* Prices may differ from that shown
My Word Coach is a game for the Nintendo DS console which I recently bought used for £3.
I like word games and games which require a bit of thought which is what made me choose this game.
Setting up the game is simple, inserting the cartridge into your console and selecting the game icon from your home screen. To set up a profile is simple asking you to write your name on the screen using your stylus,your date of birth, enter your country and choose a character to be your word coach.
You will then play training games, your results will be saved and as you complete training games you will unlock new games.
Missing Letter - On easy mode this shows a word on the top screen which is missing a letter, you have to work out which letter it is and write it on the bottom screen. For example if the top screen reads BENEAT_, you will need to write the letter H. Medium similar to easy, but rather than having a missing letter an incorrect letter will be in the word and you are to write the letter which should be there. If the top screen reads SOLDIEX you would write the letter R on the bottom screen.
Split Decision - On easy a definition is shown on the top screen and you need to touch the arrows on the bottom screen to choose which of two words the definition is about. Medium is similar to easy but the word is shown and you have to choose the correct definition.
Word Shuffle - Definitions are shown, with a choice of words at the bottom of the screen. You need to drag the correct word to its definition and will have one or more left over. The harder the mode you play, the more definitions and words to choose from will be shown.
Pasta Letters - An anagram style word game, a definition is shown an the top and the pasta letters are jumbled up in a bowl of soup displayed on the bottom screen in the correct order before the time runs out. The longer it takes the letters will start to sink into the soup and become hard to see. You can blow into the microphone or press the arrow buttons to bring the letters back to the surface, on harder modes the words are a bit more difficult and the letters start to sink faster.
Block letters - In this game you need to turn your console around so you are holding it like a book. On the left screen will be a list of words written on a chalk board. on the right screen blocks of letters will fall down and you have to tap the blocks to spell out the list of words before the falling blocks reach the top of the screen. The harder modes use longer words and the blocks will fall faster.
Safecracker - You will be given a clue to the word and the initial letter of the word and also the amount of letters in the word. You need to spin the dial to the correct letter and race against a computer opponent to guess the word and spell it out the fastest. Medium mode is the same as easy but with longer or more complicated words and the opponent will spell the answers faster than in easy.
These games are far fun and will not count towards unlocking new games.
Competition - To play this game you will need the volume turned up on your console. A word will be read aloud to you, there is also a button you can press to get the definition of the word. You need so write the word, spelling it correctly to progress to the next round. I find it quite hard to understand the voice on this game and the words are difficult like OLIGARCHY and APLOMB.
Cube Panic - This game is available in easy, medium and hard and is the same as block letters in the training game but is endless and you keep going, trying to get the highest score possible by finding as many words as you can before the letters reach the top of the screen. The harder the level, the more blocks will be piled up at the start, as you progress the words will get longer and the blocks will start to fall faster.
Speed Letters - Letters will float across the screen and you need to write the letter before it gets to the edge of the screen, as you write more letters, the next ones will be faster and in different directions and more than one letter may be on the screen at a time so it does get harder.
Multi-Card Play - This allows you to play the games against a friend by connecting your consoles. I have not tried this as both players need a console and the game card and I do not know anyone with the game.
This allows you to view your progress. You can see your expression potential which is the percentage of words you know, see how many successes (correct answers) you need for your next unlock, view top scores and search for words and their definitions in a glossary.
This is where you can edit and delete profiles, change the settings such as music and microphone and also quit to go back to the main menu of your console.
I like this game and find it both fun and educational, for the low price I paid it is definitely worth the money. You do learn some new words and at the end of each game you can look back at the words used and see a definition for each. The only negatives with this game is that the competition recreation game is difficult to understand some of the words being said aloud and also that you do get sick of seeing some words repeatedly (I am sick of seeing the word dillydally for example).
You also need to write your capital letters in a certain way or it may recognise it as a different letter, My R's and E's are often not recognised and if you need to write them again you may run out of time for your game.
The word coach gives some useful information such as what a noun or an adjective is so it is also good for teaching English.
