My kids have been exposed to Jake and the Never Land Pirates long before they started preschool. If kids could go on adventures like the pirates in storybooks, many of them probably would. Somehow, many kids think pirates are cool.
That’s why Lipa Pirates was the first game my five-year-old picked when he browsed through the new games I installed on his iPad. As you’d expect, in the game you will build your own pirate ship, recruit pirates for your crew, set sail to find the hidden treasures belonged to a legendary pirate, race and fight other pirate ships, solve puzzles, and more. However, Lipa Pirates only rely on two major clues: a treasure map and a magic compass.
Build Your Pirate Ship and Set Sail on Your First Journey
You start by playing as the First Mate of the pirate ship, tasked to build the pirate ship. Using your finger, you cut the shapes required to construct the ship from paper and wood. These shapes are basic ones, such as triangles, circles, squares, and rectangles. Once you have cut the pieces, you drag them onto the blueprint. You can even build the anchor from these pieces.
Then, you start recruiting crew members and loading the ship with food and water for the journey. Again, all the activities are performed by matching the shapes of the crews and items to the shapes of the holes on the ship.
Once all is set, you’re ready to go on your first cruise. Hold the iPad with both of your hands and tilt it to steer the ship. Avoid everything in your way, except for the lightning symbol. By passing through the lightning symbol, you will get a temporary speed boost.
Get Promoted to Captain and Find the Legendary Treasures
As soon as you complete your first cruise, you will be promoted to Powder Monkey. Your next task is to learn how to read the stars as you navigate the ship. You can do so by connecting the dots, and you will move forward as you draw the shapes.
In this stage, you will encounter the the legendary ghost ship, whose captain is looking for his lost gold. The only way to find the treasure is to find the magic compass. But, the journey is not a smooth one. You will fight other pirates, firing cannons at their ships and fixing the holes in your yours. All these activities are performed by matching shapes.
Then, there are two more stages that you need to complete before you can set sail for the legendary treasures. First, you need to create your own diving suit, wake up the kraken who is guarding the magic compass, and feed him with his favorite pirate meals to persuade him to give you the magic compass. These activities require you to combine shapes, connect the dots, and match shapes.
Second, you need to race against the other ships, and be the first to reach the treasure island. Once you get there, you need to combine shapes to fill in the land gaps and create water-tight bridges out of them. Then, you need to connect fireflies and solve more shape riddles before you can outwit the crews of the legendary pirate ship.
Parents Need to Know
Lipa Pirates offers a collection of shapes-related activities suitable for kids ages 3 and up. Kids will practice shape tracing, shape matching, and shape combining as they try to solve the problems at hand. They will also have fun tilting the iPad to steer the ship.
The game works great without Internet connection. It doesn’t have any ads, in-app purchases, or links to social network. Lipa Pirates has the best looking parents zone. It shows that the developers are paying attention to how they communicate with parents instead of just putting it there as an afterthought.
Things I Like
Lipa Pirates has a streamlined storyline that is tightly integrated with the gameplay. You play the challenges to solve problems presented by the story and to move the story forward, allowing you to experience the next challenge. Everything feels very natural, and learning is simply unavoidable.
The game shows that shapes-related activities can be a truly exciting experience, instead of a boring one. It demonstrates how simple tracing and matching activities can be more fun when it’s intertwined with an engaging storyline. And, it challenges kids to use their understanding of the basic shapes to solve the problems at hand.
Lipa Pirates is a great example of how learning and play can be integrated in a really fun way. It shows how a game can be designed to be tightly integrated with the storyline. At least, that’s how I felt when my kids and I were playing with it. Even though kids as young as three-year-olds can already play it on their own, the gameplay still appeals to a much older audience.
App was provided for our honest review.
About Lipa Learning
Lipa Learning is a community of educators and creative professionals dedicated to revolutionizing education one step at a time through their innovative apps. They believe that children learn in an easy, fun, and lovely way. And, they are trying to make a difference with their educational games.
If you like Lipa Pirates, you should definitely check their other games. Here’s one that we’ve reviewed recently: