Finding an educational iPad App that your kids will think is fun to play too is surprisingly hard. So when we reviewed Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa released earlier this month, we were pleasantly surprised to find a fun and engaging game. The app took our young testers on an interactive adventure around the continent of Africa, that had them exploring the Serengeti Plains, the Sahara Desert and the Nile Valley. And they learned some great things about our wonderful planet on the way, too.
Aimed at children aged 4-9, our 4 and 6 year old testers relished the opportunity to try this new iPad app. After being introduced to Ansel – an intergalactic travel photographer from the planet Virtoos, Clair – a bright Virtoosian robot and their spaceship, Marley Patterson, they set off on their field expedition to Africa. Learning the names of continents and oceans on the 3D globe on the way, Marley arrives in Africa, which is where the adventure begins. Upon arrival, Marley breaks down and pieces of the spaceship are scattered around the African continent. The task is to visit each of the three regions and find the lost parts by exploring the land and learning facts about animals that occupy each.
What really held our testers interest, was the interactivity offered by the app. They enjoyed dragging the camera over the screen to take pictures of animals that they then dropped into their travel book. Further special effects such as a sand storm blowing across the screen that needs to be wiped away drew cries of delight, in addition to laying sticks on the fire to warm up Ansel, and dragging rocks to expose scorpions. Extra puzzles that involved tilting the iPad to navigate the maze to collect artifacts in the Pyramid, changing the time on the clock to view the Sahara during the day and night, and matching fur balls and food to the right animals also proved winners. Just don’t mention that it’s educational, and your child will be talking about herbivores, omnivores, metamorphosis and the frog’s lifecycle in no time.