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A group of learning game developers from all over the planet has come together to create the 2015 School’s Out Summer Sale. The goal is simple: They wanted to help give parents the tools to keep their children learning throughout the summer!

Take a look below to see how far $15 dollars will take you!

Games for Sale

The Counting Kingdom By Little Worlds Interactive

$2.99 -> $.99

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“Kids will love practicing their addition in The Counting Kingdom! Exciting tower defense gameplay has players strategically adding monsters to cast magical spells. Starting with simple sums makes the game easy to learn, but as kids progress they’ll be challenged to make bigger sums and longer equations. Featuring cute and funny monsters, beautiful artwork, and a kingdom full of adventure, kids will forget they’re learning as they practice their math facts!”

Note: Take a look at our review here! Also, The Counting Kingdom was one of our games of the year for 2014!

Earth Primer by Chaim Gingold

$9.99 -> $4.99

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Earth Primer is a science book for playful people. Discover how our planet works. Create volcanoes, sculpt mountains, and control the forces of nature with your fingertips. Earth Primer defies existing genres, combining aspects of science books, toys, simulations, and games. It is a new kind of interactive experience which joins the guided quality of a book with open ended simulation play.

Backyard Engineers By Filament Games

$5.99 -> $3.99

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“Create the ultimate catapult and launch water balloons at your neighbors! Customize different mechanical elements of the catapult, manipulating movement, accuracy, range, and damage to drench even the most evasive of targets. Each level of the game is a unique puzzle that challenges players to find the fastest and most efficient way to soak their neighbors! Ready to up the challenge? Earn special rewards by beating your previous records using as few turns or as little ammunition as possible. Become the ultimate backyard engineer in this fun and addicting game!”

Word Mess By Masala Games

$2.99 -> $.99

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“Find words in beautifully designed word clouds. Improve your visual scanning abilities and vocabulary through engaging and fun gameplay! Word Mess is fun for word enthusiasts of all ages! But it is specifically great for kids in middle school as it boosts spelling, word recognition and general knowledge. It is also being used in special education programs and by occupational therapists.”

Tin Pan Rhythm By Tin Pan

$2.99 -> $.99

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“Compose and arrange short musical phrases through a process of play and discovery. Create a chord progression, then arrange the band on the fly. Tin Pan Rhythm guides you along. Use your creations as background music, inspiration for songs, or as practice loops for your real-life instrument. Record and share your music or use it inside your favorite apps.”

Slice Fractions By Ululab

$3.99 -> $.99

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“Get your child excited about his or her next math discovery through this award-winning, problem solving game. We’ve teamed up with university education experts to craft an incredibly fun way to learn fractions. Slice through ice and lava to clear the mammoth’s path, unraveling the mystery of fractions!”

Agent Higgs By TestTubeGames

$1.99 -> $.99

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“Agent Higgs is on the run! After eluding scientists for years, the Higgs particle is about to face his toughest challenge: a multibillion dollar particle accelerator. A truly fearsome weapon, it is almost sure to reveal him to the world. Agent Higgs needs your help! Help him hide in the particle detector by sliding around electrons, neutrinos, positrons, muons, and more! The known particles (and antiparticles) are the only thing standing between Higgs and detection. What’s that you say? You couldn’t tell a Tau particle from a W boson? Don’t fear! No background is required. As you play through the over 100 puzzles (and counting), you’ll learn all that you need to know along the way. And it’s not just the particles you need to worry about: you’ll have to deal with fundamental forces of nature, including the weak force and electromagnetism. Some particles attract, some repel. Some morph into others, or decay into pieces. Can you outwit the scientists and hide Agent Higgs?”

Spin Spell By Vermont Digital Arts

$1.99 -> $.99

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“Spin Spell is a 3D physics based game that motivates children to learn to spell while having fun and improving their hand/eye coordination. Children learn to spell by navigating a variety of 3D spelling mazes. Points and achievements are awarded based on the sequential collection of letters to correctly spell a word, the speed by which the letters are collected and the number of correct letters collected in a streak. Points are never subtracted from the score but bonus streaks are reset when an incorrect letter is hit and/or when the game timer expires.”

