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Kids can learn tidbits of history and develop an understanding of the time line of periods of U.S. history. The games are loosely based on particular periods, especially Early American, Colonial, American Revolution, frontier times, and the Gold Rush. The Did You Know facts and videos about each period deliver the most educational content. However, the history presented is centered mostly on the white male experience, missing the role of women and people of color. Overall, Frontier Heroes is designed more for entertainment than education, though kids may find a few history takeaways or a spark of interest in U.S. history.
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Some games are nearly impossible to get full star scores in, making unlocking the next level impossible. Written read-aloud instructions for some games are hard to understand, and no examples are offered.
Cartoon-like violence representing historical events. Native Americans target-shoot. Boston Tea Partiers throw tea off boat but get bonus points for hitting a Red Coat. Two men get hit by a train if they don”t move fast enough.
Parents need to know that Frontier Heroes walks kids through U.S. history, from the Native Americans to the colonies and Revolution and through the Gold Rush. The final time period, Land of the Free, requires a perfect score on every other mini-game to unlock — which is pretty much impossible. There are no demos or examples of how to play the games, but brief instructions are given. For some games, that”s enough. Others will require trial and error and multiple replays to figure out. The history is pretty sanitized, though there”s minor violence with Davy Crockett fighting a bear and two railroad builders trying to outrun a train (and sometimes failing) and some shooting in some mini-games. As they complete some games, kids unlock DYKs — short “Did You Know?” historical facts.
I played this game when I was like 5, it’s definitely not too hard like whoever made the review said (I dunno what they’re on).
Mini-games replicate skills and events throughout U.S. history, teaching a bit about it through interesting facts as kids play. They”ll start in early America and must earn enough stars playing each game to unlock the next level. Each time period includes a short cartoon video about life in that time, and the games show a bit of what life (or legend) was like. Games can be replayed to improve scores to help unlock other levels. Kids can review their DYK collections to review the historical facts they’ve learned.
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The cartoon graphics are impressive and fun, and the historical facts are high-interest and delivered in short, easy-to-remember bits. The voices and sound effects are well-done, too, and most of the games are quite fun. The problem is that some are just too hard — maybe even impossible — to master, and mastering them all is required to unlock the last time period. Kids can replay each game as often as necessary to improve scores, and the challenge becomes pretty addictive. Kids may lose interest before getting through all the history, but they”ll learn a bit and have fun in the process.
Families can talk about what is realistic in the games (sawing a tree is really hard) and what is not (wrestling a bear).
Ask kids which period of U.S. history they find most interesting. If they could live in any time period, which would they choose?
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire Subjects: Social Studies: events, historical figures, history, timelines Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
Health & Fitness: fine motor skills Price: $2.99 Pricing structure: Paid Release date: December 1, 2014 Category: Kids' Games Topics: History Size: 97.90 MB Publisher: A&E Television Networks Mobile Version: 1.2.2 Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later Last updated: November 11, 2020
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