Imaginative Play Gets A Digital Upgrade
Let’s face it. Kids these days love video games. I can’t say I blame them, there are some pretty awesome games on the market. As parents, we have rules regarding our phones and try to weigh how much screen time our kids have versus how much of everything else they do. We also feel it is important to balance education, sports, arts and family time into that same picture.
Of course, it also helps when digital companies find ways to incorporate these other options into their games. Just Dance is an example of a video game that gets kids moving. Brain Chase incorporates education into website “entertainment”. Compose Yourself utilizes mobile devices to help create music. Now we’re seeing an example of a reputable toy company taking it the other direction. Ravensburger is utilizing a mobile device to remind kids how much fun imaginative play can be with the introduction of the Space Hawk series.
Imaginative play has always been a cornerstone of development and is most apparent in young kids. Some think children mature out of it, but in reality it’s something that can grow and evolve along with a child. This basic skill is crucial to a child’s ability to create a story. Where do you think ideas come from? Inventions? Books, movies or music? These things instrumental to quality of life begin with the creative mind.
So why not encourage it throughout the years even if it means updating it to the way children play these days? That’s what Ravesnburger did with Space Hawk. They took a spaceship that a child could lift and fly and create a story then upgraded the ship to include a place to house a mobile device running an augmented reality app.
Within the app, Ravensburger begins the first missions with a variety of video tutorials. First and foremost are instructions on how to open and close the wings, put down the landing gear and secure the phone in place. From there, it moves into an explanation and digital tour of the ship before sending the child off the launch pad and into the vastness of outer space.
We weren’t able to tell if the game was on rails or if it was completely random, but how well the child maneuvered the ship seemed to impact the outcome. The interesting part of this toy is that it includes various components to give additional life to the story. In addition to several landing zones, it also includes custom dice that are used to give randomness to the missions. But they aren’t incorporated right away. Since dice are random, it is my guess that the game will be different each time, ensuring high replay value. They have already created expansions with additional scenarios to extend the play even longer.
Initial missions focus on learning the movements that you would think would be natural to flying a toy space ship around. Nope. Apparently it isn’t common sense when you aren’t used to playing with aircraft. It isn’t about flying in a straight line at a designated altitude.
Space Hawk has you diving and climbing to dodge things like asteroids! Speaking of asteroids, there are missions that have you holding the spaceship while trying to target the asteroids on your screen. A little off target? Move. Those are exactly the kinds of actions that work to make the video game more active and the toy have more variety of ways to play. It’s a great way to allow children to play with electronics while encouraging them to use their imagination.
The scenarios in the app tell stories, teach how to land properly and even require ship repairs. Of course, the mobile device can be removed from the ship and it can be taken on rogue, non-scheduled missions to wherever the child’s imagination decides to take it. That’s the great things about this crossover toy – it still encourages kids to just be kids and play!
The app is available on iTunes and Google Play and it is currently being updated to make corrections to the app that didn’t translate well into English. I suspect they will continue to update, upgrade and modify the app as they see a need. If you’re looking for a gift that bridges the gap between technology and imaginative play, Space Hawk is worth considering. It is currently available on Amazon and can still make it there in time to go under the tree if you order soon! Learn more by visiting the Space Hawk website or by checking out Ravensburger on Facebook and Twitter.
What do you think about imaginative play?
21 thoughts on “Imaginative Play Gets A Digital Upgrade”
Imaginative play is the best play, in my opinion. This has got to be one of the most innovative games I’ve seen in a while.
VERY cool – I haven’t seen this yet but I know my son would really like it. He loves to use his imagination and have fun so this would be a great game for him. Thanks for sharing about it – just in time for Christmas 🙂
As if it weren’t cool enough just to have the toy that uses the phone, it also is a game that involves imagination and play?!? This sounds like a great game for those tweens that are so hard to buy for. Thanks so much for the review.
I agree with you on the importance of imaginary play. Children that are exposed to this type of play usually grow up to be creative adults that can think out of the guidelines of normalcy and inspire a whole new type of thought. Space Hawk series sounds like something I want to check out for my grandchildren and I love that the dice can give the missions some random outcomes which keeps the toy fresh and interesting.
I always try to get things for my son that encourage imaginative play. This looks so cool and I bet my son would love it.
This sounds really cool. I mean, I’m not a kid, but can still be a kid at heart. I think I’d want to get some play time in myself before letting my son play with it, haha.
I’m a big fan of imaginative play and encourage it in my kids often! I think this is something my 9 year old son would really enjoy once he got the hang of it!
I agree imaginary play is so important. We should all try to do more to encourage it with little kids.
What a fun new way to play. Looks like a ton of fun.
I love toys that let the kids use their imagination! My son would love this Space Hawk I have never heard of it before!
This is the first time I have seen this. It’s really cool. My son will love this, for sure.
Imaginative play is the best! This Space Hawk looks crazy cool!
I am 100% obsessed with Just Dance. It is basically the only game I actually look forward to playing with the tweens I babysit. While I know that they would really appreciate the awesomeness that is Space Hawk, I’m 100% sure my 7 year old God son would! Thanks for posting this in time for Christmas!!
I appreciate toys and games that combine both physical and electronic play. I definitely feel that it is the wave of the future and it seems to be a hit with the kids too!
I like that. Play and learn at the same time. Helps kids use their thinking skills and hands on .
That is really quite something. My grand kids would have a great time with it.
I’ve got conflicting emotions on this one, I try very hard to avoid all electronics for my kids. I do like the imagination play though.
If it is not engaging my granddaughter is not interested. This would really peak her interest & she would love.