Tuesday, August 14, 2012

App Review & Giveaway! Pixel and Parker

When I saw Pixel and Parker by Spinlight Studios advertised on their Facebook page, I knew I had to check it out.  This is their description:

Fresh from the makers of TallyTots and Operation Math comes the new children’s adventure that’s literally giving storytelling a whole new spin.
From the playground to the alley, to the forest and beyond, join Parker on his quest to find his missing cat in the playful children’s adventure that uses a game spinner to advance the story. Fun, fresh and filled with lots of surprises, Pixel and Parker features more than 30 different activities critical to the story, putting readers in control and on the edge of their seat. Will Parker find his furry friend and make it home before sunset? There’s only one way to find out in this whimsical children’s adventure that’s never the same tale twice.
Pixel and Parker is the first in a coming line of Spintale adventures designed to engage young readers in a whole new way. To learn more, visit our Facebook page or visit Spinlight.com for the inside scoop on all our latest releases.

Based on this description, I had a flashback moment.  Anyone remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books?  I may be dating myself here, but I LOVED these books!  The description sounded similar to the concept behind the CYOA books...the reader had an effect on the events within the story!  You could read these books again and again with a different experience each time.  But I digress!

Back to Pixel and Parker.  This app is part interactive story book, part board game.  The beginning and ending are always the same - Pixel runs off in the beginning...You'll have to check out the app for yourself to see what happens at the end.  The middle is the board game part.  There's a spinner that determines how many paces along the path Parker will travel.  For each space along the path there is a different activity to complete.  In true game board fashion, there's a shortcut that moves Parker forward as well as a log slide that makes Parker go back a few paces.

As you go through the adventure, you may get to play with toys in a toy shop, toss coins in a fountain, hang up a "missing cat" poster, etc.  I can't tell you what all of the activities are because I've gone through the story five or six different times and still haven't landed on all of the spaces! 

One of the other neat things about this app is that there are presents on some of the spaces. The presents contain different shirts for Parker to wear.  You can change his shirt before starting your adventure, or during by returning to the main menu (tapping the little ribbon in the upper left hand corner).

In therapy sessions, you can work on following directions and expressive language during each activity along the path (Give Parker an apple to eat.  Tell me what Parker is doing).  Additionally, you can target making predictions (Where do you think Pixel could be?  Which toy do you think Pixel would like to play with?), problem solving (It's past Parker's lunchtime.  How do you think he feels? What should he do?) and receptive/expressive descriptions (Find a shirt that is grey.  Which shirt do you think Parker should wear?).  

Now you know what I think.  Here's a  
bonus review by my three-year-old:    

   Tell me about Pixel and Parker.  
           Parker is so sad.   
   Why is he sad?  
           He needs help to find Pixel.
           Pixel runned away.   
   Did you like Pixel and Parker?  
   What was your favorite thing?  
           Um, I like Pixel at the house.  Parker can't find him.   
   What was your favorite thing that Parker got to do?   
           Shine the flashlight on the raccoon.
           And I like to catch all the butterflies. 
           And Parker needs an umbrella in the rain.   
   What did you think of the spinner?  
           It turn round and round and round and it land on number one!
   Was that fun?  
   Do you think other kids would like Pixel and Parker too?  

Some more screenshots for you:

This app takes interactive storybooks to the next level.  Adding the spinner/game board turned a simple story into a highly motivating game.  I loved the app, my son loved it, and I know my students will love it as well!

Pixel and Parker by Spinlight Studios sells for $1.99 (price as of this posting).  You can find it in the App Store here.  Now, I loved the concept so much that I went to the App Store and downloaded it immediately!  I knew you would all love it as well, so I contacted Spinlight Studios and they were generous enough to give me codes for THREE lucky readers!  Enter to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 DISCLAIMER:  The folks at Spinlight Studios were generous enough to provide me with codes for my readers for Pixel and Parker.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I was not compensated for this review.
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