Bouncy Hero is a running game that requires carefully choreographed moves that can only be performed with a touchscreen. Continued contact with the screen makes the hero run, lifting a finger makes them jump. The player’s goal is to rescue farm animals, collect coins, and run as far as possible. Instead of just going over, under, and around obstacles, Bouncy Hero also has challenging “in-and-out” jumps, where the player must jump over a fence, take two or three steps, and then jump again. The graphics are bright and the runner and animals are blocky (à la Minecraft). The player can unlock different animals, runners, and locations (such as the African Savannah). There are also in-app purchases and ads. The ESRB gave Bouncy Hero an E for Everyone rating. We at LW4K feel this game is best for kids 7+.
Bouncy Hero helps kids practice and improve the following skills:
Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.
Anyone who has played an "endless runner" will find familiar territory in Bouncy Hero. The change in controls, however, sets Bouncy Hero sets it apart as even more challenging practice for adapting to obstacles. Sure, the character is still "just" running, and the player is still avoiding obstacles as they would in any other runner, but there is still a great deal of cognitive flexibility required to successfully alter the way the player moves to avoid those obstacles. In order to jump over a fence, the player has to lift up their finger and quickly return to full contact with the screen. This is essentially the opposite of what is required by other runners. To be successful at it, the player will have to undo habits and make a conscious effort to change and adapt their style of play and reaction times. If they don't, they won't earn new animals, coins, or locations.
Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
Because of the fast paced nature of running games--and the even faster pace of the in-and-out jumps in Bouncy Hero--it is important for the player to maintain focus. Specifically, they need to be able to keep their attention on short-term tasks. If they are not focused on a short distance--the obstacle in front of them, as well as the next one or two obstacles headed their way--they will crash into things quickly and repeatedly. They also need to avoid distractions. Whether the distraction comes from an internal source (stray thoughts or even looking too far ahead of where their runner is) or an external source, a lack of attention on the screen, with the short-term goal of just a few obstacles at a time, will prevent them from advancing in the game.
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