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Archive for the ‘lego’ tag

Games I Own: Lego Racers

Posted on 8th Jul 2010 at 11:19 by Joe Martin with 17 comments

Joe Martin
I never had any of the classic consoles as a kid, only an old Amiga A500+ and occasional access to the BBC Microcomputer at school or the one in my Dad’s office. That means I missed out on some of the apparent classics, like Mario Kart, so I can’t really comment on how Lego Racers compares to what many hold up as the king of kart games. All I can say is that I really liked Lego Racers.

In terms of gameplay and features there’s not really much to say about the original Lego Racers other than that it was a kart racer. You had little racing cars made of Lego and you went through a series of levels, trying to place ahead of the boss of each league. In each race you could collect power-ups to turn the tide of the race – missile attacks, oil slicks, rocket boosters, the usual fare. Unlike the latter Lego Racers 2, the first game didn’t have a big open-world for you to explore between races, just the levels and a few hidden shortcuts.

In fact, the only remotely original feature it had was the most logical and obvious one possible, given the franchise – you could build your own cars from unlocked bits of Lego. Supposedly the design might change how your car handled, but if there was any evidence or indication of that then it was so minimal that I can’t honestly say I ever noticed. Instead, I just tried to make my car look as badass as possible.

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Games to play with your children

Posted on 3rd Sep 2009 at 15:16 by Joe Martin with 36 comments

Joe Martin
I don’t have children, but I do have a lot of younger siblings and nephews and nieces, and we've played a lot of computer games together. A lot of the experiences we’ve shared have been through the medium of joysticks and mouse clicks.

Looking back on that recently I’ve come to think that parents should definitely play computer games with their kids, even though a lot of parents are of the opinion that "games are bad for you" and "all games are violent". Absolute rubbish, every word of it.

Of course, some games are violent and there’s a huge amount of games out there which aren’t at all suitable for children – but violence, if handled responsibly, isn’t always bad and there are a lot of games that are good for kids. My parents had an inkling of this and I spent a lot of time playing either with my Dad or talking about it with him. It’s something I plan to do with my children too, heaven forbid, and something I reflect on every time I go into a shop and see a parent blindly buying Grand Theft Auto for their seven year old. Grrr.

This isn’t new thinking obviously – any number of child-rearing programs or handbooks will tell you it’s important to get involved and find experiences you can share with your children. The problem though is that if you’re not someone who’s ‘into PCs’ and your kid is then it can be hard going. Thus, here are some recommendations for games that are suitable for most children and which open themselves up to this kind of activity.

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