A key strength of educational apps on the iPad is their abilities to simulate various outdoor activities without leaving the comfort of our homes. For example, apps like Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer and MarcoPolo Ocean allow kids to explore the ocean and its marine life with their open-ended approach.
My app pick for today is a relatively new ocean exploration app called Explorium - Ocean for Kids. The app aims to take kids on a deep dive and search for the lost city of Atlantis.
The Quest for Atlantis
Ocean for Kids starts with Alex and Alice finding a treasure map which reveals an information about Atlantis. Determined to find the lost city, they set up on a quest underwater to gather the missing parts of the map.
Kids will take either Alex or Alice on a deep dive throughout the ocean while learning about the rich marine life. Tapping on an exclamation point will reveal more information about the animals or other objects in the deep water. For example, they will learn that the swordfish is one of the fastest fishes in the world, and that a porcupine fish would inflate its body to avoid predators.
They may also find treasure chests and sparkling colors along the ocean beds. Tapping on the sparkling colors will reveal hidden objects that they can collect for later usage. Tapping on the treasure chests will take them to one of the five mini games in the app.
Some of the mini games have simple and familiar mechanics, such as popping bubbles and memory matching games. There are also two games that are reminiscence of the famous Flappy Bird game, but with jellyfishes instead. Kids will get a piece of the Atlantis map after completing a game, thus bringing them a step closer to finding the lost city.
Parents Need to Know
Ocean for Kids has a dedicated Encyclopedia section which holds more than 50 facts about the animals and objects found in the app. It is suitable for kids ages 4+.
The app includes a difficulty setting from Easy and Medium, to Advanced and Hard. This will affect the difficulty of the mini games.
Explorium - Ocean for Kids is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, and Russian.
Things I Like
My favorite mini game in Exploruium is called Memory Star. The game will briefly reveal a number of stars randomly distributed among the grid of tiles. Then, the game will flip the revealed tiles and rotate the entire matrix 90 degrees clockwise.
From here on, kids are asked to identify where the stars are located after the rotation. I like this game because it forces kids to focus and train their memory, while improving their logic.
I also enjoyed the fun facts included in this app, for example:
- Blue whales are the biggest fish. They are longer than three buses and weighing as much as 25 elephants.
- A plaice has both eyes on the same side of the head to camouflage itself from the marine predators.
- At a depth of 1,000 meters, the pressure is high enough to make a piece of wood shrink to half its original size.
Explorium - Ocean for Kids is a fun app for kids ages 4+ to explore the deep ocean and learn about its inhabitants. Wrapped in a quest to find the lost city of Atlantis, the exploration feels natural and exciting. So far, I've never seen an app that goes deeper into the ocean than Ocean for Kids.
App was provided for our honest review.