POX: Save the People

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Contagiously engaging strategy app with public health theme.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to play. Excellent step-by-step tutorial. Color-coded play icons.

Violence

No violence, but gameplay involves icons representing people dying from a contagious illness that players are supposed to try and prevent others from contracting; at least one almost always dies in every game.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information required to play. The app's privacy policy isn't readily accessible through the app or on the developer's website.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that POX: Save the People is a strategy-based board game app that puts players in the role of infectious disease specialists trying to contain an outbreak of a deadly disease. Based on a board game with the same name and intended for one to four players, POX is an interesting way to help kids learn about infectious disease and the importance of vaccinations; they use strategy skills based on instructions that force players to either protect or infect certain game pieces that represent people. Players also can read a brief primer on vaccines and the "dire consequences of failing to vaccinate." There's no graphic violence, but "people" do die in the game.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • biology

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • strategy

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Health & Fitness

  • preventing sickness

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Due to its grim subject matter, this engrossing game has a serious tone that adds an unusually high sense of importance to a strategy game. After playing, kids likely will be more engaged with information about vaccines.

Learning Approach

Built-in learning includes practicing decision-making and, if playing with others, collaboration and teamwork. Kids also will learn through reading the brief information on vaccines provided by the app.

Support

Settings help adapt gameplay to appropriate skill level and number of players, while the tutorial clearly explains the purpose of each move. The developer offers lesson plans for middle- and high-school students on its website.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • biology

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • strategy

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Health & Fitness

  • preventing sickness

Teens can learn about the importance of vaccines in stopping the spread of illness as they practice strategy and decision-making. If this game is played as a multiplayer (up to four people) game, players learn how meeting challenges together by participating in public health efforts (such as vaccinations) may help prevent the spread of sickness. POX: Save the People combines a heavy subject matter with fast-moving gameplay to create an engaging educational experience.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Choose the number of players and the difficulty level, then watch the step-by-step tutorial. Protect people by vaccinating the healthy game pieces (they turn blue when vaccinated) and curing the sick (red) ones. Yellow pieces are already vulnerable and cannot be vaccinated; if they become infected, they die immediately and turn black. When prompted, choose which person becomes newly infected. The game is won when the infection is contained or lost when too many die. Engrossing strategy and health-policy-education game.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

POX: SAVE THE PEOPLE is an engrossing strategy game, despite the rather grim circumstances under which the action takes place. Although people are represented by game pieces that don't look realistic at all, there's an eerie feel to the gameplay (perhaps increased by the sad background music, which can be turned off) that makes the decisions and results feel strangely urgent, dire, and important. It may be a bit too spooky for younger players, but POX is an imaginative way to get older kids thinking about public health, vaccines, and disease containment while they exercise strategic-thinking skills.

Families can talk about...

  • Play the game with your kid and use it as a discussion starter about collaboration and social teamwork to help keep an entire community healthy.

  • Turn off the background music if it's too distracting or spooky.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:November 1, 2011
Category:Strategy Games
Size:3.90 MB
Publisher:tiltfactor
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of POX: Save the People was written by

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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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