Scripps Spelling Bee
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the vocabulary used in Scripps Spelling Bee is quite advanced (if you've ever watched the National Spelling Bee on TV, expect to see words of that level of difficulty), and feels more appropriate for children who are already good spellers and wish to challenge themselves. Kids who want to use the game to help them with basic spelling might find it too difficult. However, you can always use the custom list feature to enter your own spelling words.
What's it about?
The SCRIPPS SPELLING BEE video game allows you to simulate the experience of competing in the National Spelling Bee. In the story, you start off with small contests in your school and neighborhood and eventually move all the way up to the national finals. Along the way you will be cheered on by your teacher and best friend while being mocked and challenged by a bragging rival student. In addition to the story mode there are also several word-based mini-games.
Is it any good?
The details used in the Scripps Spelling Bee video game are nice. Once you hear your word spoken, you can ask for a definition, its country of origin, and to hear it used in a sentence -- just like in the real National Spelling Bee. You do need to hear the word, though, which is why the game is far from perfect. The audio isn't always clear enough (we mistook "pumice" for "hummus"). But that's when checking the definition can come in handy. Wearing headphones helps a lot, too (just make sure the volume isn't too high). The friends-and-rivals storyline is repetitive and feels generally unnecessary. On the whole, the mini-games are a lot more fun than the main spelling bee mode, and shouldn't be overlooked. You will undoubtedly learn from this game, though. Even the strongest spellers out there are bound to come across a word they don't know.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the competition aspect of the real spelling bee. Are the children who compete exposed to too much pressure to win? Would you ever want to take part in a real spelling bee?
Parents and children can also discuss the storyline that is used in the game. Do the bully and friend characters seem realistic? Do you understand what they are meant to convey?