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Electronic Arts took some time out of the 2015 E3 press event to talk about mobile games. They even dedicated a bunch of time to a new mobile game based on the Minions from Despicable Me and the upcoming film Minions.

It is a city building style game that is free to start where you control the Minions Paradise exclusive minion Phil as you build up the island so more of your other Minion friends can come and live there.

The harsh reality here is that this is the standard free to play city building stuff that we have been dealing with for years. The difference is that this happens to be themed after an obnoxiously charming movie… and kids eat these guys up.

Brace yourself. Minions are coming.

Click here to see all of our E3 2015 coverage!

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Activision and Toys for Bob are bringing yet another innovation to the hit kids franchise Skylanders with the launch of Skylanders SuperChargers on September 20, 2015. Skylanders has been bringing toys to life for years, but this year’s entry to the franchise will feature an all new “vehicles-to-life” feature that will let our kids pilot awesome vehicles using their favorite Skylanders characters!

“At the helm of powerful, tricked-out land, sea and sky vehicles, Portal Masters can engage in a high-octane action-adventure videogame like never before. Kids can speed across Skylands’ roads in vehicular combat, race down roaring rapids and engage in aerial dogfights as they barrel-roll through enemy swarms for the first time.”

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc said, “We love making these games because in order to do it well, you have to constantly tap into your inner kid.” Who doesn’t know a kid who has dreamt of battling evil in an awesome care or plane? “Skylanders SuperChargers makes those dreams real.”

There have been more than 300 Skylanders released over the last five years. Each new game has come with a whole new pile of plastic toys for parents to search through. The newest iteration lightens the load by having a line of only twenty new SuperChargers character toys and twenty new vehicle toys.

All of the different Supercharger vehicles will be customizable in-game. Players can ever pair each vehicle with their designated SuperCharger Skylander to create a “SuperCharged combination.” This opens increases the power of BOTH the hero and the vehicle. (Get ready to shop for pairs parents!) Even better? The vehicles are not only going to be playable in the game, but many of them also feature moving parts, making them fun to play with outside of the game.

Skylanders SuperChargers, like the previous games in the series, continues to support all of the Skylanders toys from previous games, enabling all of your children’s favorite Skylanders characters to pilot land, sea or sky-based vehicles.

Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more information about Skylanders and other Toys-To-Life games!

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A 12 year old girl named Madison wrote an article for the Washington Post (an impressive feat all on its own) that has been making some waves in the video game industry over the last few months. Two very popular games are being updated to include female default characters for the first time.

Madison, a 6th grade student, performed a comprehensive study of the top 50 endless runner games on the iOS app store to determine the available genders for the characters that you can play as in the game. Her results did not look too good for game developers.

Of the 50 apps she surveyed only fifteen percent of them gave players the ability to play a female character for free (compared to ninety percent allowing a free male character).  Temple Run Oz (an intellectual property historically based on the female character Dorothy) allows players to purchase a female character to play, but at a cost of $29.97! (YIKES!)

Her article appears to have had an impact though!

Temple Run 2, one of the most popular infinite runner games in history, has made an update to their game to allow Scarlett Fox, a female character, to be selected from the start at no charge. We can hope here that the mobile development community will see this and adapt to make this the default for games going forward.

Scarlett Fox

Scarlett Fox is now FREE in Temple Run 2!

That isn’t it though! Mojang the developer behind the landmark hit Minecraft have released a female avatar named Alex on the PC/Mac and mobile platforms already, but those updates will now be coming to the Xbox and PlayStation versions of the game in the form of free updates this past Monday.

I can only hope that more developers will follow their lead!

I got a chance to exchange some email correspondence with Madison and with her parents’ permission I was able to complete an email interview to ask her some questions.  Read below to see what she said:


 

What is your favorite subject in school?

This year my favorite is science because I have a great teacher.

Aside from playing games on your phone what other hobbies do you have?

I love to read and be outdoors. Hanging out with my friends is another one of my favorite pastimes.

You’ve managed something that some writers dream of and never accomplish. How does a 6th grader pitch an article to the Washington Post? This has to be a cool story!

After my dad and I finished editing my op ed he (my dad) helped me find some online addresses to send it to.  One of the first ones we tried was the Washington Post and soon they responded saying they were interested.

A lot of parents would hear about your idea and wouldn’t think twice about it before they shot it down. Are your parents just that cool or did you have to work hard to convince them to let you do your project?  

Both mom and dad were very supportive and liked my idea from the start. When I came to them and said, hey this is something I really want to do. They immediately helped me find the list of top 50 endless running games.

A lot of writers in the game space get negative feedback when they write about gender equality in the games we all play. How has the public responded to your article?

When the Washington Post first announced they were publishing my piece both of my parents were adamant that certain security measures must be taken. Cautions like not putting where I was from or my picture on the paper were taken. In general people have been very supportive of my research. On comment boards others have defended my viewpoint [Editor’s note: Just hearing this made me happy as message board users are usually somewhat toxic.] and I have gotten lots of positive feedback.

What are your goals for the future?

This summer I am working on another research project having to do with girl’s and boy’s preferences in characters in video games. After that I’m not sure what I’ll be doing but I’m sure I won’t be bored.

Speaking as someone who reviews games, I would think playing fifty infinite runners would be tiring. How did your research process work?

After the 10th game I was bored. But I broke the work out over a period of a couple days and was fine. I would download several games and then play them and recorded the data. Then I would download some more.

Did any of the games that you played surprise you in any way?

I was shocked how few girl characters there were.  Also there was more diversity in themes than I expected.

Did you have a favorite game?

Some of my favorites were Kiwi Dash, which is a cute game about kiwi birds, and Nyan Cat, because it had awesome music.

Now that you are keyed into mobile games have you noticed a similar trend in other types of games?

Yes. In the video games my sister and I play together, such as Lego Wii, you have to work up to get a female character.  The default is two boys. Perhaps the audience is more boys, the games being Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean type, but still…


 

Please sound off in the comments if you have additional questions or comments for Madison!

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We were given a chance to look behind the scenes of the development of the upcoming game Guitar Hero Live.

Take a look at the video below to see what FreeStyleGames is doing to bring new life to the franchise.

 

 

Guitar Hero Live is being published by Activision and will launch in the Fall of 2015 for the Nintendo WiiU, the Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, and the Microsoft Xbox One and Xbox 360. Look back for more details!

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Activision held an event at the Best Buy Theater in NYC today to give a small group of reporters a first hand look at Guitar Hero Live and Engaged Family Gaming was lucky enough to get an invite!

I represented EFG at the event and got a LOT of hands on time with the game. There were only three songs available, but all of the difficulty modes were active and I took my time to go through them all to see how it would all play out.

The difference in the presentation was clear from the minute I strapped the guitar on. Each song started with a first person view of a backstage area while my bandmates and I prepared to rush out on stage and begin our set. Activision was showing us the massive outdoor festival locations today, so running out on stage drew thunderous applause from the massive army of fans spread out before me. Every time the camera panned out across the audience I got a little more nervous even though I knew it was just a video. Activision made it clear during their presentation that they wanted to make a game that actually gave players stage fright. This definitely felt like it was working (although it could have just been the ever-so-cheerful PR person or the large group of other press watching me).

Guitar Hero Live Screenshot

It looks different, but the gameplay will be immediately familiar to anyone who has played before!

After a short intro and several generous looks out across the crowd it all came crashing down on me that I had to actually play this thing. The vertically aligned bars that have been the hallmark of the Guitar Hero franchise faded into view and a series of black and white guitar picks glided down the lines as opposed to the colored gems I was used to from before. The difference was alarming since I was very used to the older style, but it was very intuitive. I really don’t think that new players will struggle to pick up the controls.

In fact, the rookie difficulty level only included three buttons so it should be even easier for novices (and younger players) to pick up than previous. I tried that difficulty and had the crowd fired up quickly and kept them going. It was a  lot of fun playing and really getting into the rhythm of the music along with the fans.

