By Adam McLane It's 6 o'clock in the evening and there will be 30 students in the youth room in less than one hour. After a long day of preparing a talk, meeting with student leaders, making an event flyer, and talking to parents about the latest crisis, it dawns on you. You don't have a game prepared. You could make a game up on the spot, but those are usually lame. Maybe you could try to find something online and then you'll have to scramble to get the items to actually play the game. Or you could simply grab the “Power Play, Vol. 3” DVD off your shelf and look like a genius in minutes.
Included on the disc are 20 multimedia games, each organized in their own folders. The Powerpoint games I've used in the past failed to keep my students' attention–not the case with “Power Play”. First, the animation is great and isn't tackily branded with the publisher's logo.
Second, the DVD is very easy to use. In fact, you can even use QuickTime, which allows for fantastic transitions between slides. You can choose to run this DVD straight from PowerPoint or customize the presentations to fit your group. It is suggested that MediaShout users save the game's graphic files and insert the graphics into your script. Third, Simply Youth Ministry has thought of this product from the youth worker's perspective. “Power Play's” DVD includes themed score sheets to go with each game in Adobe Acrobat reader format making them simple to print, cut, and go. Lastly, the games themselves are a blast. Some are super hard and some are fairly easy. Students love playing these because they are professional looking and challenging.
This product isn't 100% perfect. An instruction file or tutorial for the QuickTime option would have saved me a lot of time and frustration. Also, a few slides in a couple of the games didn't have enough contrast between the text and the image, making some slides almost impossible to read on TV screens. However, this was easily remedied by editing in PowerPoint (affecting only tiny percentage of overall slides.)
The best part is that “Power Play, Vol 3” is great for all age groups. I've used the question and answer sections with our themed kids event during that awkward “before and after” time and quizzes for a married adult event. Both times, the product received lots of positive feedback. Overall, this is a product worth getting excited about. For less than $1 per game, the value is tremendous. If you're looking for an excellent resource that will save you time, money, and give your youth group a multimedia flair, you can't beat “Power Play, Vol .3” from Simply Youth Ministry.