Adventure Academy Review: One Mom's Honest Opinion

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Adventure Academy is a brand new online learning platform from Age of Learning (the experts who brought you ABCmouse and ReadingIQ). I was given the opportunity to beta-test it, and I have the scoop for ya! It's geared towards kids ages 8-13 (so for all of you who loved ABCmouse but felt your kids 'grew out of it,' this one's especially for you!). Read on and I'll tell you what you can expect, and if it's even worth your time and money.


Disclosure: I was offered the opportunity to beta test Adventure Academy, but was not otherwise compensated for this post. This post contains affiliate links for Adventure Academy, but I assure you, I'm not a salesperson. I would NOT recommend anything to you that I did not absolutely love. And I can honestly tell you, this one's a keeper!! 

NOTE:  This post is LONG and filled with info, but it's designed for easy reading (use my bold headings to scroll for information) and I will update it often. I try to answer all questions in the comments section, so feel free to ask me a question or tell me about your experience with Adventure Academy below (positive or negative, I'm all about honesty here!). You can also Pin this image for later to easily find my review again.


What is Adventure Academy?

The people who created it can explain it best. I borrowed some blurbs from the Age of Learning blog to share with you (I hope they don't mind!):

"Adventure Academy is the world’s first educational...massively multiplayer online game (or MMO)! Launching May 1st on computers, tablets, and smartphones, Adventure Academy will provide elementary and middle school age children with an immersive, interactive learning adventure where they can explore an ever-expanding virtual world while building critical academic knowledge and skills."

"We developed Adventure Academy to address the alarmingly low levels of academic proficiency among elementary and middle school students, prioritizing the areas the National Assessment of Educational Progress has consistently shown a majority of American students are not proficient in, including reading, math, and science. Adventure Academy offers learners opportunities to explore hundreds of topics within these subjects and learn in ways that are highly engaging and effective."


And in a mom's simple terms, this is like an imaginary school - I mean, a virtual school- it doesn't replace a real school, don't get me wrong- this is a supplement to your child's education. It's a platform where your child can 'walk' around the campus, explore classrooms, see other students (real and virtual), receive tasks from 'instructors,' learn through kiosks, displays, and more. There are mini educational games, books, puzzles, and videos. The creators seem to have combined a little bit of everything- learning/education, along with motivating (fun) tasks, entertaining characters, and awesome graphics. I kept joking to my kiddo that I wanted to live here. Or at least go to school here.


When You Begin Adventure Academy

I tested Adventure Academy on both my iPhone and desktop. My son and I preferred the desktop version, basically because of the larger screen and mouse capability. But they both worked interchangeably and with the same password, no issues. Both also downloaded quickly with no trouble. The only issue I ran into was that my iPhone did not have enough memory to download it at first- I had to delete some old apps and clear up some junk to make room for it!


Once you load the game, you'll set up your parent account and choose your levels and privacy settings (more about that in my CHAT section below). You can change anything you want in the parent section at any time, so don't worry about the choices you make being permanent.

Then you can set up your user accounts and choose your gender for each character. When choosing your character's name, be aware that this is the name that everyone will see in the game, so it is not wise to choose your real first or last name, in my personal opinion.


You'll get to design your character in basic clothing and choose the face shape, skin tone, hair color, and eye color, too! You can change ALL of these things throughout the game, and buy more clothing and accessories (and hairstyles!) within the game (not with real money, but with coins you earn through your learning and tasks).


You can also choose a password for your character (but I only recommend this step if you are worried that a sibling or friend is going to try to sign on as your child). Then you can start exploring! Look for glowing exclamation points above the heads of the in-game characters. They'll have quests and tasks for you, which will help you gain XP and coins (the XP helps you advance to new levels, which opens up more new quests, new areas in the game and new items in the shops).


Within the learning kiosks of the Academy are tons of videos, books, games, puzzles, and so much more! You can visit these kiosks any time, or follow instructions from quests to use them, too. See in the photo below, in the upper left corner where it says "beginner?" The kiosk is showing you choices for the level you're set at, but I liked that you could click that and choose any level you want when searching through the kiosk learning center. I had set my own character set to "advanced" level, but some of the kiosk activities were actually too challenging for this momma (*shrugging sheepishly*), so I would often switch and choose beginner options so I wouldn't be struggling with complex 4th grade math problems. Hey, don't judge!

an example of some of the educational choices within a kiosk

The classrooms in the Academy are awesome and look like rooms in a museum. You can click and explore pretty much everything in the room. There are so many things to learn! The Science Wing even has an area where it's snowing inside! There are 'quick learns' on the wall to help you earn easy coins or XP.

