Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Aniballs App teaches kids about physics and endangered animals

Imagine if you could make learning about physics fun for your children. Now add some colorful puzzles, animals, and a game that can be played anywhere you are. Sounds almost too go to be true right? Well, let me introduce you to a new app called Aniballs.

I first heard about Aniballs on twitter and then found their Facebook page. After a few clicks I had downloaded the game for a mere 99 cents and was in a heated competition with my son to rescue the endangered Aniballs.

What exactly is an Aniball? Well, an Aniball is an animal with the physics of ball.
What will happen when the ball drops?

Traveling through the lush Rain Forest, the open Savannah, and the frozen Arctic you have one mission - to rescue the Aniballs and relocate them to a protected reserve. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. The puzzles require you to think. Aniballs is not a game of speed, it is a game of skill. With over 60 puzzles that include rotating platforms and various obstacles to overcome, you must choose the best Aniball for the puzzle. Will the game of physics require your Aniball to be fast, heavy, or have a little bounce? Choose carefully or your Aniball will die.

Besides learning about physics and having fun, your children will also learn some fun "Feral Facts" about endangered species.  Aniballs has over 200 "Feral Facts" about real endangered species that you can read between levels. This game teaches you new things and you don't even realize it because you are having so much fun!

Aside from the physics and the "Feral Facts", what drew me to Aniballs was that the app was created by a family with many of the decisions (including the design and artwork) made by the children. You can read about how Aniballs came to be and meet the creators here.

Aniballs is available for iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store, Amazon App Store, and Google Play marketplace. Aniballs also announced this week that they are awaiting publication on the Barnes & Noble Nook.

Warning: Aniballs is a highly addictive game. According to Todd Cowden, the game was designed to encourage self-motivation and minimize failure. Progressing through the levels is not difficult, but mastering them to get a perfect score takes both skill and patience.

I have listened to my son talk aloud while he plays and I am thrilled with what I am hearing. No violent words, just good old-fashioned thinking. I hear things like if I use the heavy one then the platform will spin faster, but I need the bouncy one to get up to the other platform. Genius. My son is learning and he doesn't think twice about it because he is playing a game - not to mention the game has him rescuing endangered animals.

You can follow Aniballs on twitter and like their page on Facebook to find out about what is coming next. All updates are free once you download the app. I personally am looking forward to the new environment that is scheduled to be released by the end of the year ... the Wetlands.
Now, if only they would make an Outback environment, that would be awesome.

Download Aniballs for just 99 cents and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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