Who Was? Adventure
By Christy Matte,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fun biography game drops knowledge on kids.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn more about history and historical figures, while also practicing their ability to make educated guesses and narrow down multiple choices.
Ease of Play
Easy to navigate. The cartoon portraits may make identifying people more difficult.
Products & Purchases
Some references to the book series which is the origin for the game.
Parents Need to Know
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
Who Was? Adventure
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What’s It About?
WHO WAS? ADVENTURE builds on the popularity of the Who Was biographical book series that teaches kids about a variety of people from famous historical figures like Marco Polo and Joan of Arc to cultural icons such as Alfred Hitchcock and Dolly Parton. The app includes an "Adventure" sequence and an arcade game. The adventure sequence introduces people, starting with King Tut, via timelines containing both historical and biographical information. Once kids have had a chance to look over the timeline, they play a level of the game. Character bubbles drop from the top of the screen and a question appears on the bottom. Kids must figure out which character is the correct answer. While the bubbles initially show the character names, kids must eventually be able to identify each person by sight. If they answer correctly, the bubble pops. The aim is to answer all of the questions before the screen fills up with bubbles and other obstacles. As the levels increase in difficulty, kids unlock bubbles that can choose a correct answer, increase points scored, slow dropping bubbles, etc. They play until they reach a certain score and then move on to the next timeline and level. There's also an arcade mode where kids can play freely without the limits on a level. Kids can unlock achievements based on how they perform in the levels.
Is It Any Good?
Kids who enjoy history, a challenge, and some critical thinking will enjoy the chance to puzzle out correct answers based on context. Who Was? Adventure is certainly an engaging way to teach kids about history and pop culture. Each of the people included has a range of interesting tidbits about their lives. In terms of imperfections, the timing of the bubbles can be a bit strange: Sometimes a question pops up before the bubble appears on screen. It's a brief delay, but kids who are moving quickly might outpace the bubbles. It's also not easy to pair some of the character drawings with what they look like in real life., so kids may find that confusing. But those are small complaints. Kids who love the book series and are interested in biographies will no doubt enjoy this experience. Although it's a timed game (in terms of beating the bubbles before they fill the screen), the pace doesn't feel frenzied by any stretch. Kids have time to read the questions and think for a moment. Ultimately, it's an engaging way to learn a bit about important figures (and supplement the book series).
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the lives of the historical figures portrayed in Who Was? Adventure. What might it be like to live when Cleopatra was alive? How would it be different to be a president in the 1800's vs. today?
Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why or why not? What can you learn?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Social Studies: historical figures, history, timelines
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: deduction
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: November 7, 2018
- Category: Educational Games
- Topics: History
- Publisher: Penguin Group USA
- Version: 1.2.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.3 or later
- Last updated: February 11, 2019
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