That all changed when I switched over to more advanced difficulty levels that used both the top and bottom rows of buttons. Making those transitions was very difficult without practice. I got a little bit better over the course of a few songs, but it left me feeling a bit frustrated. There is room for improvement though. I could tell immediately where I would need to improve if I wanted to succeed moving forward. Parents should definitely be ready to step in with help for more ambitious kids. Keep in mind that you can change difficulty mid song, so if it just isn’t working you can always step it down.

The entire experience was great and I was left wanting more. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long since the game will launch this fall for just about every console under the Sun.

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Anyone who has ever dreamt of rocking out on stage in front of thousands of fans should definitely take note. If you have then this fall is going to give you the chance to “unlock that fantasy” and feel like a rock star with the newly announced Guitar Hero Live.

Activision is the publishing giant behind a few art house games that some of you may have heard of, Skylanders and Call of Duty, and they are taking a stage dive into the rhythm game genre again after a five year absence. This time, however, they have several tricks up their sleeves to help differentiate themselves from the competition.

First and foremost, they have completely redesigned the iconic guitar controller. Fans of the previous Guitar Hero games will recall the five distinctly colored buttons that lined the neck of the guitar. those buttons have been removed in favor of two rows with three buttons each. They did this because they found, while doing research regarding the way that players used the controller they found out that the vast majority of players only used three fingers anyways. They knew that fans would likely lose their minds because gamers typically hate change, but this had the added advantage of making easier modes far easier (allowing for greater accessibility) and the harder modes even MORE difficult by using chord shapes that involve buttons on both rows.

Guitar Hero Live New Controller

The new controller looks amazing!

Second, they have done away with the animated action. Every frame that you will see is a live band performing in front of a live audience. Even better, each song was recorded separately with a crowd in venues of different sizes ranging from a small lounge all the way up to a massive outdoor festival with tens of thousands of people. Even the player bandmates were filmed.

Thirdly, the entire experience is designed to give players as authentic of an onstage experience as possible. The reactions from both the fans and the band themselves are tuned to the players performance, just like in real life, perform well and the audience will buy in and sing along! But, if you start to falter you boo and harass you; even your bandmates will start to give you the evil eye.

The entire package looks like it will be a rocking good time and will be releasing this fall on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U and even some mobile devices.

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Hot on the heels of their recent partnership with DeNA, Nintendo has announced that their first IP that will be brought into the mobile space is WiiFit! They have been talking about bringing a quality of life product to market for years now without anything to show for it. This announcement brings it all together for Nintendo!

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WiiFit was a huge success on the Wii because it was among the first programs of its kind. That market has grown much more crowded as the years have passed as several companies have developed wearable devices that track fitness information. Nintendo is not planning on releasing their own device (they have enough hardware on the market as it is). Instead, the WiiFit app is being designed to collect data from multiple sources including WiiFit U, the app itself, and other mobile devices simultaneously. All of the collected data (caloric intake, distance walked, workout data from WiiFit U, etc) will be compiled and used to help create a daily fitness score.

The real trick to this, and the part that will require DeNA expertise, will be the social aspect. Players will be able to form groups within the app to challenge each other and keep each other motivated. DeNA has a lot of experience in multi-player social games so this feels like a slam dunk for them.

All is not perfect though. Nintendo has been tight lipped so far regarding a price for the app. Nintendo President Soturu Iwata is quoted as saying, “Please understand. We are still in the evaluation phase of product development when it comes to pricing. We do not want to devalue our IP with needlessly low prices. But, we recognize the market pressure for a lower price. We will provide more information as launch approaches.”

Launch is currently slated for Fall 2015.

What do you think? Are you in? Sound off in the comments!

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I’ve seen a few ads and reviews in tech magazines and on some popular websites, but didn’t really understand what Osmo was until we got our hands on it.  Osmo is an accessory for your iPad that comes with four gaming apps designed to get you and your family to interact with the iPad in a whole new way. It was designed to go beyond the screen and change the way you play.