Inside the Math wing - it's snowing over here!

Inside the Science Wing

Some of the quests the professors give you are really fun. There is a semi-magical aspect to the library, and the librarian will ask for your help to find some magical creatures that keep causing a ruckus there!


The Virtual World of Adventure Academy

I am at Level 9 in the game as we speak and there are three accessible areas of the main map at this level. Here are the areas I have accessed so far, but be sure to scroll down for my mini walk-through video of Adventure Academy, too.

-The Commons (the main area of campus with a fountain, hedge maze, mini cafe, and plenty of friends to meet).

-The Academy is where all of your classrooms are, as well as the campus store and the headmaster.

-The Marketplace is where you'll be able to shop (with pretend coins) for new clothes, furniture, accessories, and much more! You can even open your own shop to sell items from your inventory that you no longer want. Some kids get a little crazy here and try to sell their items for 99,999 gold coins. Don't be roped into that nonsense!

-The Neighborhood is where you'll have your own home! You can decorate it and friends can come to visit.

Exploring the Neighborhood

My own home!

There is another area of the game that I haven't accessed yet- some kind of lighthouse and seashore area! I'm excited to see what it is, and even as an adult, I am eager to complete more educational activities and tasks so I can level up to this new map area.

Adventure Academy Map - what's beneath those clouds??

Check out My Quick Walk-through Video of Adventure Academy!

I am not a professional videographer, but here's a little walk-through I did so you can see what it's like to travel through Adventure Academy. I don't show you everything in the game, because that would be a total spoiler. But this should give you a feel for what you'll experience, at least. My son pointed out that my character's outfits and levels change out of order in the video. That's because I filmed scenes at different points in my game and spliced it together. Sorry for any confusion! At least you get to see my fancy character wardrobe.

       

About Your Character

One of my favorite things about Adventure Academy is that you can customize your character. You choose a name for it (and this name floats above you as you walk through Adventure Academy, so as I said before, I recommend choosing a made-up name and not putting your child's real name here). Initially I created a character with the name MaMa, but as I walked around, I thought, What kid would walk around school campus with a name like MaMa? How uncool! So I switched it (yes, you can change your user name in the game if you like). You can choose your hair color, eye color, face shape, clothing. There is a marketplace within the game (don't worry, you're never using real money within the game) and your character can purchase new outfits, hairstyles, etc. You can also purchase new clothing items in the Academy Campus Store.

I like to change my character's outfit every time I log on!

The store clerk is like, "You again?" 

The marketplace

You can also make your character do some basic movements, like dance, wave, play guitar, jump, etc. It's fun when you can dance with another character or wave to someone you know.


Are There Enough Educational Activities? Can You Track Progess?

As a former teacher, I don’t want to overlook the importance of talking about the educational aspect of this game. There are so many fun things to do within the game but they are all linked to the educational portion of it. In order to level up in the game and get to new quests and new areas of the map, you need to complete the educational activities. In order to buy more accessories or clothes for your character, you need to complete the educational activities. In order to earn XP and coins...you need to complete educational activities. But what do the educational activities entail? Well, if you watched my walk-through video, I did show you a little bit of that there. You can see there are  You can see there are kiosks throughout the Academy that offer all different kinds of opportunities to learn. There are subject choices and videos and activities. There are interactive questions and games all linked to different subject matters. It would be impossible for me to show you all of them here (especially since they are copyrighted!), so you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that there are tons of educational things to do in the game. Besides the full learning kiosks, in each of the classrooms there are little areas with lightbulbs floating over them. You can click on each of these individually and new screens load to teach you facts, stories, information and more. There are often little “quizzes" “at the end of each learning activity with multiple choice questions to earn coins. Some of our favorites to play include (and you can search on these under "all levels" in the Learning Kiosks):