I think the game is good for all ages as the words will change depending on what date of birth you enter on the profile to make sure it's suitable for your age. It does get a little bit dull and is not a game you could spend a lot of time in one sitting playing but it is still interesting and keeps the brain working for a few minutes when you want to fill a little bit of time.
This review is for the Nintendo DS educational product, My Word Coach, developed and published by Ubisoft.
The aim of this product is that you play it each day to improve your daily score, which is represented by an expression potential measure. As you progress through the game, the aim is to increase this expression potential measure, although you will likely find it nearly impossible to reach 100%.
As you progress through the game, there are more and more mini games that are unlocked. The game has numerous different games to keep up the interest in learning new phrases and spellings, such as block letter which is a tetris type game, and split decision, where you have to select the right meaning for a word.
The controls in the game are easy to use, and for most of the game, you will need to use the stylus and touch screen. This is a much easier way of playing this game, especially in the mini games, where time is also of the essence. On occasion the programme didn't recognise the letters that I was writing onto the screen with the stylus, but this wasn't too much of a problem generally.
There are 16,800 words in the game's memory, which is a substantial amount, and it not only teaches new words and meanings, and confirms meanings that you might have been unsure of, but it also encourages you to think more about the level of your language skills. Any product which makes you think about your learning can only be positive.
For a UK audience there is a problem that a number of the words have the US spelling and there are US phrases rather than UK English. This is rather unnecessary, such changes would have been easy to correct for the UK market, and give that the product is all about education and getting everything right, this is an omission.
The expression potential measure which the game relies on doesn't really feel very accurate at all. You can play the game for a while and make no progress, and play almost faultlessly, and the percentage score doesn't seem to reflect your improvement. I couldn't get the score above 80% however, and lost interest before it ever went any higher.
The product retails for 19.99 pounds but is currently available on Amazon for 7.99 pounds. If you're happy with a second hand copy, these are available at the time of writing for around four to five pounds on sites such as eBay and Amazon. The game is rated as 3+, so is suitable for children of nearly all ages.
In summary, this is a reasonably good edutainment product, a good mix of game and education. The product is easy to pick up and play, and easy to use. You should really use the game daily to maximise the benefits, and it will comment if you don't do this, but after a while the product loses its appeal. If you can obtain the product for a few pounds however, it's not bad value at all.
My Word Coach is a game from Ubisoft designed to improve your vocabulary skills by testing your knowledge of words in a number of ways. It has a number of different games which are great fun to play and easy to pick up. Although this initially seems like a game designed for children - it is very cute and colourful - it can be used by people of all ages to improve spelling, vocabulary, reaction times and understanding. I think this would make a really good gift for someone who is not very confident about their literacy but may be embarrassed to participate in formal education. I also thought it would be well-suited for parents trying to make learning fun for school age or even teenage children. There are three difficult levels, the most difficult of which is actually pretty hard even for someone with good literacy skills! My favourite of the games is Block Letter which is a Tetris style game where you remove blocks by using them to spell a word out of a list on the left. When you get to the highest level this gets pretty frantic! There is a definition-matching game which has taught me the meanings of a few words I had not come across before. Aside from the games themselves there are different 'coaches' who encourage you test your literacy in different ways and your daily progress is tracked so you can see how you have improved.
I brought this game in a 2 pack with My French Coach. I thought I wouldn't need it but I played it and found it teaches me the meanings of some words which I was never sure of and also taught me some new words which I still remember today. For this game to have the best effect, I think you need to have a little knowledge of the language or a good knowledge of English. This will help you get the most from the game.
The game includes many different types of games to play and most are fun and educational. One example of a game is find the definition of a word. The game will give you a word and some mulitple choice options for it. The game also has a dictionary incase you need to find the meaning of a word when on the go.
I would high recommend this game to anyone as it helps you learn new things and have fun at the same time! It helped improve my English and my friend borrowed it for his son and he jumped 3 levels in one year in his English, it is a great alternative to a tutor!
I really liked this game. It definitely improved my vocab and taught me words I'd never heard of or confirmed the meanings of words I'd heard but never had the confidence to use. I use the French one as well which I like the best - probably because me French is better. I think you need to start from a strong base in order to get the most out of these games. I was addicted to it for a while and although this has dropped off, I haven't forgotten the words I learnt and I do go back and learn new ones.
