Brand new in the iTunes store this week is the second app in Kindermatica’s board game series. My family love the Safari Quest game, the first in the series, so we were very excited to try We Discover Wildlife: Forest Quest.
Playing the Game
Like the Safari Quest game, Forest Quest is played just like a regular board games (although without the risk of losing dice, counters and cards.) You spin the dice then your counter moves the along the path. You may land on a question, a surprise, a penalty, take short cut, or take a photo of some wildlife. Successfully answering a question wins the player tools that may help them avoid penalties or take shortcuts elsewhere in the game. The object of the game is to collect photos of seven different animals as you move around the board, then be the first to reach the end of the game. If you pass animals without taking a photo, don’t worry as there are opportunities to collect these photos later in the game.
Players need to select from 2, 3 or 4 players. You can then set the icon for each player (male, female or computer), a colour, and the difficulty level for the quiz questions (easy, medium, hard). This means that your littlest family members can play on an equal setting with their older siblings or parents. We have played with the computer and found that it misses the odd question just like a “real” player might. We found the questions to be just the right challenge for each level. There is no time limit for answering questions, and this allows players to think about and discuss their answers before committing. There are some unfamiliar plants and animals (at least for we Aussies – but I’d imagine there are some surprises for everyone) and it might be handy to keep a pencil and paper close to hand to jot down things you might want to research later. Trust me: your children will want to find out more.
The board has a wonderful 3D effect, so it feels like you are walking through the forest with your player. Each player sees the board from their own perspective, and so the little search icon in the lower right corner will give you a birds-eye view of the board any time you wish to see where everyone is on the board. When taking photos, you can even move your photo shot around to find the best view.
- Customising – Adjusting levels to cater for different ability levels makes this game ideal for families with children of different ages, and an inclusive game to play in a classroom where some children may have disabilities or learning difficulties.
- Artwork – The 3D graphics are wonderful and the game interface continues the theme with wooden textures on the questions and game controls. Even the instruction page has that “aged map” look to it. As mentioned above, the 3D graphics make it feel like you are walking through the forest with your player pieces.
- Two to Four players – You can play against the computer or against up to 3 other players.
- Educational Content – The game is a bit of “education by stealth.” By this I mean that you can learn a lot while playing the game, but it is so much fun that kids may not pick up that it is an educational app.
- Instructions – Tap the information icon on the main page, or access via the settings button in the top right corner at any time for a comprehensive guide to playing the game.
- Game continuance – If you close the app before you finish a game, you have the option of completing that game the next time you open the app, or you can start a new game.
- Multiple language support – The game supports speakers of Russian, English, German and Swedish.
- Safety – Kindermatica is a member of Moms with Apps, so you know what is inside your app, or rather, what is NOT inside your app. There is no collection of personal information, no 3rd party apps, no in-app purchases, and any links for more information are hidden behind parental locks.
I’d love some fact sheets or information links about the different flora and fauna covered in the questions. I also want more games in the series, but I know for a fact that there are others in the pipeline.
Families and schools will love these inclusive games that allow children to learn about Science and Nature in a fun way. Aimed at children aged 6-8, it is suitable for all ages and ability levels. The huge number of questions (over 350) cover a range of plants and animals of the forest, and children will be motivated to find out more away from the game. I would imagine teachers who are looking at different ecosystems will find Forest Quest (and other games in the series) to be a great resource. Those of you planning long holiday car trips might like to install this and Safari Quest on your iPads for children to play while they travel as it works brilliantly as a pass-and-play game.
Universal. Requires iOS 6.0 or above.