December 7, 2010

Land of Me – A Different Breed of Interactive Game

in For Parents, Toys

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Tell me that you have a cool new interactive game for kids, and I’ll probably cringe first because I feel there’s too much media, commercial entertainment, and other forms of electronic babysitting in our kids’ world today.  I’m decidely “old school” when it comes to raising our daughter – her days are filled with lots of outdoor play, reading from books, hands-on arts and crafts, cooking, open-ended toys and imaginative play.  TV time is minimized, along with video games, Baby Einstein-type learning tools, character-driven media properties (like Disney and Barbie), and most battery-operated toys and games.

Now, along comes Land of Me, a new interactive computer game conceived and produced by Made in Me, a London-based team of creative and early childhood development experts.  After playing Land of Me with my daughter in small short doses, I’m impressed with the richly layered experience that this interactive game presents.  As a minimal-media dad, I actually feel really good about Land of Me.

Made for 3 to 6 year olds, you will follow three main characters through a visually beautiful world with a memorable musical soundtrack, that engages learning skills from colors, space, storytelling, weather, language, reading, imagination, song and dance.  What’s more, I love the offline activities that can be downloaded, printed, and played with that include finger puppets, masks, and wall art. You see, Land of Me starts off as a computer game, but it extends itself deeply into play options away from the computer which is part of its magic and brilliance.

Best of all, you experience Land of Me at your own pace – there’s no time-clock countdowns or frantic button-mashing activities.  In fact, linger away from the game for a while, and each of the characters will drift and doze off in their own unique ways.  One hitch is the game runs a little slow on my older laptop than on my newer quad-core desktop – so be patient (and close your other open applications), and you and your child will be rewarded.

Experience Land of Me with a free download of the game’s first chapter, titled Shape, Size, and Color, where you’ll be introduced to its characters and their world.  After that, there are five other chapters you can purchase separately or together as one bundle for your PC or Mac.

So download today, and come back and let us know how you liked Land of Me.

Extra: Read an interview with James Huggins of Made in Me at Bloesem Kids.

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