Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa

Common Sense Media says

Stunning interactive geography and animal-science game.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Most of the app interaction is intuitive, with tapping, dragging, and tilting. The game supports multiple profiles for more than one player. Each mini-game has three levels: easy, medium, and hard. Depending on the age of the player, a small amount of information can be learned, or kids can dig deeper to learn more. There's an occasional spot where it's sometimes confusing as to how to move on, but the thorough and detailed help file is always available.

Violence & scariness

Ansel occasionally gets too close to some of the animals as he interacts with them, and they may roar or otherwise scare him, but he's unharmed.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There's an Ansel and Clair icon in the right-hand corner of the app's main screen.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa is an educational adventure game that teaches kids about three major regions of Africa: the Nile, the Sahara Desert, and the Serengeti. It also discusses their different ecosystems. Each area has a number of animals to learn about, as well as nature and cultural elements. Kids also will find at least one game to play. The story is about an alien and a robot who are visiting Earth to learn about Africa so they can teach their fellow creatures back home. Ansel, the alien, is curious and sometimes gets himself into trouble. He asks a lot of questions about the animals and other features, and Clair, the robot, answers all his questions in detail. The animals and items in each ecosystem have arrow markers near them which turn into checkmarks once the learning about them is completed. Then, they can drag a camera over to take a picture. Kids collect and later arrange these photos into a trip journal. Also, for most items, kids can tap a light bulb to learn more about each item. As kids explore, they help Ansel and Clair gather lost spaceship parts that were scattered over Africa when they arrived. All parts of the app adhere closely to the Africa theme and pertain to the animals, history, or culture of the area.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Math

  • numbers

Science

  • animals
  • ecosystems

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • geography

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically

Emotional Development

  • perspective taking

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Engaging for both pre-readers and readers. The interactive elements are easy to access and enticing. Kids tap on things they want to learn about and tap on a lightbulb icon if they want to learn more. Kids also collect photos in a journal.

Learning Approach

Subject-specific vocabulary, audio and written explanations, and games and puzzles help readers and pre-readers learn about Africa and the animals that live there. Kids create an in-app journal.

Support

Excellent screen-by-screen tutorial, visual prompts, and ongoing verbal tips give kids clear directions and choices.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Math

  • numbers

Science

  • animals
  • ecosystems

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • geography

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically

Emotional Development

  • perspective taking

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Kids can learn about the three major regions of Africa and the animals that live in each. They learn a bit about African culture and history, while most of the focus of this app is on Africa's ecosystems and animals, including the crocodile, the wildebeest, and the endangered addax. Vocabulary such as "oasis" and "nocturnal" helps kids learn words related to ecosystems and animals. Kids can practice following directions as they play the games, take photos, and organize an in-app journal. Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa features a charming alien and a robotic sidekick who make learning about African animals a blast.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

In ANSEL AND CLAIR'S ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, the duo's spaceship loses some of its parts over Africa, so kids need to touch and drag the ship over one of the three featured ecosystems to retrieve them and explore the area. First-time players, watch the cute intro story. Parents, view the page-by-page tutorial. After that, kids simply follow the pointers to tap interactive objects, listen to the explainers, play the games, and write or include photos in the journal. It's easy, educational gameplay.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa is a delightful way to learn about the animals and cultures of Africa. An alien who's like a curious child and his companion robot are visiting Africa to learn about it to teach their people at home. The alien asks a lot of questions, and the robot answers with plenty of factual information on a level kids will understand. The danger of being near wild animals also is imparted. Kids can interact with scenes, for example turning day into night in the Sahara Desert or turning the rainy season into the dry season in the Serengeti. They can learn about animals and cultural and natural aspects of the scene. Some of the animals or other items give different information depending on whether it's day or night, the rainy season or the dry.

The design of this app is gorgeous and very nicely done. The sound effects add ambiance to the scenes. Ansel and Clair are drawn in a different art style, so it's apparent that their alien presence doesn't belong. The games and activities are both fun and entirely appropriate for the age of kids likely to play this app, and they fit into the African theme. All the animals that live in each ecosystem are shown together, even though in real life they would not coexist so peacefully.

Families can talk about...

  • Read through the screen-by-screen tutorial to view all the app's features.

  • Talk to your kid about the concept of continents and how regions and countries within a continent can be very different.

  • Take a trip to your local zoo.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:$4.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:March 15, 2013
Category:Education
Size:155.00 MB
Publisher:Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Version:1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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