What Exactly is Adventure Academy?
There is a lot of buzz about Adventure Academy, and it’s no wonder! This incredible app comes from the makers of ABCMouse and ReadingIQ but is aimed at slightly more mature kids, ideally aged between 8 and 13 years old.
It is an educational resource that aims to develop all the key skills and core concepts of elementary school, yet it looks and feels like an interactive, multiplayer virtual reality game!
This game is designed for both smartphones and tablets, and can also be played on a desktop (which many prefer due to the bigger screen). As educational apps go, Adventure Academy is leading the way, so read on to find out if it is something that your child might enjoy and benefit from!
How Do You Play Adventure Academy?
The first thing you do when setting up your player profile is create a character name, and design your avatar. This is always fun, and Adventure Academy has so many cool hairstyles, clothes and features to choose from.
The great thing is that you can change your avatar’s look anytime (and even buy a haircut from the salon when you’ve collected enough coins).
Speaking of coins … Don’t worry, no real money is exchanged whilst playing, however kids do need to collect points and virtual coins in order to purchase objects and information that helps them progress through the levels.
The only way to collect coins is to complete lessons, and these lessons can be found all over the Academy, in the classrooms, at kiosks, and some are even given by the professors and instructors who are dotted in every classroom.
As lessons are completed, players can buy and do more and more cool stuff. Your avatar will have a home that they can furnish, and can even build a clubhouse and invite other players to become members!
There is a pier area outside the school grounds where you can play awesome arcade games and go on rides, and if you complete enough lessons and tasks (after many, many hours of play) you will eventually graduate from the academy!
How Educational is Adventure Academy?
With all the mention of pier arcades and hairdressing salons, you could be forgiven for doubting whether Adventure Academy is educational at all... but it really is!
Kids simply cannot progress through the levels and gain coins unless they complete lessons, so there really is no way around it. What’s more, the lesson content is excellent.
The app covers all the major elementary school subjects from math and science to English and art, and the classrooms are all uniquely designed to suit each subject.
The developers have made sure to include lessons and tasks that suit all different learning styles, so there are videos and reading tasks, as well as quizzes, games, crosswords, experiments and even painting challenges.
A great feature are the ‘fast facts’ peppered all around the academy, which relate to all different subjects and are genuinely interesting.
The lessons themselves range from 10-30 seconds in length, to 2 minutes, so kids don’t get bored or frustrated but instead get a great sense of achievement every time they finish one. The lessons are also grouped in sets, usually of three, and completing the whole set wins you the reward.
Can you Track Progress on Adventure Academy?
From a parent’s point of view, the app has a brilliant progress tracker which allows you to see what lessons your child has completed.
This is great for making sure that they are covering a good range of subjects (not just the ones they like), and also for allowing you to think of related questions to ask them during the day, that will make them feel clued up and proud of themselves.
Is Adventure Academy Safe for my Child?
All the educational content in the academy is reliable, well researched and in line with the standards and targets set by the National Association of Educational Progress - so it’s got the expert’s stamp of approval.
The Chat function is an area that can cause some parents concern, however there is the option to turn off the chat completely, or to switch to a limited mode whereby your kid can interact with other players by only using the automated responses provided.
This is a great option if you get nervous about online chat functions, because your child will still be able to wave and say hi to their friends, but strangers won’t be able to engage them in free-flowing conversation.
The app holds up to three player profiles, and each can be protected by a password if desired, so kids don’t need to worry that their friends or siblings will use their login without asking.
What about the Technical Aspects of Adventure Academy?
The design of this virtual world is absolutely stunning, and the vastness of the world is exciting because kids will keep discovering new locations and characters as they progress. The developers are always adding new, cool updates (especially as the seasons change) so the app doesn’t stagnate after time.
The only downside to all this technological beauty is that the app uses up a lot of space and data, so you may need to delete some other apps to make room.
You should also be sure to check that your device is compatible with the app before downloading, because there is nothing more frustrating than finding out after you have bought something that your phone won’t support it.
Another awesome technical feature is that multiple players can play in the academy at one time on separate devices. As aforementioned, the app allows for up to three player profiles, which is great if you have multiple kids.
And the fact that they can all use the app at the same time from different phones or tablets is even better, because it really helps to avoid arguments and encourages them to play together.
What are the Pros?
There are so many pros to Adventure Academy that it is difficult to name them all, but here is a run down of some of the key highlights.
- The virtual world is incredibly vast and beautifully designed and will keep your kid exploring and discovering new locations and characters right till the end.
- The pier is a favorite location - and the cool arcade games and rides make for a great time-out treat from learning
- The educational content is top-notch and really fun. Plus, it is impossible for kids to skip lessons because the app prompts them when they haven’t completed one in a while, and they need the coins to progress
- The progress tracker keeps parents feeling informed and allows kids to show you all the great things they have learnt
- The app feels so much like a virtual reality game that kids won’t even realise they are learning!
What are the Cons?
- There are lots of reading tasks - which can be frustrating for some kids. But the app has a read-aloud function that really helps, and you can always adjust the difficulty level of any task.
- Adventure Academy is so good it is actually quite addictive - so be sure to set a timer and lay out clear boundaries from the beginning, to prevent your child from getting sucked in for too long each session.
- Some players have noted that the number of lessons and tasks dwindles as you progress to the harder levels - but the developers have taken these comments onboard and are no doubt working on more content for the advanced levels
Is the Subscription Worth it?
Adventure Academy is not free but it is definitely great value for the amount of content and amazing quality that it provides.
The fact that three players can add profiles means that you can buy one subscription and keep multiple siblings happy, or you could even split the price with the parents of your child’s friends if they were willing.
The range of subjects and difficulty level means that the Adventure Academy covers all the elementary school grades, so it has longevity and your child won’t outgrow it a month after you download.
Plus, the quality of the content and the many puzzles, quizzes, games and tasks involved, really will help to bolster the learning your child does in the classroom and improve their understanding and overall achievement.
It is possible to do a 30-day free trial to test out Adventure Academy and see if it is the right fit for you and your child, but you will undoubtedly want to sign-up for the full subscription when you see all the amazing benefits and enjoyment that it has to offer!