A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Odd Squad: Blob Chase is a leveled arcade-style game (think Cut the Rope, Where's My Water) that gets kids using math principles and problem-solving skills. The game complements the Odd Squad series, which embeds math principles in each strange case the Odd Squad kid agents try to solve. Kids do not need to be familiar with the Odd Squad to be able to play the game, though they can watch a few live-action clips from the show, directly within the app, to learn more about the backstory if they want. With 60 levels to explore, the app will keep kids coming back for more. Still, with no easy stopping point from one level to the next, parents may need to step in to break the "just one more level" spell. Kids also may need help to solve some levels.
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What's it about?
The blob has escaped, and the Odd Squad is on the case! Help the squad by leading blobs through bridges, passageways, and more. Through 60 levels, the ODD SQUAD: BLOB CHASE puzzles get more challenging, and more building machines are introduced (such as the Addinator, Subtractinator, or Halfinator). To spice it up even more, there are three blobs that move in different ways. If a blob evades capture, kids start from the beginning to pass that level. Kids can tap the hint button if they need help.
Is it any good?
Odd Squad: Blob Chase is a fun, video-game-style approach to using arithmetic skills. With all the appeal -- and addictive qualities -- of other popular leveled puzzle games (Candy Crush Saga, anyone?) and none of the commercial qualities, this is a fun, kid-safe game. Kids will put their problem-solving, planning, and critical-thinking skills to the test as they figure out how to gather up all those escaped blobs. In early levels, there's a hint of arithmetic, though kids can easily pass most levels without making any real connection to the math content. Stricter rules for how kids can use the machines might help them understand, for instance, that using the "Add 2" machine adds two units to the three already present and therefore equals five. On higher levels, the math content is a bit harder to avoid. Parents can make the math connection clearer by playing with their kids and pointing out key math concepts.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how math can help them solve a level. Make the math clear by asking targeted questions: Why did you use that machine? How do you know the right number of blocks you need to destroy?
Visit the Odd Squad PBS Kids site for more learning fun and tips for extending learning themes.
It's easy to spend lots of time traveling through level after level. Talk about screen-time limits and encourage offscreen fun too.
- Devices: iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Math: arithmetic
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy
- Price: $1.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: February 27, 2015
- Category: Education
- Topics: Adventures
- Size: 237.00 MB
- Publisher: PBS KIDS
- Version: 1.01
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up
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