Following their most excellent iPad app from 2011, Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa, Cognitive Kid has now come out with a new iPad app, Ansel and Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs, as well as adapted their Adventures in Africa app to run on the iPhone. Both of the new apps are also lower in price than the original.
I reviewed the Adventures in Africa iPad app over at Common Sense Media last year, and of all the apps I reviewed there, it was one of the best done and most entertaining for its intended audience. The premise is that two aliens have arrived at Earth and want to learn all about the animals of Africa. They have also lost parts of their spaceship. You help them explore the Nile Valley, Sahara Desert, and Serengeti Plains, and take pictures, learning about animals and nature as you go, and finding their lost spaceship parts. You will see actual photos of wildlife, and learn the related vocabulary. You will also learn about different strategies animals use to survive, such as camouflage, migration, and diet. There are also several games and puzzles. By the time you’re done, you’ve explored several different regions of the continent, and have a better understanding of the wildlife and nature there. You can also have more than one user profile, so all the kids can play without waiting for the previous one to complete the game. It’s great for kids of all ages, because reading isn’t required for most of the functionality. I love this app, and always recommend it to others.
Ansel and Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs is a completely new iPad app. It has a similar format to the Africa app, but instead of traveling to Africa, you travel with Ansel and Clair (and their spaceship) to a dinosaur dig site in North America. There, you find a paleontologist and help him dig up and assemble dinosaur bones. Then you travel back in time to see Cretaceous period dinosaurs and learn about them. You also take photos of what you see for the travel book. A variety of dinosaurs are in this app, all shown in one area, including the newly discovered Kosmoceratops. Obviously these dinosaurs wouldn’t have all lived in such peace and harmony back in the day, but it’s a small suspension of disbelief necessary to give the app this structure. Just like the Africa app, this one is fantastic fun and very educational.
For more information on the Cretaceous Dinosaurs app, check out their YouTube video, more screenshots, or page by page help to guide you through. In addition to this new dinosaur app, Cognitive Kid is planning to release a Jurassic app and a Triassic app, so you can soon have the trifecta of Ansel and Clair dinosaur apps. They also plan an American Revolution series with Ansel and Clair.
All of these apps are available in the iTunes store. The original Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa for iPad costs $4.99, which is more than the others but is definitely worth it. The iPhone version costs $1.99. Ansel and Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs for iPad also costs $1.99. I recommend these apps for elementary-aged animal lovers and for those who love to go on adventures.
Note: I received free codes for the two new apps for review purposes.