-Crash Course videos (educational videos)
-Dig Deeper videos (educational videos)
-Paint by Numbers puzzles (although these award less XP than learning videos)
-Run, Bigfoot, Run (math game)
-Secret Life of Ordinary (educational videos)
-Science Fair videos (science experiment videos)
-Honey Harvest (also available at The Hive in the Math Wing)



You cannot advance in the game if you don’t complete these educational activities. The game is set so that you need to complete educational activities in order to progress in the game.  Kids cannot skip ahead and try to get to the end of videos quickly. They can’t flip through the pages of a book quickly to try to finish it. It will not register as complete and you will not earn the XP or coins (I know because I tried)! There is no easy way around it. Many of the videos and books range in time frame- some of them are little two minute videos. Some are less than a minute. Some are interactive games like hangman, a jigsaw type puzzle or a crossword puzzle. Some of the videos are interactive and you have to click on things and participate during the video. Here are just some of the subjects that are covered in the kiosks and the Academy itself:

-Math
-Language Arts (including Reading, Grammar, Spelling, Writing and more)
-Science & Health
-Social Studies
-Art & Music
-Typing

To see more of the curriculum or for a better explanation of what each subject covers, you'll need to visit the Adventure Academy website. I didn't make the game, I just play it! I also don't work for the company, so the knowledge I have of it just comes as I experience it. And to give you an idea if these lessons "stick," my son needed a new fact to add to a school assignment yesterday (like, real school!). He blurted out this long description of Pi and what it means. I said, "Where did you learn that?" and he said, "Through that Adventure Academy game." So there ya go. Also good to note: you can peek and see what your child is up to in the game (besides just by asking them). In the parents section, you have the ability to look at what they've completed and what lessons they've been learning, in case you want to question them for yourself. Here's an example of the progress tracker.

You can peek and see what each user has been up to over a certain time frame of the game. This is mine- I worked hard, right?

Some of the subject offerings at the kiosks in the Academy

an example of some of the activities at the kiosk- the left column also shows some of the other learning choices

Adventure Academy's more detailed description of subject matter - click to enlarge

How Does an Adventure Academy Subscription Work?

As of the publication date of this entry, Adventure Academy is available beginning May 1st (many people seemed confused and upset by this if you read some early reviews online- they thought their app wasn't loading when really it was not made available for use till May 1st). The Adventure Academy app is available through the Apple App Store or Google Play and can also be accessed at www.adventureacademy.com. Your subscription includes three separate profiles per household, and you can access your account across your devices (meaning, you can access your account on your smartphone, tablet, or online - it will be the same across all devices). Now, here's the really cool part. All three users can essentially play AT THE SAME TIME on different devices. So if you have three kids (or a homeschool group), they can all be playing together on their own devices, and interact with each other within Adventure Academy.  Each profile is separate, and each user can even create a password for their character if they are afraid a sibling/friend is going to try to sign on as them.

Can you guess which one is me?

Chat Settings and Safety


I know the chat feature might make some parents nervous. So before anyone freaks out, know that you can turn this feature off completely. You don't have to have chat enabled in the game. When we first started the game, I disabled the chat feature completely for my son and myself. But I quickly realized this was a mistake because we really couldn't communicate with anyone. So I switched to the Quick setting instead, where only pre-selected messages could be used (and you can only see pre-selected messages or emojis in return). Now we can communicate with messages like "hello" "how are you?" or "I'm back!" Kids can send friend requests if they happen to come upon you in the game, but you don't have to accept if you are not comfortable with this. If chat is disabled, no friend requests can be sent or received. However, users each get their own unique ID code and this is to ensure that strangers can't go searching for them within a game. A friend would need this ID code to search for another friend. Does that make sense? So if I wanted to look up a friend in the game, I would need to know their personal ID code.

You can also type in standard chat if you so desire, but I just think that opens a big can of worms. To each his own, though! If you are comfortable with this, Age of Learning uses chat filters and the ability to report/block users if need be. Their filters will not allow sharing of any personally identifiable information, such as addresses, phone numbers and social media handles. They also have full time community management to monitor the players, with the ability to remove players if necessary. Adventure Academy has also been given a KidSAFE+ COPPA-certified seal, which is an FTC approved COPPA certification program. If you're thinking, that sounds official but what does that mean? you can find out more info about this rating and the seals here at the KidSafe site (it's worth a read!).


