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4.4/5 (45 votes)

The ABC Game

Despite being short, uncomplicated and an absolute breeze for anyone already familiar with the world of letters, Orgdot's beautiful illustrations and animation make The ABC Game a must-see.

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44 Comments

That's a really cool game! Love your site!

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Awww... somethin i can complete!!

that was weird but cute at the same time :)

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Hassle Free Author Profile Page September 16, 2006 2:39 PM

I love the way the letters move together when you click to put them together. But I agree with Noah, very easy

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Rather simple, I'd say. Then again, it wasn't meant for the 21-year old demographic. Good art, though.

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I'm stuck on I, does anyone have spoilers?

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"an educational game aimed at familiarizing 6 year-old with the alphabet. "
*boggle
My 3(almost 4) year old is sounding words out, has been for a few months. He's known his alphabet for at least a year. Typically, Europe has better education than the US - is there _really_ a big need for familiarizing 6 year-olds with the alphabet? That seems a bit remedial to me.

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DuckiLama - I think maybe you're taking it a bit too seriously. ;)

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Crab - I can't exactly help you out there. "I" is definitly a tricky one, and I managed to pass via lots of luck. Just wait unti lyou see the last three letters, there not even in the American Alphabet!

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Isnt it odd, yet somehow apt, that the Latinate Alphabet is considered an urban wasteland full of deformed creatures, at least in Norway?

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DuckiLama: Note that the review states that Orgdot is a Norwegian group, and made the game for children in Norway. Also, if you play the game you'll find several letters that we don't use here in the USA :P

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That was really fun, pretty cool idea

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Jay,

While I think the game is very interesting visually, it is an absolutely atrocious teaching tool. Learning letter shapes is best done by hand-tracing the shapes, coupled with writing exercises in order to reinforce the alphabet vision knowledge with tactile mapping information. Linking the tactile and visual map is very powerful. This is best done at a slow pace, allowing the procssing speed of the first time learner to drive this process. This was also the idea behind traditional wooden alphabet blocks, that permit an infant to unconcously trace the raised letter with his/her hands.

So what's wrong with this "educational" game?

First, the game drives the pace- it's very quick and requires hand eye coordination that may not be present in the 3-5 year olds who are learning letters.

Second, identificaiton of the monsters as letter shape requires pre-existing knowledge of what the actual letter shapes should be. Traditionally these shapes were tied in to an identifiable picture of an object that began with the letter. This picture-letter equivalence reinforces knowledge of the letter. It's probably why most readers of this sight would immediately associate the letter "z" with zebra. Worse it is unclear what the monsters actually are, despite the beauty of their construction, so the child will then be associating this letter for evermore with this apparently random monster picture rather than a vocabulary word from everyday speech.

Third the letter construction phase, which occurs after the monster letter has been acquired, is almost completely worthless. It is not apparent, even the mechanic by which the pieces of the letter shape are manipulated, other than by a process of repeated clicking until the subshape lines up the way you think it should. This again requires pre-existing knowledge of the letter shapes. But since this a clicking process and not a process done by hand or with a writing implement we are losing out completely on the tactile memories that would otherwsie be constructed.

This "educational" software piece is exactly a demonstration of everything that's wrong with modern "teaching" software. While beautiful in presentation it is ultimately a detrimental experience to the actual student.

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I wouldn't want to meet "W" in a dark alley.

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smacfarl you're right. I actualli forkot letters vhile plauing this game. Ramn yuo, Jaj!

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Ok first of all, smacfarl, take it easy. it's just a game that helps kids be more interested in the alphabet, because they creatures are cool and it's fun and satisfying when they get the letters right. second of all, if you don't like it, don't have your kids play it. it does not "embody everything wrong with modern teaching" or whatever it is the thesis of that ranting essay was.

Jay-- in the last sentence of your description you said "orgot" when i think you meant "orgdot" ... just letting you know. :)

p.s. is that supposed to be like dot org?

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LOL @ baba.

