Category Archives: Games

Review Eye Spy 2, playARK and yello brick by Kaitlin Wray

Eye Spy 2 was an interactive immersive experience letting people become secret agents for the day. Once we got to our first meeting point we were put into groups of six and these people would be our fellow agents to help us unlock the truth and try to save the world.
The main thing about this experience is that every person would have a different individual experience. This all depended on the type of person they are and who they were joined with. For me I had a really lovely group and we all got on well. However it was evident that we had a few overly competitive members as I spent a lot of the time trying to catch up with finding out the clues and evidence and then before I knew it I was on to the next location.
Apart from this, the story was well thought out and there were some really interesting plot lines and ideas that created dramatic suspense at certain sections. The actors involved were exceptionally good as they made us believe we were in a real crime scenario and they depended on us to help them. They gave us just the right amount of clues, but let us figure out most of it for ourselves.
However I believe this experience should have been staggered in terms of each group playing as we kept bumping into each other and other groups gave some of the clues away. It took away the essence of being a real secret agent.
Overall I really enjoyed the experience as it was well written and well planned out, it was an enjoyable day and if you like a challenge or enjoy solving puzzles and deciphering clues this is a well worth experience for you!

‘In this game there is an extra enemy..Dragons!’ Review of CastleMiner Z by Young Critic Kieran Field

In this game there is an extra enemy… Dragons !’  Review of CastleMiner Z by Young Critic Kieran Field
 Digital DNA Games
 Xbox 360
CastleMiner Z (2)
 CastleMiner Z is an Xbox 360 game, created by DigitalDNA Games.  You can buy the game on the Xbox store for 80 Microsoft points.  The game is for 1-12 players online and it can be as long as you make it.  You can also set
yourself challenges. If you had the time, you could build a city across the whole map if you wanted (not advised).  The online game is good because the host is able to kick or ban the other players if he wishes. Unfortunately there is no way you can go split screen on CastleMiner Z; this is quite disappointing considering the game is a good one too.
The sound effects of the game seem real enough especially with the sound effects of the dragons. This game is good because you do not need any help with an instructions manual.  In fact, the game is so easy you will have the controls learnt within 5 minutes of playing the game.
Mining (2)
On CastleMiner Z, you can change the difficulty to no mobs, easy or normal. No mobs explains itself: there is nothing trying to attack you. On easy, dragons cannot destroy the structures you make and mobs do less damage to you. On normal, the damage is higher and dragons can destroy the structures that you build.
There are four modes that a player can get. A player can have survival mode, which is what you start off with anyway. On survival, you can keep on going even if you die (you respawn back to the start). The other mode you start off with is endurance.  On endurance, it is the same as with survival, but if you die your world totally restarts unless you are online with other people then you just respawn back at the start. The other mode you can have is creative. Creative is unlocked if you purchase CastleMiner. You would have to put the redeem code in on CastleMiner Z; on creative it is the same as survival but you can make as much of anything as you want as long as you have the resources. The last and final mode is dragon endurance this mode you can unlock by killing the undead dragon in endurance mode. Dragon endurance is good in this you have to survive wave after wave of dragons which I think is pretty cool.
Although CastleMiner Z is a game similar to Minecraft (it is a block game like Minecraft) but you can have guns instead and the graphics of the game are slightly better.  In this game there is an extra enemy… dragons.
Dragons (2)
The dragons in CastleMiner Z vary.  The first dragon you are bound to come across is the fire dragon, which is big and red. It will start attacking you at around about 100 metres in distance.  Tip: To kill this dragon I would try to make an assault rifle.  To do this you will need 5 iron and 4 wood.  To get 5 iron you need to mine 10 iron ore and 5 coal (you should also try and make more ammo.)
The next dragon you should come across is the forest dragon; this dragon is green and black and you can kill this dragon using an assault rifle with ease but I would try and upgrade your guns with each dragon you kill. The forest dragon is stronger than the fire dragon so you will have to try harder to kill it.  You should find this dragon at about 500-800metres in distance.
After the forest dragon, you come across the sand dragon and this is a big stage up from the forest dragon because it is much stronger and a lot harder to kill. The dragon is a yellow colour and you should come across this dragon when you come into the desert.  The desert is at about 1000metres in distance.
The ice biome is likely to be the next dragon you come across. To get to the ice biome you will have to cross over very large mountains. These mountains are dangerous by themselves but to make it harder you will have different varieties of zombies chasing you, wanting to kill you. The ice dragon is stronger than the sand dragon because instead of fire balls it will try killing you with ice balls which are a light blue.
The last dragon is a nightmare to kill because it is so strong and you see it at about 4000metres in. It is called the undead dragon.  It is grey and it is very mean. The dragon is even more dangerous because the sky goes pitch black so the dragon is very difficult to find when it attacks you, you’d better hide yourself.
When you kill a dragon, they will drop items which you can collect.  What the dragon drops can range from wood all the way to bloodstone. The rare item which only dragons drop is explosive dragon powder and this allows you to make grenades, rocket launches, anti-dragon guided missile launchers,c4 and tnt.
Another danger in the game is Hell.  Hell is found deep under the ground and mostly made up of lava and bloodstone. In hell you have both the zombies and skeletons trying to kill you. There is one monster that reigns over hell and this is the devil. The devil is taller and stronger than any of your enemies that are unable to fly. He is red and he has horns. He will charge at you and you will have around about 2 seconds before he starts hitting you.
There are alien crash sites throughout the map of the game, in the alien crash sites there is space rock which can only be mined by a bloodstone pickaxe. There is also space goo which is green and it glows this also can only be mined with a bloodstone pickaxe. Obviously on an alien crash site there would be aliens which are strong and yet again also want to attack you. The aliens are dark blue and silver the nearest crash site is about 700 metres in.
There are parts of the game, such as when you fight the last dragon, that are seriously dark and you cannot see, but that’s why you are able to make torches. Torches can be used to light up a good area of space.
The safest place in the game is ore land, as I have called it, which is where all the ores, even the rare one diamond, can be found on the surface.  Ore land is very far out; it will be found when you are on your way to the 4000 metres if that is what you’re aiming for.
If I was going to give this game a rating I would give it a high rating of 4 out of 5 because it is a great fun game. I think that this game is suitable for any age. As long as they are able to use the console, this game is suitable for the whole family.  You might be the type of person that finds block games fun; if you are then you could play on this game for hours. This game can be fun for most people if they set themselves goals. If you are like me then when you achieve your goal it’s great and you are happy with yourself. I recommend you to buy this game because I’m sure that you will enjoy it very much.