There are lots of different choices of games to play that will improve your vocabulary. It gives you words with lots of meanings and you have to select the correct definition or vice versa, you have several definitions and have to choose the right word for each. There is a built in dictionary to help you learn the new words that you have discovered during playing the game.
Definitely one for people who like to feel they are learning something while playing on computer games. But ti is also entertaining and fun. You get quite competitive with yourself... well, I did!
Just writing this review has made me want to go and play it again! Highly recommended!
My Word Coach
Play with words and letters with 6 Core Training Exercises:
Over 16,500 words and definitions using the Official Cambridge Dictionary.
Developed in collaboration with Tom Cobb-Mac Gill & Quebec University Linguist.
4 different personal coaches to choose from.
Save the data of 3 people so the whole family can play.
This game is educational, teaches spelling and vocabulary and still manages to be good fun. As you work through the training it unlocks new mini games and it gives you an expression potential every day based on how well you are doing and gives you a new job as you progress so you might go from teacher after a few days training to lawyer.
Missing Letter (Words have a missing letter - find the correct letter to score)
Word Shuffle (Join the definitions corresponding to the correct words.)
Split decision (Choose between two definitions - seen on TV advert)
Pasta letter (spell out words from mixed up letters sinking in a soup.)
Block Letter (Spell any of the listed word with the blocks. When a word is correctly completed, it blocks are removed, this is like an intelligent version of Tetris can be quite difficult at first but I love it.)
Safecracker (A word is the code of the safe. Read the definition, turn the safe type knob to the correct letters before the DS to win points)
These games have increased difficulty levels as you progress.
After each activity is completed, the list of words and definitions are given. The same words are often used in many of the games you play during that session presumably to reinforce them. There are the usual graphs and stats provided to chart your progress.
I loved this game at the beginning and used it often for the first month or so. My problem with it is that it expects you to cover too much in one session, I now play each game once and then hand it over to one of the kids to complete the session and get my job upgraded.
Definitely recommended for anyone with school age kids, mine don't realize that they are learning and seem to quite enjoy it. Adults will pick it up when they are bored but I don't think it'll bring you back day after day.
Recommended if you can get it for £12 - £15.
What Is My Word Coach?
My word coach is a game which is designed to help you develop your vocabulary, you train at the Word Training Institute where you learn new words and use these words in a number of games. Your score is given as an expression potential (EP) which is said to be a measure of how well you are able to express yourself. There are 16500 words in the word bank and you start off playing at an easy level and the words get gradually harder as you progress in the game.
Initial Set Up
There are three players slots in this game. You choose a blank slot and to start playing and are scored and the game decides at what level you should play at. I was given a provisional EP of 20% or primary graduate level. You then build your personal profile by inputting your name, date of birth and country of residence and choose your coach.
After you have chosen your coach you go through a list of 36 words saying whether you recognise them or not to get an official EP. There are some nonsense words such as raunt as well as words like carnation and prance. I was given an official EP of 35% or university student here.
You can choose from four coaches
Alistair Archibald: a bald professor with massive glasses and a smug look on his face.
Veronica Munroe: A polished looking businesswoman.
Lucus King: A cool looking guy with an afro and 60s clothes.
Penny: A frail looking young girl wearing a hoodie and with massive sad eyes.
I initially chose Penny but have used them all at some point, you can swap between them using your personal profile. All the coaches give tips on the game and word use in general. They have fixed expressions and lack the charm of Dr Kawashima. All of the coaches give exactly the same tips so there is no difference in personalities between them.
You play the main training games every day and are given a target number of correct answers to achieve, I have a current EP of 67% after around 30 plays so my target is 150 words. You start off with only missing letter and split decision unlocked but more games are unlocked as you progress.
Here is an overview of the main games;
Missing Letter: In this game, you are given a word with a missing letter and you write the letter on the touch screen using capital letters. Words include cutlass, witless, rhinestone, bollard, geophysicist and canasta at my current level.
