Odd Squad Blob Chase is the first app featuring characters and videos from Odd Squad, the new hit PBS Kids TV show. The app takes place in Odd Squad headquarters after a blob escapes its container and explodes into hundreds of mini-blobs. The secret agents ask for the player's help in containing the mini-blob invasion of the Odd Squad's headquarters.
How to Play
The Odd Squad Blob Chase app combines short videos showing the kid agents from the show with a series of 75 puzzles to be solved by the player. Each puzzle reveals a room in the headquarters filled with moving blobs. The goal of the puzzle is to manipulate the environment so that the colorful blobs move into a container.
Each different colored of blob moves in a unique manner. The blue blobs are in constant motion but will turn around when they encounter a gap. The purple blobs will jump down a gap; and the pink ones are speed demons who can also jump through holes.
Kids use math to add or take away from the blocks that form bridges and walls. They can also manipulate tubes that act like ladders for the blobs. As kids play, they earn new gadgets to further manipulate the structures in the environment. The Addinator can add units to a bridge, wall, or tube; whereas the Subtractinator takes units away. Kids will also use a device that doubles the units and one that takes half of the units away.
Blob Domination Is About Doing the Math
Odd Squad Blob Chase cleverly builds doing math into the gameplay. The only way to contain the blobs is to figure out how to use the building units in the correct manner so as to create a path for the blobs that leads to the container. At first, solving the puzzle is just about building a maze. But as the levels get more challenging, kids will have to experiment with using combinations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to make the blobs head to the level-ending container. With the speedy pink blobs, fast action and even faster math calculations are the key to success.
Great Game Design
The app does a great job of slowly introducing kids to new math concepts by periodically introducing a new gadget. And each puzzle has a hint button, which is useful when you have failed a level. There is no penalty for failing to contain the blobs, and the puzzles are easily reset for a second try. This allows kids to problem solve by trying different combinations.
Another way this math app excels is by providing virtual math manipulatives. When kids select to add a specific number of blocks -- say by using a "+2" block -- to add to a platform to extend it, they see the extension outlined and then the two blocks appear. Many times, kids will have to estimate the distance to fill. Only by placing some new blocks into the expanse can they then "see" the number of blocks they need to add. Odd Squad Blob Chase is one of the niftiest math puzzles in the app stores. Kids love playing with the blobs and tinkering to create paths for them to reach the container. Since each level feels like you are simply building a maze, kids may not realize that they are using lots of math to solve these puzzles. Odd Squad Blob Chase delivers a brilliant game design to make solving math equations a blast.
To complete all 75 puzzles, kids need to have a good understanding of addition and subtraction, and an introductory awareness of multiplication and division. Odd Squad Blob Chase will work well with both math whizzes as well as kids who are fearful of math.
This Odd Squad Blob Chase app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
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