Osmo is designed to work on the  iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina and the iPad Air.  The Osmo starter kit comes with the Osmo Base & Reflector, Tangram game pieces, Words game pieces and all three original apps. There is also a new app that was just released, Masterpiece,  that adds yet another dimension to this system.

Osmo Play Beyond The Screen Setup

Setting the device up is incredibly easy.

Before I get into the details of each app and the toys that accompany the system, I’d like to discuss some basics of the design of the packaging and the system.  First, it is important to note that the Osmo game system was created by young parents with technology and engineering backgrounds.  Their goal is to utilize new technology to nurture positive play.  What could be better for your budding little geniuses?  Everything about the system reflects these goals.  The box is bright, colorful, and simple, yet it has some neat features such as magnetic boxes that help keep everything all neatly together.  The pieces that come with the game are sturdy enough for little hands, but not bulky enough to get in the way of a busy lifestyle.  In addition to providing information about Osmo for parents and educators, the Osmo website has great setup instructions and how-to-play videos for each app which makes it super easy for parents to start using the games right away.

The evening we retrieved the system, all three of our children were instantly intrigued.  It’s just cool.  It works with reflective artificial intelligence that basically brings real life toys into the digital realm.  And, with console video games like Disney Infinity and Skylanders being so hugely popular, we know that this is going to immediately entrance our children.  But, better yet, it also has the added benefit of entrancing educators and parents who want the children in their care to actively engage their brains while playing.

Setup is simple.  You simply download all four apps from the app store, you remove any protective case you have on your iPad, you place the iPad in the white Osmo base, and you clip on the red Reflector.  (You might have to adjust the base for an iPad mini, but simple instructions are included). And that’s it, you’re ready to play.

 

 

The Games

Tangram

 

osmo tangrams

Osmo Tangrams in action!

My middle child is 6 years old and one of those children that can play with blocks, puzzles, and building toys for hours.  But, if you ask him to sit in a chair and read or do schoolwork, he buzzes around like a bumblebee. His bottom rarely touches a chair.  However, as soon as he saw the wooden tangram pieces that came with the system, he was hooked.  He sat at the dining room table and played for a solid hour before we cut off his screen time.

Osmo Tangram is a puzzle game played with colorful wooden pieces. The goal of the game is to create the picture displayed on the iPad screen with the wooden pieces on the table in front of you.  The pieces light up as you put them together in the correct place.  Completing puzzles unlocks new puzzles at the same level.  And yes, there are hints.  You earn more hints by completing puzzles.  The puzzles come in four basic levels.  Simple, Easy, Medium, and Difficult.  The levels are color coded to make it easier for children to follow.  The game is designed for ages six and over which seemed like a fairly accurate age rating.  We think a younger child would be able to play with a parent, but would get easily frustrated on their own. Our toddler was intrigued by the pretty colors and shapes and was happy to sit on our lap and try to help.  She loved identifying the animal or shape that the completed puzzle would become.  From an educational standpoint, there are so many things that your children can learn from this game. Tangram reinforces creative thinking, shapes, geometry, spatial recognition, fine motor skills, and more.  Because you can unlock up to 400 puzzles, this game seems to be have a fairly decent replay value.  My son went back to puzzles that he already completed in an attempt to finish them more quickly.

 

Words

 

osmo words

Osmo words in action!

My oldest child is a reader at heart.  Spelling and writing come as naturally to him as breathing.  He loves making up rhymes, playing word games and coming up with pun-ny grammar jokes.  Being a nine year old boy, he is also obsessed with video games.  At first, he was less than interested in playing an educational game.  But, he started playing Words against his Mom, and as soon as he started getting rewarded for scoring points, he was hooked.