Young Critics Review – The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning: Stunning Storytelling

Talk about different!The experience starts as soon as you walk through the front doors of Cardiff High School; huddling in the stairwell before a girl with a walkie talkie directs you upstairs in small groups, to experience the journey to the auditorium – a well designed walk, where you are subjected to primarily unnerving sounds of war and army barracks, which contrasts dramatically with the adorned High School walls, proclaiming netball fixtures and displaying the colourful works of the current students.
General Admission took on a new meaning too, with the audience collecting their chairs from uniform clad soldiers, and choosing a ‘square’ to place it in allowing, to an extent, voyeurism to occur on the audience’s own terms.The set, designed by Chloe Lamford, was minimal. The perimeter of the stage was marked with four 12ft lighting rigs holding computer monitors at every angle that showed P.O.V. footage of a helicopter based sniper. The bleak images of the war torn town, coupled with the loud, intrusive hum of the craft, shouts from the combatants and the occasional ring of an evacuation alarm, set my nerves slightly on edge as I watched the rest of the audience take their seats and choose their viewing spots. This was the first hint of the multiplatform format engineered by Tom Beardshaw, in conjunction with Tim Price (Writer) and John E McGrath (Artistic Director).
The opening was a highly charged list of all the statements you can imagine might have been made about Bradley Manning since the Wikileaks “scandal” began – soldiers discussing the whistleblowing actions of a fellow soldier became a squabble between teenagers, trying to make their opinions heard. What followed was a dynamic, engaging, thought provoking performance that immersed me fully into the story of Bradley Manning, from his High School days in South Wales to his incarceration. Every moment appeared planned down to the second. Every movement, sound (Mike Beer), look, lighting sequence (Natasha Chivers), prop, word had specific meaning and intent. This was an intricately devised piece that made every second worthwhile. I could not pull my eyes from the action!
The six players were present within the auditorium at all times, using the shadows as ‘off stage’. More often than not the entire company was on stage, taking on multiple roles, showing real diversification. They slipped easily in and out of American accents, and all had a turn at ‘being’ Bradley Manning, giving the sense that Bradley Manning has become an idea – something we all have an opinion about; something we all share in one way or another. The ‘flashbacks’ to the High School History classroom gave the characters the opportunity to fully explore themes of martyrdom, of men being punished for their thoughts, whilst focussing on Welsh battles and uprisings. The stark contrast between the innocence of High School and the harsh horrors of life in the U.S. Army also helped evoke a true empathy for the main character, and an understanding of what may have influenced his life to land him in the situation he is still in now.
The performance was fluid, switching seamlessly between scenes, the monitors notifying the audience of when and where the story had moved to at each moment (Baghdad, New York, Haverfordwest) – though if you missed it, the costumes, lighting, set changes and accents all worked as indicators, without being too ‘obvious’.
The entire cast was superb, and extremely convincing in every role they took on. I thoroughly enjoyed each individual performance, and found Bradley’s story particularly compelling because of the different angles given to it by the multiple players. Matthew Aubrey and Harry Ferrier shared the majority of the part, and each contributed to the feeling I now have – that I in part know and understand Bradley’s problems. For me, this is stage play at its best.
Alongside the thought provoking issues and the electric dialogue, there were some very humorous moments, and one unexpected dance sequence that could have seemed absurd but, in fact, gelled perfectly with the plot point, emphasising the idea that, in the 21st Century, you can become a Superstar with one click of the mouse.
In order to interact with The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning in all its multiplatform glory, and just because it was that good that I already want to see it again, I’ll be watching the live streaming of the show on before the run ends on 21st April. I would highly recommend you do the same.