(1/1/2000) wrote:More Than Fun & Games
In their never-ending search for quality educational products that at the same time are exciting to their children, parents have not necessarily had an enormous range of choices in Jewish software. The best of the lot to date might be TESs Mitzvah Man, which is a fun pac-man game built around more than 1,000 questions on topics like hilchos Shabbos, Taryag mitzos, middos, etc. With TORAH TARGETS, though, the market now has another bonafide game which is both fun and educational.
In fact, its more than fun. It can be down right exciting.
You (I know its for your child, but you can have fun with it too) can play against the computer or another person. Youre in the cockpit of a futuristic spaceship with steering and fire controls on your console (which you can manipulate via mouse, keyboard or joystick). Suddenly, an asteroid flashes across the screen. Do you have the reflexes and hand-eye coordination to blast it? If not, the game can be slowed down to insure success (or speeded up if its too easy). After you blast one or more asteroids (you choose how many) youre given a question concerning the Jewish holidays. There are three levels of difficulty (recommended age range: 6-14). Heres an example of a question:
What Yom Tom do we NOT end the meal with a typical dessert?
If the question is too difficult the game supplies galactic hints. If the question is answered correctly, the player scores points. If the answer is incorrect, the correct answer will be displayed so the player can get it right the next time. Questions can be displayed in English or Hebrew.
While the game is fun to play and easy to learn, there was more put into it than meets the eye. The questions were not just put together randomly or quickly; they were researched by a scholar in Jerusalem. Even the idea of making a Torah-shooting game in the first place was not taken for granted. Daas Torah (Rabbi Scheinberg of Torah Ohr, Jerusalem gave his haskama) was approached and the games developers were told it was permissible to make such a game only as long as the targets were not living things. Hence, asteroids.
TORAH TARGETS, something your kids are sure to thank you for, and at $39 its a computer program which wont blast an asteroid hole in your pocket.
(By the way, the answer to the above question is Pesach.)
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