Once Upon a Tower is based upon the premise that a princess is locked in a tower. The prince came to rescue her, but the dragon took him out. So now, the player takes control of the princess and together they bust and dig their way out of her prison with a giant hammer. Along the way they must avoid enemies, spikes, the fire breathing dragon, and other weapons and obstacles. The player will also want to collect fireflies to save up and unlock other princesses.
The player also has challenges (such as complete two levels or hit back a fireball). Watching a video can unlock a lucky wheel of prizes or help the player continue after hitting an obstacle. There are also in-game purchases available to unlock the princesses immediately, as well as other purchases like extra lives. The game provides leader boards and achievements too. The ESRB rated Once Upon a Tower E10+ for mild or infrequent cartoon or fantasy violence. LW4K stands by this rating.
Once Upon a Tower helps kids practice and improve the following skills:
Being efficient and aware of our use of time and effort.
This game has a lot of items that are repetitive (like shooting fireballs), as well as things like soil that will disappear if the princess stands on it too long. This means that the player needs to exercise their time management skills--specifically, they need to practice keeping pace and estimating deadlines. The player needs to know how fast the princess can move and how fast the enemies or fireballs can move, and how fast they can move in relation to each other. If they can't figure out these "deadlines" and keep pace with them, they will end up getting hit or falling through the soil to a spike. This means they die and they can no longer save up fireflies. They will also have to start over at level one.
Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.
There are several things in this game that require the player to exercise working memory skills. First, the player needs to remember that the dragon exists and can shoot his flame through the barred windows. Second, the player needs to remember which enemies stand still and which can run after them. Third, there are the challenges. The player needs to remember what they are in order to do the required actions, complete the challenges, and earn the reward for them. Finally, the player needs to remember which elements of their surroundings are safe and which might dissolve or shoot things at the princess.
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