Words comes with two sets of cardboard alphabet tiles.  One set is red, the other is blue.  All of the letters are uppercase to avoid confusion.  The tiles are typical of standard board game tiles, and replacement tiles are available. The goal of the game is to guess the correct word before you use up all of your available guesses.  It’s kind of a mash-up of I Spy and Hangman.  Players are shown an image on the screen and toss letters down onto the playing field to guess the word.  There are small yellow circles at the bottom of the screen to show you how many letters the word has. Players can work together and play cooperatively with just one colored set, or they can play against each other  in versus mode using both sets.  Words has two different leveled games built in.  It has a Junior version for preschool aged children and very early readers.  It also has a Classic version for older players.  The word puzzles ramp up as you go, so harder puzzles can even be a challenge for adults.  One of the neat features of versus mode, is that all players score points based on the number of letters they get correct.  The points do not simply go to the player who solved the puzzle.  Another great feature is that you can create your own puzzles on MyOsmo.com.  This is an excellent element for homeschool parents and educators, as they can create puzzles to go along with topics that their students are studying.  The educational aspects of this game are fairly obvious.  They include creative thinking, letter recognition, reading reinforcement, and social learning.  My oldest son found the competitive race to complete words super fun, and since you can create your own puzzles, the replay value of this game is endless.

 

Newton

 

osmo newton

Osmo Newton in action!

My husband loves traditional early arcade style games, games like Pong, Breakout, and Arkanoid.  They were the very first ball drop and basic physics games.  Newton takes these games to the next level.  The game is  very similar to a PC game titled Crayon Physics Deluxe but with a unique Osmo twist.  My husband found himself playing this game much longer than he anticipated when he first looked at it.  It seemed very simplistic, but the challenges become more difficult as you reach each goal.

Unlike Osmo’s Tangram and Word games, this game has no special pieces.  All you need is the app, the base, a piece of paper and some markers. And, by the name of the game, you can probably figure out that it is a physics based game.  A ball drops out of the top of the screen and you draw lines, buckets, and shapes on the paper to direct the ball to hit certain targets. You can even place household objects on the paper in front of you and the camera will translate the object onto the screen.  The game automatically pauses and the lines turn red when you are drawing.  It resumes and the lines turn back to blue as your hand is moved away from the play area.  You can turn this feature off to make the game more of a challenge.  As with all of the previous Osmo apps, this game has a plethora of educational values.  The game is engaging and accessible to learners six and older.  It teaches early physics  and math concepts, enhances problem solving skills and encourages creative solutions to puzzles.  Since there are no correct ways to reach the target and myriad possibilities, the replay value on this game is also very high. Why not try something new each time?  While it doesn’t introduce as many specific physics concepts as Crayon Physics Deluxe, as part of the overall Osmo package, this is a terrific addition.

 

Masterpiece

Masterpiece_iconI was incredibly excited to see the initial information on Masterpiece.  I love to doodle and draw, and sometimes my pictures come out decent, and sometimes they are absolutely terrible.  I’ve always wanted to effortlessly draw a perfect picture.  Masterpiece allows me to give that a try.

Masterpiece is the newest app released that works with the Osmo system.  This is a unique app that fits in perfectly with the previous games because it encourages an entirely new area of learning.  If the name of the app wasn’t enough of a clue, the app focuses on artistic learning.  With Masterpiece, you can use an image on the iPad and transpose it directly onto a piece of paper.  You can create your own special art pieces.  Masterpiece comes with a full set of pre-drawn images like a coloring book, but you can also take photos of anything you want and put them on the screen.  Once the image is in Masterpiece, you get a marker (Markers are easier to see to start. As you get better, you can use other tools) and some paper and start tracing the lines you see on the iPad onto the paper.  This is a little tricky.  You are tempted to look down at the paper as you go, but you need to keep your eyes on the iPad.  The first couple of tries will come out shaky, but you will get better.  We’ve created some amazing drawings after about 15 minutes of practice.  Keep in mind that images you take on your own must be of the right quality to translate into the app. Images come out better if the lighting is correct and they are taken on a plain background. My son insisted we take a picture of his stuffed monkey, and it only worked when we laid it down on a plain white towel to take the picture.  There are features within the app that allow you to adjust the number of lines and the details in your image.  You can change the size of your image and its position as well.  This game really encourages your child to work on their fine motor skills and is not as intuitive or simple to play as the other games in the Osmo system. However, it is a great way for you or your child to create something truly unique and all their own.

