Title: Dimensions-The Sonic Adventure Game
Cost: Free (with in app purchases)
Platform: iOS 5 or greater
Before this week's App of the Week review, a reminder to vote for your favorite app for teens in 2012.
I learned about Dimensions when reading through a list of the 12 most beautiful apps of 2012. (There are a lot of great apps in that list by the way.) The Dimensions app caught my eye because it integrated several features that I thought would be of interest to teens - music, augmented reality, and being able to play with others across devices and locations.
It is a beautifully designed app and the play is also intriguing and fun. First off, anyone who plays has to make sure to be using headphones. The music in the app (it is a sonic adventure game of course) is key to play. If you don't have headphones plugged in the app will remind you that you should. As a matter of fact the app reminds you regularly of what you should be doing - which is helpful. The reminders come by way of text and the voice of the woman who narrates the game and gives information on how to play.
The key to Dimensions is your location and the music. You enter a dimension that is associated with how quiet or noisy the location you are in is. The music changes based on that level of noise and what that noise is. Moving around while playing the game brings you to the kinetic level. In other words teens can play the game while sitting quietly, while moving around the school hallways or while hanging out at the mall. What is seen and heard in the game is a reaction to that location, sound, and activity.
The game play takes place on a map that shows where the player is. For example, when I play I see the street grid for the area of New York City where I happen to be located. On the map are artifacts and quantum cells players collect in order to rise to different levels in the game. If you have enough quantum cells you can turn those into artifacts as it is artifacts that have the real value in the game. Once players reach a particular level in the game then they gain the title dimensionaut which allows for opening a dimension by choice - as opposed to the game deciding what dimension the player needs to be in.
If it sounds a little complicated, that's because in some ways it is. And, that's because it's a game that is different than what you, and teens, may have encountered before. It's interesting to play, as well as fun, and also a great way to start discussions on augmented reality, what it is, and how it's going to have an impact on teen lives.
For more app recommendations, visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive.