Ansel & Clair: American Bowl

App review by
Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Media
Ansel & Clair: American Bowl App Poster Image
U.S. history Q&A overshadowed by bald eagle bowling game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a wealth of information about American history as they answer questions and knock down pins to free 50 captured bald eagles. Although kids answer basic multiple-choice questions, each correct response is accompanied by a paragraph of additional information. Some questions also feature zoomable graphics that allow kids to explore American symbols and landmarks. During the bowling game, kids also learn as they unlock new bowling balls, each one designed to represent different people, places, and symbols in American history. If kids take the time to read all these facts instead of solely focusing on freeing the bald eagles by bowling (one of the weirder game premises of all time), they'll gain a solid, basic understanding of American history.

Ease of Play

The busy-ness of the accompanying bowling game may throw kids off a bit and keep them from focusing on the mission of answering questions, but, beyond that, gameplay is pretty simple. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A button gives kids access to other Ansel & Clair apps.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ansel & Clair: American Bowl helps test kids' knowledge of American history facts, figures, and symbols tucked into an entertaining bowling game. However, although kids can learn a lot about history as they answer multiple-choice questions, they'll spend the majority of their time trying to free bald eagles by knocking down pins, not focusing on facts. Therefore, you may want to play along with your kids, asking questions or pointing out key information as they go.

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What's it about?

ANSEL & CLAIR: AMERICAN BOWL is a social studies quiz game that challenges kids to answer questions about U.S. history. Kids are tasked with freeing 50 bald eagles that were kidnapped by a villain. They then choose a level (easy, medium, or hard) and select from 14 categories, including Amazing Americans, Black History, and The American Revolution. Kids then answer multiple-choice questions followed by the chance to play a bowling game. At the lowest level, every answer results in a chance to bowl. At higher levels, kids must answer questions correctly before heading to the bowling alley. Once they get to the bowling alley, they select a ball, designed to represent a specific American symbol, choose a pin formation, and let the ball fly. Knocking down all the pins frees an eagle.

Is it any good?

The concept, although a little funky, seems pretty simple: nswer questions for a chance to bowl and free a bald eagle. But it can get convoluted fast. As kids correctly answer questions, they also unlock new bowling balls that represent key symbols of American history and receive new pin configurations designed to keep the bowling game interesting. However, the new bowling balls, pin configurations, and power-ups can be kind of distracting. Kids may focus more on the bowling game, causing them to miss out on the wealth of info available within the quiz portion. For example, every time kids answer a question, they receive additional facts or an overview of a specific person, place, or symbol in American history, which is pretty easy to skip past or ignore if they're desperate to hit the lanes again. If kids slow down their play a bit, focusing less on bald eagles and more on facts, they could learn a lot about some of the key players and symbols in American history.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about historical places. Take your kids to visit local landmarks related to American history and talk about their significance.

  • Have kids design their own bowling balls to represent a famous American or an American symbol, and write a paragraph to accompany their design.

  • Explore a map of the United States, labeling it with the state you live in and where key events took place or where American landmarks are located.

App details

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For kids who love history

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