Here's what the chat screen looks like if you select the pre-written "Quick Chat" setting

How Much Does Adventure Academy Cost?

Ah, the age old question, right? You can currently sign up for a 30 day free trial and see if you like it (I am totally guessing you will). After that, it's $9.99 a month, or you can purchase an annual subscription, which will save you a few dollars a month. That fee includes up to three separate profiles per household (see my description in How Does Adventure Academy Work? to see how you can use it in your household).


So is Adventure Academy Worth It?

Drum roll for my honest opinion.....I love this game. I think it's a genius idea. I think this is an awesome way to help prevent the summer slide (as kids transition from school mode to summer mode). I think it's great for homeschoolers or kids who work in small groups together. I honestly can't say enough good things about it. I signed on to this task of beta testing being hopeful that it might be good (after all, I'm a huge fan of ABCmouse and ReadingIQ), but I walked away completely amazed. It was way better than I ever could have imagined! Please, please consider giving it a try! You can't go wrong with the 30 day free trial. If you try it out and you hate it (which I doubt), then cancel it!

the game does a great job at making learning fun (screenshot from one of the math lessons)

Jersey Momma Opinion: 

What's Great About Adventure Academy

Well, you already know I love it. But here are some of my favorite things about it so far:

-amazing graphics, epic, upbeat music, fun quests

-virtual reality play with safe interaction between peers

-tons of learning material at various levels (and like all Age of Learning sites, the learning is differentiated- meaning they try to reach all styles of learning. So there are puzzles, videos, read-alouds, independent books, music, and so much more!).

-it's age appropriate. This is definitely the "next step" after ABCmouse, and it is really perfect for the recommended age group (8-13).

-fun shops, clothing items and customization (I am on level 19 as of now, and there are awesome super hero outfits, giant head masks, fairy costumes and more. There are even fun things for your character's home, like arcade games, fishtanks, mini volcano models, etc).

-the price! I really think this is a fair price for what you get. The fact that three users can play at once (together) in your own household (and interact with each other) is pretty incredible.

-you can't skip through the videos or learning activities. I know kids are crafty and I'm sure many of them will want to skip to the end of books or fly through the videos, but you can't do that here. I mean, you can, but it doesn't register for tasks or quests, and you won't earn coins or XP that way.

You can even fish in Adventure Academy!

What's Not SO Great About Adventure Academy?

Right now, I don't have too many complaints. My biggest issue is with the bugs and glitches (see below), but since I am a beta tester and this game is brand spankin' new, I am confident that Age of Learning will smooth out some of those small kinks that I mentioned below. But here are some minor things I noticed that might be considered cons:

-it's addictive! Seriously, even I  love it! I loved playing the game with my son and we literally sat across from each other at the table together, playing this for a long time. So it might be necessary to set a timer during gameplay, just so time doesn't get away from you

-there is a lot of reading involved (but it's leveled beginner, intermediate, advanced), so be sure to choose the right level for your child to avoid frustration. Remind your child that if the choices in the kiosks are too challenging, they can switch the choice levels themselves, too.

-the game sucks up battery power quickly, so keep your desktop computers plugged in or be prepared for it to drain device batteries quickly (this is not uncommon for games with good graphics or lots of data).

-as you level up in the game, there are less and less quests from the instructors. I thought this might be a glitch so I contacted tech support about it. They said that this is the way the game is made and that you will find less quests as you proceed. I don't know if that's something that will change in the future, but right now I wish they had as many quests for the high levels as they did for the lower levels.

Math graphing puzzle in Adventure Academy

Be sure to choose the right level for your child so the work is not too easy or too hard- I loved the puzzles!!

Bugs and Glitches

I was beta testing Adventure Academy, which means I was trying it out before the public release. Because it is brand new, I expected to find some bugs and glitches, but I'm pretty confident that Age of Learning will get to the bottom of these as soon as possible. The most frustrating bug I experienced was completing a quest but having it not register with a character. Say that I completed all three tasks and the final step was to "complete an activity at the Math kiosk." Well I completed activity after activity but it just wasn't registering! Or the quest would say, "Return to Dana with your new wardrobe outfits." And I would do just that, but Dana wouldn't give me the time of day. There are at least four quests in my current line-up that I just can't complete because of this bug, and that's frustrating. So I'm hoping Age of Learning can fix that soon.

