Apps iOS iPad iPhone Reviews

Fun, Educational Game For Children Ages 2 And Up

QwikMind has released Go Go Mongo! 1.0 for iOS, their new educational game for kids ages 2+. Featuring Mongo, the cute and cuddly cartoon character that loves to eat, players tilt the iOS device to move Mongo so he can catch food falling from the sky. Players will learn the names of many different foods, improve their motor skills by controlling Mongo’s position, and develop short-term memory by catching only selected foods at each of 40 levels. Mongo’s silly animations and zany sound effects will keep children entertained for hours. Go Go Mongo! is ideal for those long car rides, and while waiting at the doctor’s office. The game was chosen by Apple as “New and Noteworthy,” and quickly appeared in the list of Top 50 Educational Games.

Watching children enthusiastically playing Go Go Mongo! for hours on end, it becomes clear that when a game is well designed, fun and learning are complementary. They occur simultaneously and on multiple levels. Mongo is cute and funny, but he is also expressive. According to the situation, he displays surprise, confusion, satisfaction, discomfort, and unbounded joy. Animated stars emanate from his body as he consumes the foods he loves. He turns purple and doubles over when he eats something that disagrees with him. The game is highly interactive, capturing the manual dexterity, emotional connection, and intellectual understanding of the young child.

There are 40 levels of play that take place over three different environments: a sunny meadow, a snowy forest, and a windy seashore. At the start of each level, the child narrator announces which foods the player must try to have Mongo catch. As he speaks the name of each food, the cartoon representation of that food is displayed. The 40 levels are composed of 10 sections. In each section three new foods are introduced individually over three levels, and then all three are used in the fourth level. Foods appearing in the game include: apple, banana, orange, grape, cherry, pineapple, pear, strawberry, watermelon, cantaloupe, kiwi, mango, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, corn, lettuce, pea, cucumber, mushroom, tomato, green pepper, onion, potato, cheese, ice cream cone (twice), milk, cake, and cookie.

With the goal of the level set (e.g. catch the cookies), the player tilts the iOS device to have Mongo run right or left to catch the food falling from the sky. At higher levels, play becomes more challenging. Players must catch three different foods (e.g. apples, bananas, and oranges), and/or must avoid catching any other food. Levels end when Mongo catches the right food(s) five times (Continue), or the wrong food(s) three times (Try Again). The game is played in landscape mode, and QwikMind recommends that 2 to 4-year-olds play the game on an iPhone or iPod touch, as the iPad is a bit too heavy for them to hold and manipulate for long periods.

Music and sound effects are synced to the action, and contribute an added dimension to the colorful, 2D animations (these have been created by Michael McGee who has also worked on the original Mario Brothers theme, as well as children’s cartoon shows such as Inspector Gadget and Pee Wee’s Playhouse). Post-modern in style, both the simple character Mongo as well as the various foods are all cutouts, with scissor-cut white borders acknowledging their constructed status. All the layered environments, which are backgrounds to the action, are rendered more realistically with black outlines, no borders, and multi-color shading. A great deal of thought has gone in to this very simple game, perhaps offering some explanation as to why both very young children as well as adults lose themselves in its gameplay.
Feature Highlights:
* Go Go Mongo! is a fun and educational game for children ages 2+
* Mongo is a cute and cuddly character that loves to eat
* Mongo has to catch food falling from the sky
* Children have to use their motor skills to feed Mongo
* QwikMind is a member of Moms with Apps
* Music and sound effects add realism to the action
* Children will learn the names of 29 different foods
* Players must remember which foods to catch, or not catch on each level
* Appeared on Apple’s “New and Noteworthy” list
* Appeared in Top 50 Educational Games
“The Go Go Mongo! team of game designers, artists, programmers, musicians, and marketing experts has been very gratified by the fantastic reception our game has received,” stated QwikMind spokesperson Ahmed Siddiqui. “We wanted to make the best game we could for our own kids; and now we have the pleasure of sharing it.”
Pricing and Availability:
Go Go Mongo! 1.0 is $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Review copies are available upon request.
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