Ability to remember past events and predict what might happen next.
  • Hand-eye Coordination - Ability to control the game (if he plays it himself)
  • Problem Solving - Ability to solve puzzles and progress in the game.
  • Reading Skills - Ability to recognize words or phrases while directly related to progress in the game.
  • Entertainment - How fun is it for both Sam and me.
  • Appropriateness - Are there themes that I am uncomfortable showing Sam, such as excessive violence or other adult themes.

We are in a golden age where self-publishing independent developers are making some truly amazing games. There is no need to waste time on games that aren’t both fun and enriching.

Reviewing Scale

Mostly a mindless game. It may be fun, but not enriching. Skip.

Only one or two skills are lightly engaged. Likely skip.

Some skills are engaged and the game is fun. Decent buy.

Many skills are engaged with noticable reactions. Recommended.

All skills are highly engaged with obvious reactions and growth. Must buy.