Perios – the elemental quest, is a game based application designed for students to learn about the periodic table. The task of the user is to collect all the ‘Perios’ (elements of the periodic table) as quickly as possible avoiding the Thermos and Freenerkies who will thwart or aid your progress in collecting the elements. Help is at hand with the busy Professor offering words of advice and hints to speed up the user progress, when needed. The game is scored with more bonus points being awarded for speed.
Perios, the elemental quest is an interesting game based learning application, where the learning is extrinsically rewarded by the speed with which the user completes the levels. Each level is completed when all the ‘Perios’ have been collected by the user. Downloading the app from the store was straightforward, although the app did stop working immediately on opening it for the first time, I had no problems with it again. When opened, the application asked the user to choose a character to complete the quest, unfortunately this choice is of a boy, Chem and a girl, Ellee, I think a greater choice would have been better, even to the point of choosing a name for yourself. The background music, a curious mixture of soft rock, electro and funk, is despite my explanation fairly inoffensive and suitably motivational. The next screen provides a series of instructions that are graphically hanging on a series of chained boards that swing slightly back and forth, not a comfortable feeling for all, when the instructions are important to read and demand concentration.
The ‘Settings’ menu allows the user to select an Orb the only choice being ‘Orb 1’, so I was left a little confused, the ‘Select Control’ provided a black blob or a pointer, again confusing. The ‘High Score’ name entry screen is a throwback to the era of texting with my old mobile phone, a mammoth task which frankly cries out for a keyboard to pop up. The ‘Tutorial’ section is a repeat of the introductory instructions.
The characters for each ‘Perios’ are well thought out, cleverly drawn and enhance the learning activity, the floating worlds hanging motionless in the sky are interesting an add to the ‘gamey’ atmosphere. Progressing through the levels with your character does become a little bit repetitive but the time element adds to the sense of urgency, the lag on the character when moving around using a finger touch is slightly annoying but not unworkable.
Game play consists of two repetitive activities, one, collecting the ‘Perios’ and two, having collected them, identifying where they are in the periodic table. This process has a tendency for the user to merely rush through the game and complete the levels and become skilled at the process and not the learning activity. If the user cares to slowdown they can get a link out to the Perios web site where each element is described in depth, however this interrupts the game flow and you have to load the game to return to the level.
Overall the game is workable and the admirable objective of teaching children about the elements through the game play mechanism is to be commended, but the implementation needs to be looked at for the next iteration. The design interface needs to be more iPad friendly, with no lag for the character, crisper graphics and an intuitive menu design. The narrative of the game could also be improved to ensure that the purpose of the game, understanding the different elements, could be incorporated in the game as opposed to a link out to a web site. I look forward to the updated version.
From the Developer
Welcome to Perios - The Elemental Quest!
Your quest is to gather Hydi, Nitro, Stro and all the other Perios and bring them home.. The faster you finish each level the higher your score! The more you know about the Perio clans and their regions the faster you can gather them.
Watch out for the Thermos, Freenerkies and the busy Professor. He offers hints but stay out of his way. It may take most of the first Orb to master the gathering technique. The hardest challenges await as you approach the end of the each Orb.
Perios is a game designed to teach the Periodic Table of Elements and chemistry in a fun new way.
Learn more about the Perios and Perios World at http://www.periosworld.com
How to Play:
Catch the Perios with the Player and bring them home before time runs out. Learn about the Perios as you try each level. The faster you finish a level the higher your score!
Watch out for:
Red Freenerkies - they free the Perios when the player's net is full.
Green Freenerkies - they give you an extra net, but only if the player's net is full.
Red Thermos - they shake the player, speed Perios up and take away points.
Blue Thermos - they slow Perios and players and take away points.
The Professor - offers game hints, but stay out of his way.
What's New: This is the first full release of the Perios game for iOS.
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