All member reviews for Gamestar Mechanic

Common Sense Media says

Grand adventure teaches you to design your own games.
 

Learning

Users say

(out of 6 reviews)
age 9+
 
Review this title!
Adult Written byDiEx-80 February 3, 2011
 

Not perfect, but a small start in game creation for kids

My issue is that this is being pushed as a game creation tool. I have problems with that since it is restricted between monthly subscribers or free users. If your child wants to learn to make games, there are free tools out on the net that don't need a monthly subscription. Even RPG Maker XP can be a good tool for a budding game designer. If you are wanting a good community, GarageGames is a great community and tools to make 2D & 3D games. (Granted, its $100 for the basic things but are very user friendly)
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Educational value
Educator and Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written bybjoseph April 18, 2012
 

Becoming Responsible Game Designers

I would add this to the great things already said about Gamestar Mechanic: 1) In regards to "responsibility and ethics" there are a wide range of game design challenges within the site that ask youth to design games addressing social issues like ending war. Youth who participate in these challenges can learn how to combine their interest in game design with social issues. 2) Unlike other online gaming environments, there is no push to spend more money on virtual items. Once youth have full access to the site, there is no consumerist push to distract them from learning how to design their games.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Educator Written bycjones727 June 8, 2012
 

Overly Complicated

I registered and played with Gamestar Mechanic. I can't imagine a 10 year old being able to use it and come away with any educational value. There's no pop-up bubbles over the tools that help you build a game and I'm not about to sit down with my child for hours and read a manual like a textbook. Even if I wanted to, I didn't quickly locate a manual or easy help menu when I hit a roadblock. If by chance your kid does have the patience and ability to figure this out, he's destined for engineering school--and top of the class. Maybe I did't get far enough into the game design but the avatars were boring and basic and had no relation to the personal interests and criteria I selected at the start. The interface of the site is overly crowded and the artwork upon entry seems to have no relation to the game your designing. Gamestar mechanic seems like a great concept but it must be designed by Engineers.
Kid, 11 years old May 10, 2015
 
LEARNING

Excellent Creation Site

This site is my favorite gaming site (since I hate all others). My username is Miss-Squirrel (on GSM), and I found this to be a really good learning experience. The free quest is fun, though pretty limiting. However, you can pay $19.95 for the premium quest, or use a promo code at gamestarmechanic.com/landing/redeem. The code is NKALCBPFZ. Beyond those sprites, you can purchase premium packs for $1.99 to $2.99. The best packs to purchase are the Underwater, Freezer, Winter Holiday, Autumn, and Mystical. (The others have boring sprites or are just repeats.) If you do decide to go with the free quest, you should consider the Gateway Pack. It grants access to Locks and Keys, which are pretty essential for good games :) The Quests are fun, and they do have some cartoon violence, but nothing realistic. (When you die, you turn into a gear, which slowly fades away-- same for enemies you "frag.") The premium packs have challenges, which are also fun, but pretty difficult. In all, some of the challenges (you play challenges to earn sprites) are extremely hard for the average child-- either the parent should sit down with them and help them, or the child will spend 48+ hours on the Quests and Challenges. It also is a bit addictive :D Designing games is my favorite part of GSM. You get a template of "sprites" (characters, blocks, and items) you earn in the Quests, and you drag and drop them onto a grid. You can make the level many "screens" long, or keep it at just one screen, and you can upload your own backgrounds with the premium quest. The designing procedure is pretty intuitive, but sometimes things don't exactly make sense. Here's my advice: figure it out. It usually doesn't take long. If you can't, though, look it up in the Game Alley. There are tons of good tutorial games that will facilitate your experience with GSM. You can also "level up" by publishing reviews, reporting bugs, and playing games that were previously ignored. The bug-reporting part is a learning experience as well. The GSM community is extremely friendly and will not usually leave hate reviews. If they do, however, you can just flag the review and the moderators will delete it. Keep in mind that you can edit reviews but not comments. :) I think I've provided WAY too much info here, but here's it all in a nutshell. It's intuitive, simple, a good learning experience, and A LOT of fun! If you haven't already, try it. BTW, kids younger than six can still do it, it's just that they might need some parental help. Good luck playing and designing! :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Kid, 9 years old April 2, 2013
 

5 STARS!

I was on this website and found the top 50 educational games list. I decided to check it out, and found this game. I decided that I HAD to try it. I made an account with a parent's help, and also showed my uncle. If you're looking for a professional game maker, this is not the game for you, but if you're a kid who's interested in making your own games, this is perfect for you. Violence: Some of the bad guys is the games have lasers. Consumerism: You can buy the full pack of the game for $19.95, which is advertised on the site. You can also buy smaller packs for $1.99 or $2.99.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Educator and Parent of a 2 and 6 year old Written byMr. Walters March 11, 2014
 
LEARNING

Real 21st Century Skills

Gamestar Mechanic is a study in the concepts behind the basic elements of a game, and how the balance of fun and challenge in games creates flow. It is also concerned with the iteration feedback loop and how games are a complex system designed around creating a satisfying user experience. Game design is a great jumping off point for introducing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning through the lens of systems-thinking and user-centered design. Working with these complex concepts requires creativity and critical thinking in generous amounts. Basically, students have to figure out how a user is going to interact with a system that hasn't been invented yet. Further, the iterative feedback loop requires collaboration. Gamestar not only provides an excellent and accessible tool for this experience but also includes relevant and comprehensive scaffolding in the form of lessons and activities.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use