Cheers, Allegra. Fixed. It was Noah's review, btw. Just want to give 'credit' where credit is due. ;)

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Even if (and that's just if, I'm not saying one way or the other) it doesn't actually teach much, it a) could reinforce already known letters and b) the visual and audio aspects are still something a little kid would be entertained by.

Yeah. Little kids... er...

*goes to hunt some more AlphaMonsters*

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This REALLY reminds me of a game I used to have for the PC where you had to match words and pictures and slime these little mosnters... argh, I wish I could remember what it was called. Anyone?

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I think it's Word Rescue from Apogee you're thinking of, Emma.

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Masterwabbit, thank you so much - I just called my mum and dad and we were trying to figure it out. You saved us a night of brain-wracking! :D

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Analysis from a 6 year old...

Well, when I read it was for 6 year olds I was ecstatic, and when I read it was educational I couldn't resist showing it to my six-year old.

So she comes in and doesn't really know what to do. The mouse swings wildly until a monster happens to be under it at the time of click. Then the educational part comes in.

She looks at it for a second and at the grid. I say "What letter does that look like?" "A 'B'" comes the response. Good.

So the clicking begins. First the top then the middle of the letter shape until its a big jumble. I ask again "What letter is that?" with the same reply. After a minute some pieces connect which obviously look 'right' and they stay. The ones left out are soon fixed into position by trial and error... like a jigsaw, if it connected then it was meant to be.

A few monsters later and the definitions were fairly easy to recognize. An "A" was an "A" and an "E" was an "E" and so on. But for the monsters which didn't look like letters - and there were a few of them - "W" springs to mind... it was a case of click-click-click-connect-repeat until a letter grew on the right hand side. It was then a "It looks like a 'W'" was announced.

Then, of course, as mentioned non standard letters came in. The "A" with the halo was a confusing mass of "We've already done the 'A'" and "What the heck?" as frantic clicks on the Kroužek yeilded no response. The Ø was a very confused and upsetting repetition of "What is this? ... We don't even have this letter ... This isn't a letter ... etc" and the Æ was an A and an E put together, though as such, one unrecognizable clump.

It was after the Æ that the game ended, this was about fifteen minutes after it had started. A second attempt to play it through again with the letters in the right order finished quickly after "G" was not recognizable and frustrations abounded until leaving the computer and announcing the game "Stupid" was in order.

She then proceded to play with a balloon and hide in my (very large) suitcase. As a final note, I think your six year old, whether he or she comes from Norway or not, should well and truly know the alphabet by that age and if they don't - please for God's sake don't rely on this game for them to learn it!

Good luck, thanks for reading and sayonara.

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Heya!

Good to see some representation from the frozen spoon (Norway)!

I'm Norwegian too and it's nice to see that we're not completely obscure :)

For those Americans who might be wondering, the letters not included in the English Alphabet are:

Æ, ..., and Ø. Their names are the same as their sounds, so it wouldn't be very possible for me to tell them to you.

Æ is pronounced much like "AAAAH!" as in , "AAAH! A monster shaped like the letter Æ!"

This letter actually WAS in the English alphabet for a while - that is, before we got this silly modern notion of standardized spelling :) Mr. Webster and his dictionary had a lot to do with that process. Vowels range a lot in pronunciation by region, anyway, so eventually this letter was dropped from the English alphabet. You can still find it in some intentionally archaic spelling of words, like Æther (Ether).

... is a sound I'll have to describe with mouth movements. First, make the long "O" sound in english, like, "Oh! I left the Iron on." Notice how the sound is coming from the back and bottom of your throat? If you move the sounding location to the top back of your throat and maintain the same mouth shape, you'll make the "..." sound.

Ø is a weird one. The best way to describe this is to go find a cow and listen to it. In English, we say a cow says, "Moo", but that's obviously a simplification for our own sake. Cows don't make the "oo" sound, they make a different sound - which is actually almost identical to the Norwegian Ø sound.

