Every once in a while, an edtech startup really differentiates itself from the competition.
Beyond the creative storyline that puts kids in the driver’s seat of their own adventure, Epic Heroes also allows parents to engage in the learning process through a corresponding Parent Dashboard app.
The game begins with a story about the Yogotars going on a mission to defeat Queen Ignorantia, who invaded the Galaxy of Knowledge, capturing other Yogotars and stealing the Relics of Knowledge. The player is placed in a galaxy of planets offering a variety of games that feature an array of traditional academic (as well as some less-traditional non-academic) subjects.
The challenge is to save each planet from the Queen’s evil, intergalactic monsters. By winning games, the player earns Power Cubes, which help them to defeat the bad guys in battles. Here are some additional highlights of the app:
Target Audience: From our tester’s playing experience, the app is most appropriate for a younger child audience, approximately ages 6-8 (although it has capabilities of reaching children as young as 3 and as old as 12). It also targets any parent looking to inspire interest and improve performance in their child’s math abilities.
Mathematical Strength: The app is most sophisticated in the math section. In this subject, the app presents games according to the player’s age and grade profile. There are 124 mini games, leveled along a Common Core progression map. As the player masters different standards they progress to more difficult concepts. Notably, a 2015 Yale study of over 200 students found that students with lower-performing math skills ended up performing better in math on average after using this game for six weeks.
Variety: Once the child sets their profile, they drive the entire game. While the app maintains its stronghold in math, there are a large variety of subjects through which players have the freedom to explore and advance:
- Math: 124 mini games
- Art: 40 mini games
- Programming: 40 mini games
- Geography: 40 mini games
- Sustainability: 40 mini games
- Science: 40 mini games
- Health: 40 mini games
Each subject has new content and games added every month. The goal is to advance through the games and battles within each subject in order to conquer that planet. The fact that not all of the subjects are traditional academic subjects, and that it’s geared towards the holistic development of a child’s knowledge in topics such as sustainability, health and programming, are valuable and unique to this game.
Engaging: The app is very interactive – from the sound effects to the background music to the movements and clicks needed to progress, the games keep the player engaged and entertained. At the same time, the game has strength in its usability. In general, the app has easy to follow instructions and visuals as a new player begins navigating the features and components of the game.
Social-Emotional: One fun and personalized feature is that the player gets to pick a Yogotar character. There are four female and four male characters to choose from, and each one has a name and different personality traits/characteristics (both strengths and weaknesses) that children can relate to. Kids can begin to understand that strengths can compensate for weaknesses in a fun and entertaining way.
The Differentiator – The Parent Dashboard: The Parent Dashboard is designed for the parents to monitor game play without having to go directly into the same app and disrupting game use.
In their own app, parents have access to a Daily Report, Challenges, Tips and Mini Games. Parents can actually monitor how their child is progressing within the Daily Report, and see which areas their child may be having more difficulty mastering.
With Challenges, the parent can participate in their child’s learning by setting game quantity challenges and reward incentives. In addition, the Dashboard promotes engagement between the parent and child with Tips – a section of the app which provides ideas for supporting a child’s learning, and Mini-Games – a section with several interactive, two-player games for the parent and child to play together like Memory, Checkers and Tic-Tac-Toe.
Future Upgrades: Yogome plans to continually improve and upgrade this game, focusing on creating levels for the remaining subjects similar to the math section, where options will be ordered in difficulty to correlate with age and grade level.
For more, see:
- Yale and Yogome Evaluate Effectiveness and Happiness in Common Core Math App
- 10 Top Educational Apps for Students
- 4 Features of Great Mobile Learning Apps
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