All of the quests on the left cannot be completed because their final steps are not registering

Other than this quest bug, I haven't experienced too many other issues. These are the bugs I've seen so far:

-I was booted offline once and had to log back into the game (but only once, and I was playing daily)

-my character froze once while digging up a rock and I had to reboot my computer

-difficulty picking up or finding sticks and cotton throughout game play (and these are required for many quests)

inside the math wing

Where to Find Sticks and Cotton

I've already received a bunch of questions about where to find sticks and cotton in the game, or how to acquire them for quests. There are a few tricks and tips, although much of it involves just waiting for the items to grow/regenerate (or choosing to use coins). Watch my quick tip video for help!



Suggestions for Future Updates

This game has such enormous potential. I can imagine holiday themed quests, special events, new books and videos added to the kiosks, new characters, new map areas added...I am excited by the possibilities!! It would be really neat if kids could send their friends "gifts," for homes, inventory or wardrobe. My son also asked if we could get our characters to move faster. They do seem to run kind of slowly, but maybe we're both just too eager to get from place to place around here. ;)

Learn more about Adventure Academy: www.AdventureAcademy.com
Start an Adventure Academy 30 day free trial through my affiliate link here.

And check out my other Age of Learning reviews here (click the photos):

My review of ReadingIQ

Is ABCmouse Worth It? My honest review!

47 comments

  1. I'd love to know more about how the learning within the game works!

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    1. Hi there! Thanks for commenting! I added an additional paragraph above about how the learning is tied to the game, so hopefully that will help! I'm not sure if you watched the walk-through video, but that also shows a little bit about the educational kiosks and where they are in the game. In order to progress in the game (level up, obtain new quests, open up new areas of the map), kids need to complete educational activities such as reading, math, videos, games, etc. They are located throughout the Academy. Each activity or game ranges in difficulty level and time frame (some videos are a minute, some are three minutes, some activities are quick, some take longer). There are a wide variety of subjects, all of which are listed on the Adventure Academy website. If kids have trouble deciding which activities to do, sometimes the virtual instructors will give them specific tasks (such as, "complete one math activity at the kiosk and come back to me.") I hope that helps to clarify how it works!

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  2. Are your kids playing this now that it's launched? I saw your review, and am considering it. Right now, my son is playing Prodigy. I just don't want him to be able to wonder around too much - and tell me he's doing math

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  3. Hi there- Yes, both my son and I are actively playing the game daily. There is a progress tracker in the parent portal so you can check to see what your son does during a specific time frame in the game. It will list all of the learning activities he has completed, so you can see if he's "goofing off!" And from a player's perspective: you could technically just wander around the game, but I doubt he would want to do that because it becomes very boring and you can't really progress (meaning your character can't level up, no new quests are unlocked, no new storylines or characters, no new items in the shops). The instructors actually give the kids specific tasks within the quests, too, such as, "do one math activity, visit the commons, return to me for a reward," etc. I think this is why the free trial is a good option, so you can track his progress during that time. If you don't see him completing enough learning activities, then you can always cancel. I hope that helps!

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  4. Interesting concept, struggling to understand the educational aspects. How does it develop writing? Seems like writing would be difficult to gamify and award XP for.

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    1. Well, it isn't meant to replace any one form of education, so think of it as a supplement to your child's current schooling. The added educational aspects of this game are similar to any other educational online games, except that there's a fun, virtual world side of it. As far as writing goes, the way the concept is presented varies based on what level you're playing at. But they focus on sentence structure (using puzzle pieces to put the sentence in the correct order, just as an example), parts of a sentence, main ideas, grammar concepts, etc. They do this through puzzles, interactive videos, books, games, and more. They also have tons of videos about different forms of writing and types of words, like metaphors, similes, hyperboles, anagrams, etc. There are even videos about the origins of the english language- latin and norse influence. I learned a few things myself!

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  5. Thanks for the thorough review! Very useful and just what I was looking for!

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    1. You're very welcome!! Thank you for reading! I hope to keep updating the post with more info as we continue to play.

