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Video Game / New Dynamic English

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A screenshot featuring (from left to right) Max, Kathy, and Pierre.

New Dynamic English is a course, which is part of DynEd's Courseware (a portmanteau of "course" and "software"). Being more like a textbook, it is not technically included as a game. However, being an interactive course, it could almost be classified as an Edutainment Game. New Dynamic English is made in the United States, however only a few Americans actually recognize this program because it is targeted towards foreigners so that they could study English. New Dynamic English is one of DynEd's courses with a lot of stories (others include First English, Functioning in Business and The Lost Secret). It stars two main characters, Max and Kathy, though they only appear from Module 1 until 5, whereas New Dynamic English has 8 modules.

Like all DynEd courses, New Dynamic English has a scoring system based on recording, frequency of usage, and performing exercises. Users determine their starting module by taking the Placement Test, and will start based on the score. Later they can go to a higher module only after doing well on the Mastery Tests. Taking a Mastery Test itself requires going through presentations and exercises several times.


New Dynamic English provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Life: Frequently discussed in both the course and the radio show.
  • Alice and Bob: Max and Kathy are the two main characters of the education franchise.
    • "Ace" is a common name for businesses.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Zork is this. He even says it himself.
  • Alphabet Soup Cans: In Module 8, you get to figure out who stole the Secret Code... with English grammar!
  • Ambiguously Brown: Max has dark skin, blond hair, thick lips (which is debatable because this was part of the art style), and possibly black roots, making it rather hard to pin down whether he's white with a tan, black, or mixed. This was averted in the 2013 update.
    • Bob Crane is also brown, and even preserved in the 2013 version. His name not being foreign makes it even more confusing.
    • Chris Scott had wavy hair and dark skin. She has a sister who has lighter skin with straight, auburn hair, making her race unknown. Like Max, this was averted in the 2013 update.
  • Benevolent Alien Invasion: In Module 1 Unit 1, Max and Kathy encounter an alien. The alien, named Zork, said that he's from another world and also speaks English. It is not known whether his intentions are good or bad, but the lack of any negative activity suggests he is leaning towards the good side.
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  • Career-Ending Injury: Harry ended his career as a runner after a tragic accident which gave him permanent immobility and had to use a wheelchair.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Phil is arguably this.
  • Creator Cameo: In the 2013 version one magazine in a Matrix Game features DynEd's CEO, Ian Adam.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Max before the upgrade in November 2013, though before he had brown hair and lighter skin.
  • Depending on the Artist: The upgrade on November 2013 changes appearance of all the cast. Some changes are so drastic that they might as well be The Other Darrin. Compare Max being drawn by Jordan Douglas with Max as illustrated by Wanda Kong.
    • Makes it more weird that the first Max looks more like the man in this illustration which is drawn by the Beijing illustrator, implying that Max's change was deliberate and not just a mere interpretation.
  • Dramatis Personae: Beginning of presentations are often this. As frequent characters, Max and Kathy's would be in Module 1 Unit 1.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: New York? The Statue of Liberty. San Francisco? The Golden Bridge. Paris? The Eiffel Tower. Justified that New Dynamic English has symbols of places to make it easier for the users to recognize.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: In Module 2's survey unit, we get to see Max with steam coming out of his ears to indicate that there's a food which is too spicy for him.
  • Genre Shift: The usual Slice of Life theme had its turn to Mystery Fiction in Module 8 when it tells a story of a scientist who had his secret files stolen.
  • Informed Flaw: Max claims that he's bad at singing in Module 2 and he's also bad at dancing in the radio show, but he never sang or danced. Justified that it's during a survey.
  • Lethal Chef: Max says that he's bad at cooking, contrast with his wife who's a Supreme Chef.
  • Level Grinding: The Focus Exercises have this function. The more you play it, the higher score you'll get. It's also a requirement for doing a Mastery Test.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Subverted, Kathy and Pierre. However, it's only Pierre who has romantic intentions.