To make this sound, make a long "E" sound, your mouth should be stretched out as you say it. Now, without changing anything else and still making that sound, just round your lips. The long "E" sound should change to a different sound that sounds like the vowel a cow makes when mooing. It's similar to the "uh" in "Duuuuuuuuuh", but not quite the same.

I hope you enjoyed my entirely unsolicited advice on Norwegian Pronunciation. If you'd like to learn more about our crazy language from the frozen northlands, check out this Norwegian Language "Cheat Sheet" I wrote for a geneological society:

http://www.fadupinator.com/norskcheatsheet.htm

Sincerely yours,
Lars Andreas Doucet

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What fantastic comments. Time to play the game now, but I doubt it will be as entertaining.

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I finished it! I never knew letters could be so pretty on their own.

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I sent it to my wife for her 2-year-old niece to try. I don't think it will help. Besides, I had trouble (and I'm ... er, over 20) rotating the bits -- some went clockwise, others went counter-clockwise, and all rotated by different degrees each click. Or so it seemed.

Nice artwork, though.

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Masterwabbit, it's the roman alphabet not the "American Alphabet", what with having been around long before America.

>:[

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I was just going to ask what those last three letters were, but apparently they're Norwegian :)

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It reminds me a little of the illustrations in Sendak's "Where the wild things are," but they're trying to make letters.

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Crab - Whoops. Sorry about that. Thanks for the clarification.

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Thanks Lars! I haven't even played the game properly and I've learnt something! Anyone else sat her for ten minutes going "ehhhh... ohhhhhh... uhhhhhhh"? ;)

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I should not be this amused...

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what`s with the ae, o slashed and a with the halo?

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i thought it was a prank file when it got to the ae and an exorcist girl would pop up.

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I am a brit living in Denmark (who use the same last three vowels as the Norwegians) and I have to say that if any of you have been trying to pronounce them using Lars' instruction (although it was very good) I can alomst guarantee you're wrong! Learning those bloody vowels have been the bane of my existance!

Anyway, with regards to the game, I thought it was very pretty. I liked the way the parts of the letters moved as you tried to shape them and I liked the style of drawing.
As many others have already said, I think the makers of this game may have missed their target audience with this one, since most 6-year-olds would be bored by learning the alphabet. However, the game play is to such a level that couldn't be played by a younger child who would appreciate the extra practice on the subject.
So far I have found Scandinavian schools to be very good and the kids to be extremely smart. I'm not sure what place this game really has.
Nice review anyway!

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I cant belive i wasted half an houer playing this game!
stil its quite fun

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Hello everyone that have been seriously confused by the three ekstra letters!

Maybe it should be stated a little better in the diskripion of the game. That this game is Norwegian. Therefore made to teach norwegian children the alphabet. And I can inform you (being a norwegian myself and all!) that the norwegian alphabet contains three more letters in the end! Which are vocals we use to pronaunse some more sounds we have in our language.

Hope "this" was educational for all you americans out there with big questionmarks in your faces.

t t t t...That`s All Folks!

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Well, my 6 year old loved it and recognised all the letters.

And I can't believe all those comments about the strange letters - kind of an insular attitude folks, don't you think? Not everything in this world is the same as it is where you are. WWW does stand for the WORLD Wide Web - LOL

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Because the game is Norwegian there are three more letters than you amerikans are used to. The last letters are Æ, Ø and ....

Og dette er visst det er noen fra Norge hær som forstår det:

Bææææ! ;)

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AE as one? my north american brain cannot comprehend such. my European side says darn my keybord...figured out how to do it, on an apple keybored. Æ,that's better

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Totally cute, but after all the cute monsters (and the E made of Bunnies, haha), I felt they phoned in the Z. It was a Z-shaped pipe, c'mon.

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The W monster was... scary. Some letters where in a messed-up font, so it's a little confusing. Still kinda fun!

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Cyberjar88 Author Profile Page July 16, 2009 1:25 PM

FYI: This game is no longer available.

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It looks like the original publisher of the game is redesigning its site.

I found an archive of the page, and fixed the links.

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Since when were there 29 letters in the alphabet?!? Everything I know is a lie! D:

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