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  6. Would this work on Amazon Fire Kids Tablets? Thanks for the detailed review!

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    1. Hi there! Thanks for reading! They say this is not currently available on Kindle Fire, which I know is a real bummer since so many kids use them. But Age of Learning says this is something they are working towards, so hopefully it will be available for Kindle soon.

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    2. You have to install the Playstore (only certain version numbers worked on our Fire HD 10) to be able to use the app on Amazon Tablets. (Admin Account, There has to be a way to get it to show up on the user Accounts. (Not great if you want your 6 year old to buy an App (Minecraft). Instructions may be found online. Good Luck

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    3. ChessCat77, were you able to get it on your Fire 10? I have the google play but it says this app is not compatible.

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  7. Oh my! Where did you find cotton balls? I've been trying to help my son do this task all afternoon.

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    1. Cotton plants are scattered throughout the Commons and the neighborhood. They look kind of like a small stick plant! You stand in front of it and your character touches it to get the cotton. However, once you take the cotton it takes a while for the plant to regrow it (you might come upon a plant that has no cotton left on it often)! That was a complaint of mine in the lower levels- I could not find enough cotton or sticks for tasks. Now I have too much of it! You can also sometimes find people selling cotton in the marketplace. I sell it sometimes in my own shop because I have a lot of it now (I'm on level 17 or something). I hope that helps!

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  8. I'm concerned my son, if we try this, might just do the 'easy' level of every challenge, even though he should be intermediate, just to get the goodies. He's 3rd-4th grade (3rd in some areas, 4th in others). Any way to prevent this? Also, is this adaptive at all?

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    1. He could technically play the lower level lessons and videos, but only within the kiosks (meaning, he could manually switch it himself in the kiosk if he is just doing random lessons - if he figured out how- but the quests from instructors are geared towards his level and he can't change that himself). Don't laugh, but I actually tried doing it "the easy way" myself. Since I am beta testing, I want to level up and see what each level holds (so I can share it with you all, of course), so I have been trying to find "shortcuts" to up my XP! In all honesty, I got bored REALLY fast trying to just do the lower level videos and instruction within the learning kiosks. They move at a much slower pace. So then I tried doing just puzzles and color by number math to accelerate my XP but they do not reward as much XP as the higher level instructional videos and lessons (I think it's 10XP as opposed to 30XP). Does that make sense? Meaning, your son would still have to sit through a three minute "easy" lesson to get that XP, and it's not fun to do that if it's too easy and moving too slowly (in my opinion, anyway). If he's set at an advanced level, there's no way to change that for the quests he receives from the instructors in the game. I think those quests will be geared towards his level specifically, so if they say, "go do a math activity in the math wing," I think it has to be one from his level in order to get credit for the task. I hope that helps!

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    2. Oh, and you asked if it is adaptive- not as far as I know! But it DOES keep track of lessons/videos you have already done. You can only earn XP twice for each lesson so your son could not just watch the same video over and over again and earn credit for it.

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  9. How is my child protected from idiots saying inappropriate things in the commons when your wondering around

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    1. So if you have standard chat enabled, kids can converse with each other in all areas of the game, not just the commons. Age of Learning has chat filters and safety monitors for this. However, you may choose to turn off the chat entirely, then no one can say anything to your child and vice versa. This is NOT something your child can change on their own- it's set in parental controls and password protected. You can also choose the quick chat setting, which means kids can choose pre-selected comments and questions to each other (they are pretty basic, like, 'hi!' and 'how are you?'Kids cannot add free chat or sentences of their own to these pre-selected questions and comments). If the chat feature is something you're nervous about, just keep it turned off. No one can walk up to your child's character and say something to them at all then. You also do not see other character's chats (meaning, in some online video games you are able to view other players' chat bubbles or chats, even when you're not participating. That is NOT the case with Adventure Academy- you can't see anyone else's chats in this game). From a parent's perspective- I tested out all three forms of the chat and I found the quick chat or no chat to be the safest route.

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  10. * I just want to correct what I said above- chat is NOT available within the learning kiosks or learning activities, just the free play areas- commons, neighborhood, walking around within the academy and the marketplace.

