First off, the graphics are amazing. The premise of the story is novel and Kieran had an overall great time completing the games. The recommend ages are 4-9 and she’ll be 4 next month. The games we’ve played so far have been perfectly age-appropriate for her. Any initial difficulties faded with her second round of playing.
In the Fur Ball-a-tor game (set in the Serengeti), Kieran had a great time matching the correct animal coat to the animals. You get immediate positive reinforcement when a match is made, as the animal comes to life. It also tallies your score at the end. In this video, you can see her in action, during her 2nd time playing the game:
It took her about one more time to get the coordination down, but she plays it like a pro now! I had to police her time on this app, as she didn’t want to put it down. But it still has me secretly hoping that Ansel and Clair will have future missions to explore the other continents and, therefore, putting the entire world at her fingertips.
iPad App Synopses:
EMBARK ON A DIGITAL SAFARI BY WAY OF AN iPAD
Forget about the pith helmet and passport, all you need for an interactive African adventure is an iPad! Thanks to Cognitive Kid, a new company specializing in educational apps, kids can travel to Africa any time they want with Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa. The apps from Cognitive Kid, starting with Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa, truly take advantage of the iPad’s capabilities. Stunning graphics, exciting interactions, adaptive difficulty, and immersive gameplay make for an experience that educates and entertains, while holding a child’s attention for hours.
In Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa, best suited for ages 4-9, you embark on an amazing African journey with Ansel and Clair, and explore three stunning interactive locales: the Nile Valley, Sahara Desert and the Serengeti Plains. In each place there are animals, plants, places and landmarks to explore. Your friendly travel companions are Ansel, an intergalactic travel photographer from the planet Virtoos, and a knowledgeable Virtoosian robot named Clair. Both of these original animated characters were specially designed for the touch screen. Together, Ansel and Clair are on a mission to take photographs and document their journey so they can teach their fellow Virtoosians all about Africa. But Ansel and Clair can’t do it alone, they need your help! In each locale take photographs of the things you’ve learned about and arrange them in a travel log to document their experience. That way, Ansel and Clair can share them with everyone when they return to Virtoos. And don’t forget to help Ansel along your journey by finding him food to eat when he is hungry, lighting a fire to keep him warm, or saving him when he is in trouble.
As you begin your journey and head into Africa, Ansel and Clair’s spaceship (named Marley Peterson) breaks apart, scattering parts across Africa. Once you land, you’ll have to find all the missing parts before Ansel and Clair can return home to Virtoos! To get started, pick one of the three African locations to explore. Clair has an encyclopedic knowledge of, well, everything—and is there to share information and fun facts with you and Ansel. In the Sahara Desert, Clair shares information about ostriches, camels, oases, sand dunes and much more. Interactive activities include cooking an egg on the hood of a car without a pan, changing the scene from day to night by dragging the sun down, feeding a camel and even dusting off after a sand storm by wiping your finger across the screen to clear the sand. The Serengeti is full of exciting African animals including lions, elephants, giraffes and a hippopotamus. Here, you can match animals to their respective furs in a given time span in the Fur Ball-a-tor game. Watch how the change of seasons affects the Serengeti by moving the clouds to switch between the wet and dry seasons. See the Baobab tree lose its leaves and the Wildebeest migrate. Be sure to wipe the rain off the screen to get a good look at everything in the wet season!
In the spectacular Nile Valley learn about pharaohs, mummies, sphinx and other ancient treasures. Feed Ansel dates by tapping the Date Palm, and save him from drowning in the Nile. Arrange the stages of the frog’s lifecycle to learn about metamorphosis, and use the iPad’s built-in accelerometer to maneuver Ansel through secret passages and trap doors in the Pyramid by tilting the iPad to different positions.
The whole African journey is a seamless blend of education and entertainment. While the interactions are thrilling, they’re really geared towards teaching. Kids learn without even realizing it. Innovative “ClairVision,” supported by both text and audio, enables kids to learn even more with 50+ screen overlays that provide additional information on the subjects at-hand. Further, with the app’s non-linear design, children can explore the different places at their leisure without getting “stuck” in one spot.
Buy IT: Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa is available NOW for $4.99.
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy received the application mentioned free of charge in order to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.