A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is the Web site for the animated cartoon series Ben 10: Alien Force, and revolves around action and attacks between humans and aliens. Although there are guns and battles, there's no blood or gore, and characters are often shown using their smarts and physical skills, rather than weapons, to save planet Earth. The site has a message board where anyone can post without registering; but the board seems to be monitored pretty well.
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What's it about?
Designed for fans of the Cartoon Network animated series, Ben 10: Alien Force, this Web site offers both show information (a character page, episode guide, and video clips, for example) as well as casual games. The site's most robust offering is the Game Creator, which allows visitors to create their own Ben 10-inspired game, and then open it up for other online gamers to play and rate. Visitors can choose their own background, layout, characters, and objectives from a menu of options. A video tutorial enables even newbies to build a decent submission.
Is it any good?
With character descriptions that give the lowdown on Ben 10's myriad creatures' assorted skills, as well as series snippets, Ben10.com offers newbies a good introduction to the show. True fans, however, probably will find the site lacking in rich, interesting content. Most of the departments skim the surface of the show, and the games are fairly simplistic. The site' saving grace is the Game Creator, which will appeal to would-be game designers, even if they've never heard of the television series. Just be ready to spend some quality time with this game's instructions as there is a lot to learn before you can create your own game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the site's game-design module. What do you think are some of the elements that you would add to your own video game? Do you like action or strategy? By making your own video game, do you think you would have a better understanding of what video game designers need to do to make an entertaining game?