What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Presidents vs. Aliens is an educational app that quizzes players about each U.S. president, including his political party, nickname, a noteworthy event during his presidency, a quote, and various other facts. It also tests players' ability to recognize the portraits of the presidents. If you answer correctly, you have the chance to fling your president's head at a collection of aliens in order to knock them off the screen. There is no limit to the number of questions you can answer as you attempt to knock out aliens heads, but you must answer at least 50% of the questions correctly to win the level. Pull it off and you earn a president for your collection. The end goal is to earn all of the presidents. If you earn 15 presidents, you unlock the Heads of State bonus game which asks you to choose the correct portrait for the president's name. Earn 30 presidents to unlock Executive Order, which asks you to place presidential portraits in order of their term of presidency. None of the games are timed.
What kids can learn
- historical figures
Thinking & Reasoning
Engagement, Approach, Support
If kids need to memorize facts about the presidents, this is an enjoyable way to do so. Since the game boards change each time, there's a lot of replay value, so kids may spend more time with the app.
The main game is purely "edutainment," but the mini-games tie a bit more closely to the subject matter. Kids can see the correct answers for quiz questions they miss, helping them learn what they don't already know.
There aren't a lot of extras, but kids can track their progress based on the number of presidents they have collected. Instructions are clear enough and age-appropriate.
What's it about?
Kids study historical information and then answer multiple choice questions. If they answer correctly they play a round of an arcade-style game. If they answer incorrectly, the app shows the correct answer and players move on to the next question. Once they complete the game level, they are given a presidential portrait to add to their gallery. Kids can control the depth of information included in the quiz and there are two bonus games to unlock. The app includes digital "flash cards" with information on each of the presidents to help study.
Is it any good?
PRESIDENTS VS. ALIENS is just plain educational fun. The game provides a database of facts, so you can study up before you play. You can also just learn as you go. The alien head layouts keep changing and you can earn power-ups by answering three questions in a row correctly. You can't help but learn something in the process. There's something strangely satisfying about flinging these staid presidential portraits across the screen at colorful alien heads. This is a wacky but fun way to learn about U.S. history.
Families can talk about...
Quiz kids on presidential facts. Ask them what it might have been like to be president in different eras given the events that were taking place at the time.
Keep in mind that, while anyone can learn from this app, kids studying the presidents in school may find the app most rewarding.