With the beat of the talking drums, and the sounds from animals you may meet on safari, comes the new app from Kindermatica Ltd., We Discover Africa: Safari Quest. It’s a board game with a magical Jumanji-type vibe that has a whole lot of fun animal facts to learn! On the main screen, learn the rules to the game, and what specific icons represent on the board. Play begins with one (playing against the computer) to four players, and the quest is to capture photos of seven different animals before making it to the finish. Watch out however, or you may get caught up the river without a paddle. To earn equipment for situations on the trail, you must answer questions that you are asked along the way or be lucky enough to land on a bonus spot! The board game theme of play is not only nostalgic but also makes for interactivity and building a cooperative and collaborative atmosphere between players. Kids that know how to take turns, listen and evaluate data provided by others, and work towards a goal learn that the world is bigger than themselves, and that the interconnectedness of all beings is central to survival. As each turn plays by, answers to some of the questions are best taught by opening discussion up between peers. So let’s take a closer look at We Discover Africa: Safari Quest. On opening, choose how many kids are participating, and then choose between 5 colors of markers or talisman for each player. You can also set the difficulty level between players making it easy to balance out age differences and basic knowledge of African animals. I love this thought of detail as it encourages siblings to play together, and each is challenged equally. The theme of the open savannah really facilitates motivation for learning the animal facts, and both the movement between 2D and 3D worlds is enticing for all ages. If you wish to take a peek of the global view of the map, tap the spyglass for an aerial presentation. You also get a view of where the animals are located for the best chance of a photo shoot. Once it’s a player’s turn, the dice will roll, and your player needs to tap the screen to stop the dice. The number on the dice indicates the number of steps to proceed. Play is automatic, and one of my wishes would be to be able to manually move a player forward to enhance 1:1 counting. There are ten different squares to land on that keep the game fresh every time you play it. Are you landing on a question, a shortcut to the finish line, a photo opportunity, or an obstacle? It’s fun watching what comes up by rolling the dice, and watching your player move across the board. Repeated play is rewarded by experience and anticipating what you need to do to make it to the helicopter and the ride to fame and glory. Braving the elements and the terrain makes it difficult at times to make it to the finish. So many obstacles are thrown in the way. By answering the questions correctly when landing on a question square, kids can earn rewards like torches, rubber boots, or a compass to get them through muddy streams, deep dark places, and set them on the right path. Close to the end of your journey, there are all sorts of photo opportunities, and once all photos are collected, the way to the finish is cleared! First one to the helicopter makes the news, and the glory is all yours to bask in and gives the winner bragging rights! We Discover Africa: Safari Quest is the first of a promise for many games to come from Kindermatica. I love how portable the game is for long vacation rides, and the pieces to the game stays intact…with no possibility of lost pieces! The Artwork is beautifully rendered, and the availability for off screen exploration and learning is endless. I would Highly Recommend this game to families everywhere or to teachers as a way to reinforce units of learning.
Written by Jo Booth
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.
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