GeoDash Wild Animal Adventure is an iOS app created by National Geographic for Kids that incorporates learning into a gaming environment. Users must collect keys, pieces of fruit, and other various objects in each level in order to open a portal which allows them to traverse the next stage. Upon completing each level, users are presented with a fact card about a different member of the animal kingdom – specific to the ecosystem and climate of the current level. For example, users playing in the African Savannah will likely receive a cheetah or ostrich card, while users playing the Amazon Rain Forest may get a spider or toucan. Gameplay is fairly easy, but does require users to activate their working memories as levels become more difficult. Some levels mandate the use of two or more “special powers” i.e climbing ladders, burrowing, or breaking down barriers. Because there is no inappropriate content, the game is best suited for children aged 6 and older.
Recalling and retaining information in our mind while working.
While playing GeoDash, users must actively formulate strategies to pass through each level. It is often a two, three, or even four step process, requiring users to retrace their steps and use a combination of "special powers" to successfully enter the portal. Acknowledging the proper time to use a "burrow" technique or a "double jump," is a timely skill that is learned with careful attention to detail during gameplay. The game implements the basic scaffolding teaching method, where users are slowly introduced to new abilities and more difficult challenges. Being able to absorb new gameplay strategies and use them in each ensuing level, is an extension of the principles that drive the working memory. Users with solid working memory skills will generally be able to complete a level on their first or second attempt, while users who struggle with their working memories may need 3 or more tries to completely traverse a level.
Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.
Users acquire a new skill by collecting a medallion shaped power up. Power ups are scattered throughout the levels and users must match the skill the power ups provide with the most immediate roadblock. However, the game requires more planning than simply matching the power up to the need. Users must employ a strategy where power ups do not impede progress. A careful scrutiny and analysis of each level prior to the start, allows users to avoid hasty decisions that will result in one step forward, but two steps back. Although the key is the most highly sought after item, users must understand that the portal opens immediately when the key is picked up. If there are additional power ups or items that exist on either side of the portal, sometimes users will no longer be able to collect them, as they will be transported to the new level.
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