Time Island is a new educational online game designed  for children ages 6-10. Jacob recently had the opportunity to try it out and get some cool swag as part of BSM Media’s campaign to promote the game. He’s been really into computer games lately, especially games like this where he can explore a virtual world and build on past experiences throughout game-play. I also played it a bit to see what it was like, since I need a little more than “It’s pretty cool, Momm, I like it” for my blog post.

I quickly discovered that kids are way better at games that are designed for their age group than grown-ups are. I had a hard time navigating the world. I got lost, I almost starved, and some in-game pop-up basically told me I smelled bad. Well, not in so many words, it basically said that I hadn’t changed my clothes in three days and I needed to be more hygienic, which totally freaked me out. How did it know?!? I’m kidding, I do shower and change daily, even if it’s just from one pair of pajamas to another. Hey, when you work from home, dressing for work takes on a whole new meaning! But back to the game. Jake was way more adept than I was. He managed to navigate the virtual island, complete tasks, feed himself, and apparently not offend the mysterious keepers of hygiene.

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The basic premise is: you’re on a deserted island, you need to survive, and in order to do so, you’ll need to complete tasks and solve mini-puzzles. If you do it right, you earn Time Chips, which is like the island’s currency. You can use that to buy yourself some clothes so you don’t start to emit foul odors, decorate your house, and get other items needed on the island. But Time Chips aren’t the only way to survive, as children are encouraged to find the things they need through exploration and ingenuity. During all this, children can safely interact with other children from around the world, although Jake didn’t use that feature much.

If your child does choose to interact with other kids, Time Island makes it as safe as possible. They can either communicate by smileys, pre-defined sentences, or if you allow, plain old normal chat. Curse words are automatically removed, and the entire site is monitored to ensure that children are interacting nicely together. You can also create an account to track your child’s activities on the island. The game is still in Beta testing, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they add as time goes on.

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Giveaway

As I mentioned above, Jake got a cute swag pack as part of this review, and you can enter to win one for your child. It comes with a drawstring bag, sunglasses, bracelets, tattoos, stickers, and a bandana. I’ve been using the bag for Jake’s swimsuit and towel when he goes to summer camp. Since he’s the only kid in his camp that has a bag like this, he’s less likely to lose his stuff (we already lost a towel before I started using this bag). To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway ends at 12:01AM on 8/7/11. Open to US Residents age 18+.