Cyberchase Shape Quest is a free app from the PBS network in America and is related to one of their animated series. The series follows a group of children who help “Mother Board” protect cyber space from “The Hacker”. The game, however is only loosely related to this narrative but instead focuses on understanding of shape and angles. The app consists of three games that each cover different areas of shape and angle and is suitable for a range of abilities. The games begin at quite an easy level but progresses to some quite challenging concepts and skills. The first of the three is an engaging augmented reality game where children need to use a range of shapes to patch holes in a path. There is also a hide and seek game that tests children’s understanding of shape names and their properties. The final game could be used to look at angles but seem to have less direct educational value than the first two.
Shape Quest involves three games that all work on areas of Geometry or Shape Space and Measure depending on which curriculum you follow.
The main feature of this app is it’s first game “Patch the Path”. This is an engaging augmented reality game where children use a free print out game board and their device to access the interactive features. The augmented reality is smooth, detailed, engaging and stable so really adds to the learning experience. There is a clear tutorial on how to interface with the items and characters in the game. Children have to collect lost animals and put them on your characters’ trailer. Players must then select shapes that are laying around the game board, pick them up and sometimes rotate them to fill gaps in the road. This enables your players to move onto the next map.
This game starts quite simply but does progress to more complex problems. The app offers some visual and verbal support if the player is unsuccessfully attempting to place a shape. The characters give verbal prompts and if this isn’t sufficient the space under the gap in the path lights up showing the shape that is required to fill it.
The next game is called hide and seek and is based on identifying shapes. It progresses to using properties of shapes to identify them. The player is presented with a grid consisting of door of various shapes. The player is given a hint e.g. “find all the triangles” and the player must tap on each triangle to open the door and find the animal hiding behind it. The hints then progress to describing a shape e.g. “Find the all the shapes with four sides”. Vocabulary such as write angles comes in quite early on so the level of difficulty increases a bit less gradually than would be ideal. On each challenge the number of the shapes being sought is shown so players know how many they are looking for.
The third game is “Feed The Critters” and is loosely related to angles. Players have to aim food and fire it at an animal that is waiting to eat it. The catch is that there are a number of obstacles in the way so players have to fire the food off different surfaces and use the angles to hit their target. The angles aren’t indicated and the instruction is minimal so although this is quite a fun game it is not as educationally beneficial as the others. It does provide children with some understanding of angles and how to use these but doesn’t offer enough structure to be of much use in a lesson.
This app is a great way to engage children in work with shape and offers some really great opportunities for learning and practice.
From the Developer
From PBS KIDS and Cyberchase comes Shape Quest, a captivating app combining games, puzzles and 3D augmented reality! Shape Quest challenges kids ages 6-9 to use geometry and spatial reasoning to hone their problem solving skills.
-NOTICE: Only works with tablet devices that feature rear-facing cameras.
-3 different games focused on building geometry, spatial reasoning and problem solving skills
-80 fun-filled educational puzzles
-5 fantastic Botopolis environments each with its own animal friends
-Augmented reality game interface brings the Patch The Path game into the physical world, fully engaging the player's senses and spatial thinking skills
Buzz and Delete are back in Botopolis for another fun-filled adventure. Play with them and their animal friends through these three different math-based games.
PATCH THE PATH
Help your animal friends return to their homes in this augmented reality (“AR”) game, which uses a tablet’s camera to combine the real world with 3D digital content. Travel through 30 levels in 5 different environments and apply spatial memory, visualization and modeling skills, while investigating, predicting, putting together and taking apart two- and three-dimensional shapes. But this isn’t a game to play just sitting on your couch! By using the camera on your tablet, plus the “AR” technology, you can play while moving your whole body around the game board.
Before you play Patch the Path, you will need to print the game board from the Shape Quest website at http://pbskids.org/shapequest
FEED THE CRITTERS
The critters are hungry. Feed them by flicking food – but watch out for walls and obstacles. Play with 5 different animals in their Botopolis habitats through a total of 25 levels, while you practice spatial reasoning.
HIDE AND SEEK
The animals have hidden behind different geometric shapes. Can you find them all? Through 25 different puzzles, practice your geometry vocabulary while learning about hexagons, right angles, number of sides, and much more