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This article was published on July 3, 2019

Review: Adventure Academy is the perfect after school companion for eager learners

Review: Adventure Academy is the perfect after school companion for eager learners
Tristan Greene
Story by

Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him

Age of Learning recently launched an MMO-style educational game for ages 8-13 called Adventure Academy. It’s reminiscent of online questing games like World of Warcraft, only it’s entirely kid-safe.

Basically it’s a games-as-a-service container that uses a unified rewards funnel to keep kids interested – sort of like a loot-grinder that requires the completion of reading, math, and science skills instead of violent combat encounters.

I tend to shy away from online-based learning games aimed at children, but in this case the developer’s pedigree is such that I felt it warranted a full review. So I’ve spent the past few weeks checking out Adventure Academy, and I’m exceedingly glad I did.

First off, disclaimer: I don’t have kids aged 8-13. My toddler’s not quite three and this game is too advanced for him to get much out of. Don’t get me wrong, he loves watching the videos and he gets some of the core concepts of the activities, but this game is directed towards kids who already have basic reading and math skills.

For your younger ones, I highly recommend ABCMouse Early Learning Academy. Not only is it an excellent game (review here) but the skills kids learn with it will directly translate to Adventure Academy once they’re old enough.

Let’s dive in

Adventure Academy is a subscription-based game. You’ll pay $9.99 monthly for an account. That might sound a bit hefty (a few more bucks and you’d have a Neflix subscription) but considering what you’re getting it might seem like a bargain.</p>

<spa< span=””>n>The game has hundreds of activities broken down into:</spa<>

  • Games
  • <span>Videospan></span
  • Puzzlespan>
  • Books</span>
  • Music Videos

Each section contains dozens of activities across the subjects of Reading and Writing, Mathematics, Science and Health, and Social Studies. When players complete an activity – whether by solving a puzzle, reading a book, or watching a video – they’ll earn experience. These points can be used to unlock tons of customization awards.

It works a lot like the tickets that some arcade games spit out, once you collect enough experience points you can spend them on items for your avatar, your avatar’s house, and other enhancements.

My toddler absolutely adored the “My Room” feature in n>ABCMouse Early Learning Academy, and here the customization is done to even greater effect. Even better, kids aged 8-13 will almost certainly enjoy showing off their accomplishments to other players – fellow kids – online.

Playing the game

Your subscription gets you more than just a bunch of bundled games and activities. Thanks to the server-connected nature of this game, Age of Learning can add new experiences to the game whenever it wants to. Best of all, despite the fact this is an MMO, your kids will play the individual games by themselves. The interaction with other players takes place in the game’s over world – which is basically a Hogwart’s-style experience without the magic and witchery.

When your kid isn’t engaging with the myriad activities available, they can traverse the games semi-open world at will by dragging their fingers on their screens (iOS or Android) or using the keyboard and mouse (PC/Mac). Control is tight and nuanced, young kids shouldn’t have a problem getting around in the game.<!–span>

<span>Players can interact with each other using emotes (sit, clap, wave, dance, etc.) or through chat. There’s three settings for chat interaction: no chat whatsoever, chat with pre-written responses, and on”>free chat with content filters turned on (there’s no option for completely uncensored chat, thankfully). This allows parents to decide how much communication they want their young ones to have with other children. </s

While you should always supervise yotation”>our kids activities online, Adventure Academy appears to take every precaution to ensure your children’s safety should you decide to let them interact with other children in chat. During my research and actual usrent”>tannotation”>e of the app I saw no reason for parents to worry about bad interactions – but, again, it bears repeating that children should be supervised online.

However, for kids of the appropriate age, showing off what you’ve earned to other users and making new friends is a huge part of the fun. Age of Learning has provided a sotation”>afe environment for kids to do exactly that with Adventure Academy.

Final thoughts

Adventure Academy feels like the logical successor to ABCMouse Early Learning Academy. It reinforces the rudimentary reading and writing, math, science, and social studies skills your kids are learning in elementary and middle school without boring them into flipping over to YouTubeion”>an> to watch pan>Minecraft videos the second you look away.

As a parent who doesn’t have deep pockets I appreciate that I’m getting bang for my buck with this subscription service. Free would suit my budget better than the 10 bucks a month I’ll have to fork over to keep my kid doing positive things on his /entity/adventure_game”>57821f5b” class=”textannotation”>tablet, but free games for kids almost always suck.

<i>Adventure Academy won’t s//”>395b681d622″ class=”textannotation”>ell your kids’ data. It has absolutely no micro-transactions. There are no paid advertisements in this game. And that<!–i> is what you‘re paying for with your subscription fee: an often-updated, ad-free, quality experience designed by a company whose employees range from former gaming executives at Electronic Arts to several doctors and child psychology experts.

It’s not perfect however, as it does have a couple of problems.> I found logging in on PC to be hit or miss. And every time you enter or exit an activity you’ll be hit with load times, sometimes you’ll have to wait for a download. The delays aren’t bad — usually 10 to 30 seconds — and are possibly due to the fact I have limited WiFi anotation”>nd cheap devices, but as was the case with ABCMouse Early Learning Academy, this app runs a bit slower than other kids 6d-28aff039a8b4″ class=”textannotation”>tation”>;apps> I have installed. One solace here is that the activities themselves run just fine; it’s only the transitions between them that has these pauses.

Should you download and subscribe to <i>Adventure Academy? Absolutely. There’s a one month free trial, so you have nothing to lose. This is a stellar app that allows kids to practice the fundamentals they’re already learning in school in a fun, safn”>e online environment. Your kids’ teachers will thank you.

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