I am well known for giving my opinion on most things even if it does not pertain to tutoring, after school or the education of our children. However, I rarely feature an app or a game if I don’t think it makes the grade as, quite frankly, what’s the point?
You don’t want to know about technology that’s bad and I don’t want to give any free publicity for it, as even a bad write up is still publicity.
Well that all changes today.
So, Gentle Reader, I found a link to a new online game called Teachers’ Dungeon and am so staggeringly horrified as to have to vent to you. If you noticed my Charlotte Bronte reference then hold it dear as you will find yourself far too well read to entertain this game as an educational tool for your tutoring company.
The premise of the game is that students log on and build a castle by saving castle pets and mermaids in distress, earning crystals to advance. At this stage, not that bad, famous games have been built on less. Parents can buy stuff for their kids and teachers are involved in some way too, but I really could not be bothered to research anything else because I had slipped into my alter ego – The Wrecking Ball!
I was named The Wrecking Ball by the programmers and concept developers at Oases Online as nothing goes live until I have broken it and pulled it apart and checked it for grammar and spelling. If it does not look great and work as designed back it goes until it does. The oases developers can dread me getting my hands on new features and functions all they like, but if I’m not happy, ain’t nobody happy.
I digress, back to my review of Teachers’ Dungeon without further ado. The game’s producers would appear to want their game to go viral and take over the world a la Facebook, with students loving it so much they bully their teachers and tutors to create a school or tutoring center account and buy or award them crystals.
However, the interface is clumsy and clunky and riddled with spelling mistakes. This is a game pitched at teachers and students and I repeat, it’s riddled with spelling mistakes. If my child wanted to join the answer would be, ‘Oh,heck no’.
Staggering Horror #1 – I found the game on Linkedin with a wee write up by the game’s designer who is a teacher displaying a staggering lack of grammar. In this short clip I found an error in level 2 and an extra comma in level 5.
Staggering Horror #2 – When I tried to build my castle without any crystals this is what popped up. Again, grammar. As a member of the oases team I feel qualified to make programming comments and it is relatively easy to program the plural ‘s’ on or away from a word if the number is one. Not to mention the ‘What’, should be ‘What’s’ on the requirements.
Staggering Horror #3 – I found an error on the account creation page but forgot to screen shot it so went back to find it and I received this juicy little horror. Got the ‘you’re’ correct this time but should that not be ‘logged’?
I could go on and on and on and on, but I think you get the picture. This is all before being bowled over by the dreadful graphics and the terrible instructional videos. At the end of one of the videos I thought I heard someone say that the videos were made by students.
Very well, touche, free labor, gotta hand it to you. But you only have once chance to make a first impression, so for the love of all things technical make that announcement verbally and with text at the beginning of the video and check their spelling!
In reality it looks like the entire game and its marketing strategy is an 8th grade project. I don’t think Facebook looked that great in the beginning and I know our software oases has evolved tremendously since its first incarnation so maybe they will get their act together, employ their own Wrecking Ball, and grow into something huge.
But don’t use this in your tutoring company until they do; parents such as myself will yank their children so fast that all that will be left are the cheap crystals and a mermaid in distress.
Katharine brings over fifteen years of customer service trouble shooting, process analysis and training experience to her position of Operations Manager at Oases Online. She's responsible for training new customers, providing assistance, guidance and tutorials to existing customers.