May 7, 2011

Vic Mahfood

Ansel & Clair's Adventures in Africa [iPad]

Developer Quote: "Groundbreaking Educational App for Kids! Spectacular interactions and animations, stunning visuals, quests, puzzles and games bring learning to life."

- COST: $1.99 introductory sale price (regular $4.99)

- Categories: Animals, Books, Education, Elementary School, Entertainment, Games, iPad, Native, Preschool, Science

Many children's apps are created with specifically one or two objectives in mind, be that reading or math. After all, little ones have to get their feet wet little at a time so as not to be frustrated. What occurred to me with Ansel & Clair's Adventures in Africa though is that this kids' elementary, geography and science iPad app covers a wide range of subjects that immerses your children in the world as a whole. Some of these important topics include Geography, Environment, History, Science, Games and Vocabulary. I like this idea of pulling out all the stops so that kids can get a head start on learning, not only about the foundations of reading and writing, but also about culture, our world, and how we all fit in it together!

Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa is specially designed for kids aged 4 to 9 years old. In this modern yet intriguing story, your child will meet Ansel, a likeable and curious inter-galactic photographer from the planet Virtoos, and Clair, a knowledgeable Virtoosian robot. Their mission is to take pictures of the vast continent of Africa along with all sorts of interesting notes so that they can return to their planet to teach youngsters about this fascinating continent. You will enjoy amazing visuals and realistic, interactive play discovering fascinating locations in Africa, specifically the Nile Valley, Sahara Desert and Serengeti Plains. Here are some of the greatly educational and alluring features and activities of this interactive iPad app:

- Take 29 spectacular photos of animals, monuments, land and water
- Collect and arrange photos in the Travel Log
- Help Ansel and Clair recover lost spaceship parts
- Enjoy a high-impact, thematic and contextual approach teaching many subjects and concepts
- Learn from hours of independent exploration for kids who have not yet learned to read (excellent audio cues), as well as for older kids who can read
- Discover more through “ClairVision”: 50+ screen overlays supported by both dialog and text and 30+ contextual hyperlink illustrations
- Choose from multiple levels to engage, teach and challenge kids of different ages

As I previously mentioned, there are many topics with accompanying examples used to arouse the curiosity of your child, and to give them a headstart with school. Some of the subjects covered in this story are:

- Geography: Continents, oceans, rivers, monuments and landmarks
- History: Pyramids, pharaoh, mummy, hieroglyphics, Sphinx
- Science: Metamorphosis, migrations, climate, seasons, temperature changes, animal characteristics, behavior, habitat and food habits
- Concepts: Camouflage, migration, nocturnal, herbivore, predator, vertebrate, cold-blooded

Fascinating, interactive play geared towards absorbing your child while discovering a continent of our world includes the following fun activities:

- 3D Globe: Spin, touch and learn the names and locations of continents and oceans
- Explore the Sahara during the day and also at night
       o Learn about nocturnal animals, sandstorms, camels and extreme desert temperatures through fun interactions!
- Experience the Serengeti during the wet and dry seasons
        o Learn about the wet and dry seasons, animal migrations. Watch snowfall on Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Explore the Spectacular Nile Valley
        o Learn about the Pyramids, Sphinx, Pharaohs and mummies. Interact with the Nile Crocodile, Sacred Ibis, Bee Eater, Turtle and Frog.

So how does one go about capturing the attention of children so that they are totally engrossed in their activities? Well, Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa utilizes 5 games and puzzles. There are several levels to challenge kids, from the youngest to the most precocious! You will find adorable games such as:

- Pyramid Treasure Hunt: Tilt the iPad to navigate the spaceship
- Clock Puzzle: Learn to tell time
- Frog Life Cycle Puzzle
- Sahara Maze: Reunite animals with their babies; lead animals to their food source.
- Fur Ball-a-tor: Match falling fur balls to the correct animals. Learn to identify animal patterns

I absolutely love the 3D spinning globe. What a marvelous tool for children to learn and play with! Another mesmerizing item that will delight is the rain falling on the screen during a rainy day in Africa. Aaah..but the fun part is swiping away the rain to clear the screen, much like a windshield wiper in a car. The same technique is applied for clearing away a desert sandstorm. See Africa by day and night, and enjoy the native flora and fauna. Ansel is a very curious little guy, and you will be amazed how much your child will learn from following his every question and thought. The constant movement and sound on the screen by beautifully rendered animals is a joy to watch because of its realism. Take pictures with the imitation camera that "snaps" photos of the items you like, and then paste them in your travel app. Africa is depicted in all its glorious forms at a level every child can understand and benefit from in Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa.

COOL CONCLUSION: "Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa is an amazing, multi-sensory, educational iPad app geared towards providing a rounded education."
--Date/Version: Released 5/5/11 - Version 1.0
--iOS/Age Rating:  This app requires iOS 3.2 or later. Rated 4+.
--Special Note: New & Noteworthy in Education. INTRODUCTORY SALE PRICE $1.99. (Regular Price: $4.99)
--Device: iPad
--Developer Link: Cognitive Kid Inc.
--Twitter: @anselandclair
--Facebook: Ansel and Clair

Visit the iTunes App Store for more details, and to download:

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