We work at Cointelegraph and are contacted regularly by PR agents who notify us in advance of upcoming client announcements. Those who appear interesting often do more research on the topic before deciding to publish the story.
After this connection to the legend, “a distance learning game app that teaches blockchain for all ages”, I found myself in an unlikely position to download an app called Adoraboos to my phone.
Developed by an “award-winning game studio,” the game is designed to alleviate the educational crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far so good … so why did you leave me so cold?
Although Adoraboos wasn’t surprisingly sold out to me due to its blockchain learning functionality, the focus appears to be on SAT exams that students between 17 and 19 years old take in the United States. Other topics covered are cybersecurity, networks, data management, resilience, and social / emotional development.
You might argue that some of this is ‘true’ on purpose. But it seems a little encouraging to criticize an educational game on currently hot topics … especially when there are so many other things to criticize.
“Learning” is mainly related to memorizing the definitions of a number of words and expressions related to the topic. This is presented as a series of mini-games where success affects verbal darts. Once charged, you can participate in an Adora match, where your Adorabu blows balloons into an adorable adorabu, assuming he has been shattered to death.
If none of this made sense to you, it wouldn’t make sense to me either.
Why did a late teenager choose to play a game called Adoraboos with cute characters clearly directed at young children?
Luckily I had one available for my 17-year-old nephew. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find an answer either.
The first mini-game called Dragger. This gives players a grid of 42 symbols in four different shapes, as well as a variety of words and their definitions. All you have to do is create a series of identical icons whose length is equal to the length of the word. You don’t even have to look at the word or description, as my nephew quickly realized:
“There’s no inclination to read the definition other than learning, but as teens we can’t really care about that.”
Then he broke the lazy stereotype of a teenager with a number of ideas for improvement. These include high potential rankings from friends or school to provide extra motivation. If only game developers had access to a teenage nephew they could use it for user testing and quality control …
The game awards bonus points for all matching symbols that exceed the number of letters in a word. This makes it very easy to hit the target if you get a short word and you can put in a bunch of extra letters. But good luck finding a string of 14 matching tokens for your Cryptocurrency access.
Also, there is no real indication of whether or not you are able to match enough letters / symbols. You get the same sound and the symbols disappear either way, but the word doesn’t change if it fails.
The next mini-game, Decoding, gives you the ability to decode letters into a series of words when you get a description. However, if you haven’t read the description in the previous game and / or don’t know the words, this can be very difficult, especially for long words.
Next is the definition, which, in my nephew’s opinion, has at least some potential. You get the word, along with the definition, cut into parts. You need to add bits to form a complete definition. It wouldn’t be so bad, but again you’ll be time-limited. What this really means is that you are only trying to create a definition that looks like a sentence, not reading or studying it.
Another little game called Quiz. This gives you four “answer” words and in turn gives you four definitions. If you choose the correct word, it will be deleted, which means that the “test” will be much easier to pass.
This section at least gets you thinking about words and definitions. But the definitions are so clumsy that I wonder again if there is so much useful learning going on. Take this example of the word “Bitcoin”:
“The first practical solution to the Byzantine general’s problem, implemented in the form of cryptocurrency.”
I mean it isn’t, but that is not the most useful description one can give if one wants to teach someone the topic. Many of the other definitions are stupid, vague, and sometimes crazy not only on the blockchain topic, but across all vocabulary lists.