Split Decision: Split Decision which helps you learn words by providing context to them. You are given a definition and have to choose which one of two choices by scrolling left and right with the stylus. This is one of my favourite games as it is really quick to play.
Word Shuffle: You are given a series of cards with definitions on them and have to place the correct word into the slot. An example from today's play is a covered entrance to a building usually a large and splendid building which is supported by columns and a choice of answers from smoothies, portico, introvert, inveigle and hireling. I can normally complete a round of 6 questions on medium level in around 30 seconds. A nice, quick game.
Pasta Letters: You are given a definition of a word at the bottom of the screen and have to unscramble the letters in the soup and place them in order to create the word at the bottom of the bowl. The letters look remarkably like the ones you get in alphabetti spaghetti and make a slurping sound when you move them. In medium mode, you have to catch the letters before they sink into the soup and I found play in medium mode really frustrating. Each round consists of nine words and takes a couple of minutes to complete. The first example from today's play is the definition (of rocks) formed from very hot liquid rock that has cooled with the answer being igneous.
Block Letters; Select the blocks which fall from the top of the screen, gradually filling it in order to spell the words. Game is over when either the screen is full of you spell all the words. I found this game really slow in easy mode, but have yet to complete a full round in medium mode. I love the fast pace in medium mode though, it keeps me on my toes. The first four words in today's game were hireling, stipend, portico and contiguous. The sound effects on this particular section are great, with each falling block making a nice clunking sound and the blocks all sound really like breaking wood when they are smashed when you lose them game.
Safecracker: You need to spell the mystery word faster than the computer opponent by choosing letters by cycling through the alphabet on a safe. My first word today was again igneous. In easy mode the computer is really slow, I prefer in medium or hard mode.
I have sometimes found daily play a bit tedious. My daily target of 150 words means repeating each game at least twice which can take up to half an hour and gets a bit repetitive. Now I have all the features unlocked, I will just pick it up and do a few words here and there instead of trying to meet my quota.
After each game you are given a list of words used along with a definition, with the ones you got wrong at the top. This is a nice touch allowing you to learn the words you did not recognise in the game.
I have now unlocked all the fun features of the game, my favourite is competition, which is styled like an American spelling bee. You are read a word by a female voice and have to spell it using the stylus. My first word today was doyenne. You can ask for a definition and see an example of a sentence which would use the word. There's loads of tricky words to catch you out and I rarely make it through a full round of 10 questions.
Cube panic is block letters in advanced mode only you continue as long as you can instead of having a set number of words. It's a bit disappointing having this as a mini game as it simply repeats other parts of the game.
Speed Letters lets you practice your letter writing using the stylus, again it seems like a bit of a waste of time.
Multi card play lets you play against another player but only if they only own the game. Again this is a let down as I loved playing big brain academy with my sister linking up using one game card.
You are given an expression potential. Having succeeded in using 1536 words my EP is 67% or that of a journalist. This has taken me around a month to achieve as words are repeated. Ultimately, you want to get 97% and get the rank of poet.
The graphics are high quality colour graphics with really high quality pictures and animations. Each game has its own music playing in the background. It is multi tonal, usually easy going music. It complements the game play well.
I've found that the DS has trouble recognising some of my letters on the written games. It seems to confuse Q and A a lot for some reason and sometimes confuses P, D, and B. This can be really annoying sometimes. The voice in competition can be hard to understand sometimes due to an American accent.
I think that is has a fairly high replay value. I have found it fairly tedious trying to reach my 150 word target and would prefer shorter sessions of say 100 words daily which would probably take around 20 minutes. Now I have unlocked all of the features, it is a game I can see myself picking up occasionally but not every day.
This is a good game for someone who enjoys word games but can get a bit repetitive and could do with extra games to make it more interesting. I would give it around 7/10 overall, its definitely not as good as the brain training games but still one of the better DS word games out there. I think some of the new words I have learned have definitely gone into my brain so it does have some educational value. It's a game which is more for adults and teenagers than younger kids and anyone who enjoys word puzzles is likely to enjoy it.
My Word Coach is a game that allows you to improve your vocabulary and develop your ability to express yourself with confidence and persuasion.