Kid Stuff

An Imaginative New Kid’s App from Playing Forward’s Stan Lee’s Kids Universe

* This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Playing Forward. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.*

My son likes to play Godzilla, destroying everything that crosses his path, rampaging through the house. He doesn’t realize how destructive he his, how loud he can be and how those toys being hurled at my head sometimes hurt. In fact, he’s a lot like the star of Playing Forward’s Stan Lee’s Kids Universe’s, Dex T-Rex!

We recently got to try out the new interactive digital storybook app created by Playing Forward and featuring the first character created for young kids by Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee. And just like in all his movies, Stan Lee makes a guest appearance in the story!

Stan Lee and Dex T-Rex

Dex T-Rex is one of three character driven apps based on books that were developed by Playing Forward using transformational technology featuring engaging storytelling, unique visual effects and augmented reality to ignite children’s imaginations and impart important social skills lessons like how their actions affect those around them.

You see, Dex T-Rex loves to play! But his version of play can be a little rough. Like they say in the story, “He is a Dinosaur after all!” He stomps on things, and roars in faces and creates a good bit of chaos in his little world. He doesn’t realize he may be a little too rough until his actions cause harm to a little caterpillar in a tree.

Dex T-rex creating trouble

I sat down to play the game with my son and see how he liked the story and experience. The first thing you get to do is customize your dinosaur by purchasing new options with coins. You can choose a different body, belly, tail and colors. You start the game with 25 coins but can buy more if you want to change your customization later. We went with an eye-catching pink tiger stripe ensemble.

You can play the story in two ways – a bedtime story where you swipe to turn the page and listen to the story as Dex wanders around his world, or augmented reality mode where Dex pops up right in front of you! We had a lot of fun playing with the augmented reality features, which encourages the reader to get up and explore the story from multiple perspectives. You can also chase butterflies and collect them to fill in all the badge pieces. Once you’ve completed the full badge, you’ve then seen the story from every angle.

After Dex’s rampage causes a caterpillar to fall from a tree, it opens his eyes to all the destruction around him that he caused. Then he decides to go back and fix things! The story teaches a lesson and critical social skill of empathy and how your own actions affect the people around you. Playing Forward based their app design on extensive research and beta-testing of over 300 children and believe “social emotional development is key to success in school and in life.”

My iPad was too old to play the game so now I have to hand over my phone whenever my son starts asking about the “dinosaur game.” But if it leads to one thing left untrampled and one less toy broken in a toddler rampage, I’m OK with that!

Enter the Contest!

To kick off the launch of their apps, Playing Forward is running an exciting contest with a Grand Prize STEAM-powered weekend of play and exploration in Manhattan, NY. (One of their new apps is Lizzy’s World, featuring a STEAM-powered character.)

The prize includes air transportation, a two night hotel stay, Visa gift card to cover meals, and various museum tickets for a family of four! It will also include two personalized experiences at two of Manhattan’s most unique museums- the Natural History Museum and the Children’s Museum of the Arts.

And a runner-up prize is still pretty great –  a new 9.7-inch, 32GB Apple iPad!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!  (and scroll down on that page for links to download the app!)


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