 

Conclusion

There are other drag and drop iPad apps that do similar things and teach similar concepts as some of these Osmo games.  But, the biggest draw to this package is the tangible, physical pieces and real life interaction that this set brings to the table.  At an MSRP of $79.99,  the four games, the Osmo Base, and the Reflector are an exceptional value.  Your family will get plenty of playtime out of this set, and the price point is only slightly higher than a single traditional console game.  Osmo would be a great system to introduce to classrooms, libraries, homeschool settings, and childcare settings.

A review copy of this product was provided by Tangible Play, Inc.

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Developer: NetherRealm Studios

Reviewed on iOS, available on Android

Overall Review

When a trailer for a WWE themed fighting game by Nether Realm Studios shows up on RAW I was excited. I love fighting games and they have done an excellent job with both Mortal Kombat and Injustice: Gods Among Us in recent years. This felt like a slam dunk. That excitement faded a bit when I found that that it would be a free to play mobile game as opposed to the deep tournament worthy fighting game I was hoping for.

Nevertheless, I wanted to give the game a shot. I enjoyed the Injustice mobile game for what it was so it couldn’t possibly hurt. Right? I am glad that I did because WWE Immortals is a lot of fun.

The first thing that makes WWE Immortals stand out from other wrestling themed games is its presentation. This is not a pro-wrestling simulator by any stretch of the imagination. This is a full on fantasy based fighting game that features witches, giants, demons, and angels. The premise is hokey, but it fits. Bray Wyatt has found a magic lantern that will help empower him to show the way to his followers. The Authority steals it from him and activates its power. This tears a whole in reality and brings different versions of the WWE superstars together to do what they do best: fight!

WWE Immortals Gold Heroes screenshot

The best of the best!

The characters themselves are all fantasy expressions of their in ring personas. Sheamus is an ancient druid. The Big Show is a giant. The Rock is literally made of stone and lightning (He is the most electrifying man in sports and entertainment after all). Each character has a unique move set that are at least thematically similar to their moves in the ring. They are, however, heavily stylized and exaggerated. Kane is a big guy, but he isn’t getting the Big Show up on his shoulders for a power bomb and jumping in the air. This was my family’s favorite part of the game. We view WWE superstars as close-to-real-life superheroes and villains.WWE Immortals presents them as exactly that. Engaged Family Gaming has a complete list of the WWE superstars that appear in the game here

WWE Immortals Screenshot

The action is touch based, but very intense.

Family Gaming Assessment

Parents will face some of the same dilemmas with WWE Immortals as they would with the TV show.

First, it is a game built around combat. All of the action is built around fighting other characters. That can be excused on the show though because it is all under the guise of athletic competition. We, as adults, know that the match outcomes are decided beforehand, but the story they are putting forward is one of “superstars” competing for championships. The game doesn’t share that pretense at all. This is a pure fighting game with a loose story. I don’t know that this is an “issue” per se though. I would think that any parent who is comfortable letting their child watch a RAW broadcast will be comfortable with this game.

Second, and most importantly, the female characters all share “commercially idealized” bodies and wear revealing outfits. There is nothing risqué happening on screen, but it is something worth mentioning for parents who might be concerned about that sort of thing.

Playability Assessment

I recently praised Super Smash Bros for Wii U for its accessibility for less experienced players and WWE Immortals follows suit. The entire game is played based on tapping the screen or swiping in the direction of an arrow. Even the most inexperienced gamers will be able to jam on the screen and make characters play. Movement isn’t even an issue as that is entirely handled by the machine.

Younger players might have difficulty with the meta-game involved in choosing the correct three fighter team. But, they will be able to play even if they just choose their favorites.

Conclusion

It is hard not to recommend giving a free app a chance. But, even if we set that aside WWE Immortals is well put together and provides a lot of fun for very little cost. I wish that some of the upper tier characters were less costly, but that is a small complaint.

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