  • Meat Versus Veggies: Max and Kathy's preference over food is often compared. Max loves meat, especially steak, while Kathy is a vegetarian (read: pescetarian).
  • Mini-Game: The Matrix Games that appear in even-numbered modules. A test for Matrix Vocabulary, the user does various things from choosing between four items to interacting with Max and Kathy.
  • Office Golf: In Henry Thorton's presentation in Module 1 Unit 2, he is shown playing office golf when the narrator states that he doesn't work hard.
  • Older Than They Look: Dawn, a Filipino, is a 20-something who looks like she's still in her teens.
  • Otaku Surrogate: Kathy is implied to be a Trekkie with a cat named after a Star Trek character. Not only that, she believes in aliens and doesn't mind waiting in a long line for watching a Sci-Fi movie.
  • Plot Hole: Max worked as a businessman at a computer company in San Jose (Silicon Valley) when interviewed in the radio show, yet in Module 4's Matrix Vocabulary, he thinks flying first class is too expensive for him. Though he might just have been Slumming It.
  • Pop Quiz: One of the usual forms of exercises.
  • Predatory Business: A common theme in Module 7 and 8.
  • Pretty Boy: In the November 2013 upgrade, Max has lighter skin with bigger eyes complete with eyelashes.
    • This arguably applies to all the young male characters, it's just that the difference is more apparent to Max.
    • Justified that this was illustrated by an illustrator from China who has a specific pretty boy mindset.
  • Primary-Color Champion: With blond hair, blue eyes, and a red suit, complete with a gold backdrop, it seems that Max is the main character. This was averted in the 2013 version, although he does have a rather eye-catching tie.
  • Race Lift: The 2000 version of the cast were diversified from having the same skin color, then given less diversity in the 2013 version.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Many men in the radio show are shown to love meat, including Max himself.
  • Shall I Repeat That?: Users usually repeat sentences if their recordings are similar to the original.
  • Shout-Out: John's hometown, Brighton, is also home to Martin Shovel, the writer of The Lost Secret, a BBC film made into a DynEd course.
    • John's last name, Orwell, is also a shout out to Dr. Orwell, a prominent character of the film.
    • Kathy's cat Spock is a reference to the Star Trek character.
    • The movie that Kathy anticipated, Battle for the Stars, is a shout out to Star Wars.
    • Computer Soldier, a game that Larry and Max like, most likely refers to Counter-Strike.
  • Stock Foreign Name: Pierre Dubois is one example.
    • There are plenty of stock foreign names. There's Mexican-American Maria Alvarez, and the babies from one of the "Man on the Street" series has Chinese Ying, Arabic Mohammed, and German Hans.
  • Suddenly Blonde: Max turned from a brunet into a dirty blond in the era where graphics on computers became more advanced.
  • Supreme Chef: Kathy and Karen.
  • Start My Own: In Module 7, Harry wants to form a new translator company with his friends.
  • Swiss Bank Account: Phil, who sent Bob's secret files to a business competitor, has inserted the money into a Swiss bank account.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: In the 2013 version, all the women have eyelashes, while the men don't. Max is an exception though, albeit smaller. The older men also seem to have eyelashes, but they might as well be crow's feet.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Max loves steak, and has been called "Mr. Steak" once in the radio show.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: A reason why Dan would steal the secret code for Phil.
  • Trekkie: Did Kathy just said that she had a cat named "Spock"?
  • Tuckerization: Bob Crane is based on Douglas Crane, a key employee at DynEd International.
    • Bobby King is named after Andy Blasky's childhood friend.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Module 7 and 8 are very different from the previous modules, from dragging people around to solving a mystery puzzle.
  • Vacation Episode: In Module 5, Kathy goes on a vacation to France and Austria to attend her friend's wedding.
    • Max sort of does this in the UK, but he travels as part of his job.
    • The radio show provides several Story Interludes that involves the cast telling stories of their vacation, like Elizabeth going to San Francisco and Max going to Gettysburg.
      • In New Dynamic English itself several guests described their visits to other cities outside Washington DC, often for vacation.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: It has been mentioned in Module 4 that Max is a traveling businessman who misses his wife and children. He ultimately quits the job to work for the radio.
  • Younger and Hipper: The 2013 update, said to please young viewers who like watching Japanese cartoons.


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