I recently was given the opportunity to review the iPad app Alphie the Squid, an ocean exploration game developed for kids. To tell the truth, I wasn’t expecting a game that I would enjoy as an adult – I was expecting to try it just for review purposes, then gladly pass it off to my kids to play. Turns out it’s kind of addicting and fun for the whole family to play!
Originally released in July 2013, the game is available to download for $2.99 in the iTunes store. With the release of an update, it has been featured as “Best New Game Update” in 110 countries in the App Store! And something I really love – one dollar from each download in the App Store goes toward the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Children’s Education Fund. How great is that?!
When I downloaded the game, I was immediately impressed with the graphics. Not only are the images fun and colorful for kids, the sea creatures are easily recognizable. Most times when I’ve played games on the iPad, I immediately turn the volume down or mute it. The background music in Alphie the Squid is relaxing and I enjoyed listening to it. After reading the press release, I found out that the soundtrack is available on iTunes and has 13 songs composed by Emmy-nominated David Ari Leon.
The game features several levels, each with slightly increased difficulty. In the first, you learn to move Alphie the squid by dragging you finger along the screen where you want him to go. As Alphie eats fish along the way, he will grow, allowing you to advance through the sea.
As you reach a new level, new obstacles are introduced. You will need to help Alphie avoid pokey sea urchins (ouch!), clams, and other sea creatures who want to eat or defend against squids like Alphie.
While my 3 year old has a hard time navigating the game, he will catch on quickly as he plays more. I played the game about 20 minutes to start off and advanced through several levels. However, as “easy” as it can be, it still presented a challenge to me, an adult with experience in tablet games. Occasionally Alphie would miss fish that he needed to eat, or he would run into a pokey sea urchin.
The game is definitely one that younger children can play but older kids (and adults) can enjoy as well. For only $2.99 (including the $1 donation to the Children’s Education Fund), this is a game that is worth it – it can easily provide hours of fun for the family!