An Adventure Of Our Own
by Two Way Play
is a novel app, in that at its heart lies a great therapeutic tool that engages interaction between players. Gameplay consists of building a story between an older child or adult and one that is just beginning to make decisions independently. It’s one safe way to view the consequences of one’s actions and see them play out. Shelf life for the app is extensive as each play has the chance to be totally unique and surprising. Kids not only follow the directions in-app but also must negotiate with their partner about how they think the storyline should proceed. In addition, kids and adults can express preferences and defend their positions for the story. Ultimately they must agree upon the next step to take in the unfolding story. Prompts for discussion are provided on each page and help drive the decision-making process.
On the Inside
Graphics are simple – and meant to be so as the focus is on interactivity between the players. The app has a comic book vibe, or the look of a storyboard just ripe for tweaking. It provides a framework for joint attention and working as a team to make the story happen. Parents, clinicians, and teachers are also given the rare opportunity to model impulse control and how decisions are made by considering options. I love that while choices are made in-app for the story to progress, there is not a lot of visual over-stimulation from continuously tapping on objects to get a reaction. That is what sinks so many apps from being therapeutic as mission and purpose get lost.
The kids that we played the game with, were eager to flex their prowess in making decisions and problem-solving. There is one part of the story where you can take your picture in the outfits of your character that they particularly liked. They also enjoyed the self-affirmations that one could award oneself when the story was finished. One of the difficulties we had while playing on a much-used iPad Air I was that response times were somewhat sluggish at times. I would have liked also that when taking pictures in the chosen costumes, that it could be done separately as it was hard to get both people in with one shot of the camera.
In summary, this is a great app to use therapeutically to model and sequence making decisions as well as learning to negotiate and work as a team to accomplish a mission. By taking your own selfie, it also encourages independent iPad skills. This app was a Top Pick for me and a hidden gem in the app store as well as another appbook by its author, Kim Foehl MD named Knock Knock. Check out their website: http://twowayplay.com/
for more information on the nature of play and their products.
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing on Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps have been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.