Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tektoma: Game Tutorials For Kids

My kids are fascinated with the internet and the computer.  They enjoy playing computer games together.  I knew that they'd be interested in the Tektoma subscription, when I found out we were assigned to review it for the TOS Homeschool Crew.

Tektoma is a subscription-based website which offers video tutorials that teach children how to create their own games using the free GameMaker software.  The tutorials are intended for children ages 7 - 17, and they offer a variety of ability levels and difficulties.  Tektoma tutorials are designed for Windows XP and Vista only.  There is currently not a Mac version, but they are planning for that in the future.

We struggled to get the Game Maker software and Resources downloaded to our computer.  It took several tries, but once it was completely downloaded and successfully unzipped, my 12 and 14 year old daughters took off with it.  They were able to follow the tutorials themselves, and create their own games.   Tektoma also offers a fully moderated member's forum where members can ask questions.

Tektoma tutorials are lengthy, and  will not work well for those with dial-up internet.  We have a satellite internet connection, and I feared we would struggle with the tutorials, but we did not.  If you aren't sure how your internet will handle the tutorial videos, you can try their free tutorial preview.  The Tektoma membership is sold for $14.95/month or $140 for the year. 

My daughters enjoyed learning how to create games.  They created a racing game and also a platform game.  They especially enjoyed designing the looks of the game, choosing its characters and colors.  The younger kids were always willing to test the game for them.  My 8 year old son is eager to test the tutorials himself, but his older sisters haven't let him have a chance yet.

If your son or daughter is very interested in computer games, this may be a worthwhile investment for your family.   As a subscription, it is not a reusable product -- although an older sibling might be able to teach the information to a younger sibling later.  While this was a fun way to spend lots of time and learn a little about game creation ... this isn't something we would choose to invest in at this time.  We just have too many other needs and priorities for our homeschool right now.

This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting In Him,

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