My oldest kids have loved Pokemon since the first time they tried to catch 'em all! Since then, the Pokemon franchise has grown and grown, giving rise to a huge range of merchandise and games.
The latest Pokemon offering from Nintendo is the Learn With Pokemon Typing Adventure. The game is suitable for the DS but also works on a 3DS (in 2D only). We were sent one to try out.
The game comes with a wireless keyboard (batteries included) and a compact DS stand. The DS can be positioned in the stand in front of the keyboard for optimum play, displaying both screens clearly.
The idea of the game is to research Pokemon in a series of locations, navigated using the keyboard. Your skills as a typist are tested as you rise through the ranks earning medals as you go. You are helped along your way by Paige who guides you on your mission to research the Pokemon. As you see the Pokemon you have to type their name as quickly and accurately as you can. In the early stages, you just need to enter the first letter of the name, but this gradually increases as your typing skills improve. Early rounds are also made easier as you have time to find the correct letters, whereas later on the Pokemon run and hide if you are not quick enough.
A keyboard is shown on the lower screen of the DS, and the letter you need is highlighted, giving a prompt to help out novice typists! The game gets progressively more difficult as your speed and accuracy is tested in the name of Pokemon research.
There are 60 different courses incorporating over 400 Pokemon. There are also quizzes to test your Pokemon knowledge. Powerful boss Pokemon are lurking within the map and you need to use your typing skills to avoid attacks and capture them. New courses are unlocked as you progress and win gold medals and capture elusive Pokemon..
The game is suitable for any level of keyboard skills as it progresses with you. Freddy is 3 and as such a total beginner, but he was able to play the early rounds independently as he had the time to find the letters which were highlighted on the bottom screen on the keyboard and match them to the Pokemon. I was very impressed with his improvement at letter recognition and his keyboard skills, which obviously puts him in good stead for both literacy and computing! Helpful hints and tips assist your learning and encourages you as you play. I am an OK typist, but struggle with touch typing. I was pleased that by playing this game, the repetition and need for speed and accuracy improved my own skills. Plus I had fun catching the cute characters in their strange locations!
It is good to find a game that teaches keyboard skills in such a fun way. Finger placement, letter positions and accuracy are developed as even the youngest players can input one letter at a time to catch their Pokemon. Letter recognition and phonics are also improved through the gameplay. Even though your child may be learning to spell the gobbledigook names of Pokemon such as Sunkern, Victini and Shroomish, the fact remains that any interest in letters and words is hugely valuable!!
The Pokemon Typing Adventure is available from the 21st September and is available to pre-order now from Amazon priced £37.99. (PEGI 3+)