Gibbon: Beyond the Trees

LQ: 8.65


Brain grade: 8.4
Fun score: 8.9

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: N/A Platform/Console: , LWK Recommended Age: 4+ Thinking Skills Used: ,

iPhone iPad  

Gibbon is an ecological adventure game where the player takes on the role of “Pink,” a gibbon who lives with their mate and child in Southeast Asia. The player begins the game by moving through the forest and learning how to swing from different surfaces such as vines, tree branches, dense foliage, and fallen trees. By touching the screen at different points and at different times, the player can launch Pink into the air, spin, swing, run, and even team up with Yellow, the other adult gibbon, to gain extra momentum. 

As the player moves Pink through the different levels of the game, the story unfolding in the background is about the devastation that rainforests are currently experiencing and what effect it has on the wildlife. Pink will move through areas of increasing urbanization and the player will find the game increasing in difficulty because of this. Gibbon is an ecological game that is about survival but also an educational game to teach the player about what is at stake when we demolish the rainforest. 

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is available now on Apple Arcade. As of April 2022, releases are planned for both Steam and the Nintendo Switch with no firm dates listed.

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Working Memory: Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.

In order to build up a rhythm and successfully make it through a chapter in the game without starting over, the player needs to have strong working memory skills. Whether Pink is jumping, running, swinging, or releasing their grip, the player needs to remember what touch inputs are required on-screen in order to make these actions happen. The player needs to do this in real-time as well because the screen continues to scroll while the player is performing these inputs. This means that there is no time for the player to sit still in the game and think about how to jump. The player needs to be able to commit these commands to memory to smoothly move through each chapter of the game. 

Self-Awareness: Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings.

Self-awareness is also important in this game because the player needs to be able to understand the plight of the gibbons as they are losing their home. As the player moves through the chapters, they begin in a perfect green forest with Pink and her family. The game has no spoken dialogue, only the movements of the gibbons and the hand painted backgrounds for the player to make sense of the story. And as the player moves through the chapters, they see just how much Pink, their family, and the other creatures of the forest lose because of the deforestation taking place. By using self-awareness, the player can empathize with Pink and her family and may be moved to learn more about the subject matter of the game.

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