The terrifying prescience of the blog Babies with iPads
proves that even the youngest among us have no difficulty adapting to modern technology. In fact, some are already learning to code
. So it follows that content creators, like many marketers, are developing new storytelling games that seek to engage tweens through multi-media platforms that combine hands-on experience with virtual gameplay. Alas, the benefits of tactile learning
may yet be preserved.
This “immersive adventure story” mixes media to deliver the unfolding narrative of twin tweens lost in space and time. Players rely on tangible clues, delivered in retro snail-mail format
, to uncover the twins’ spatial-temporal location—i.e., their “Whenabouts
”—before the duo is lost forever. Hard-copy hints such as maps, journal entries, and technical drawings direct players to related digital components, each of which represents a medium from the past (for example, telegrams, records, VHS tapes, and diskettes). Together, digital and physical clues provide the info necessary to solve the mystery in sixth months’ time. This ambitious experiment in immersive storytelling and delayed gratification is seeking funding on Kickstarter
creates cross-platform play that requires collectible cards to power virtual action in games for the iPad. Though the developer offers both of its games for free download in the App store, gameplay only gets interesting when players “tap in” with tangible trading cards. In Monsterology
, cards let players expand their “army” of mythological monsters in order to challenge the wizard Vidius Muldervane for control of an ancient world. Similarly, in Animal Planet Wildlands
, cards allow for broader, more interactive exploration of exotic animals in their native environments. By bringing its virtual concept offline and into stores, Nukotoys brilliantly correlates on- and offline purchase and play.
On the heels of its bestselling interactive series The 39 Clues
, Scholastic is releasing another gamified book series in a continued effort to engage young readers through play. The Infinity Ring
series will feature seven books with corresponding game “episodes,” each centered on the time-travel adventures of best friends Dak and Sera. As readers go through a narrative, they can supplement their understanding of the characters’ world and experience through gameplay and virtual exploration in related online episodes. The first book of the series, A Mutiny in Time
by bestselling young-adult author James Dashner
, was recently released, to be followed by a second installment in November.