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  11. Hi, how I am able to change reading levels? My daughter is at level Q but it seems to be stuck on L. Thank you

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    1. Hi there- Do you mean in Adventure Academy or in ReadingIQ? I didn't think Adventure Academy offered reading levels, just standard levels of beginner, advanced, intermediate, etc. across all subjects?

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  12. Hi, my apologies...I was referring to Adventure Academy. I just adjusted the level to advanced. I will see if this is a better fit for my daughter. Thank you so much for responding.

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    1. No problem! I hope that works better for her!

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  13. Hello! Okay my kiddos have started playing this, and they are having trouble getting cotton sticks. I have been trying to help With no luck. We can get the cotton balls fine but no sticks. Are we maybe just not doing it right?. Any advice/tips?? Thanks in advance!!

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    1. Hi! This was one of my complaints about the game- it's hard to find cotton balls and sticks. Sticks are usually found at the base of trees in the neighborhood and around the Commons. If you see them lying near the base of a tree, stand in front of the tree and click on it, usually three times to gather what's at its base. But it doesn't always give you sticks. Sometimes it gives you acorns or leaves. It's just chance if you happen to get a stick. Sticks (or the chance to get sticks) appear randomly at the base of trees and regenerate after a few gameplays, but there is a serious shortage of them when you need them! At least with my experience. If the quest is asking for cotton sticks, I think it's the same drill- either you click on a cotton plant whenever you see a full one and hope to get a stick, or try your luck with a regular tree and hope to find a stick beneath it (I THINK cotton sticks are the same thing as regular sticks). I hope that makes sense! Last option is to check the marketplace and see if anyone is selling sticks! I am on level 18 now and I actually have too many sticks. Go figure!

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  14. So I would like to sign my kids up with Adventures Academy with the free trial but it says I will be charged $59.99 now and 12 months will be added free so I am confused, is the first month free or am I missing something? - Thank you in advance =)

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    1. That doesn't sound right to me. I know they do ask for a credit card but that is usually to charge you AFTER The free trial is up. I would contact their customer service!

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  15. Is there a way to pay just the $9.99 and use both ABC mouse and adventure academy? I have an older child and a younger child, and niether could "go up" or "go down" to use just one service between the two of them. I would need access to both. Bummed I would need to pay double whereas those with children closer in age would need only one service. Hopefully that question makes sense. I only have two kids that would need access, so the three avatars thing doesn't help me unless I was able to split it between the two services. Any advice?

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    1. No, I don't think that's possible. Would be nice, though, I understand! But I think all of those programs (ABCmouse, ReadingIQ and Adventure Academy) are separate and the cost is actually different between them, too. Maybe this is something Age of Learning would consider down the line, especially since Adventure Academy and ReadingIQ are brand new. Sorry I couldn't be of more help!

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  16. Is the game able to use adaptive technology for Special needs - ie, Google-text-to-Speech ? My 13yo old son would enjoy this app. He can do/understand General Education Science and Math at his 7th grade level -- He is just very challenged when it comes to reading and writing. In school they use the Text-to-Speech technology to read subject matter texts to him.

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    1. I don't know the answer to this but I will try to find out and post back here. They do have "read to me" type books in the learning kiosks so he doesn't have to read everything himself. I don't know if that helps at all! But let me check and find out about the adaptability of it for you.

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    2. Hi. Any new information on this? Thank you

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    3. I haven't heard back from my contact at Age of Learning yet. I will ask again!

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  17. I have typed my question 3 times in the past week - I still do not see my comment listed here. How do you get comments to actually appear ?

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    1. Sorry- I have to approve each comment individually- you wouldn't believe the crazy spam stuff that gets posted otherwise! These are the first comments I have seen from you, though. It's possible the others didn't go through. Sorry about that!

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  18. When you were playing, did you have any problems looking up books to read in the kiosks for quests? My son has 3 books he needs to read but they don't show up when we search. Did you come across that? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Amanda- yes, I do remember having an issue similar to that. One suggestion is to make sure you are searching for the title of the book under "all levels" in the upper right corner in the kiosk learning screen. I think we were playing on advanced level and the title we were supposed to be looking for was beginner or a different level. Let me know if that works or doesn't work! If you still can't find it I might have some other suggestions!

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    1. Rocks are randomly placed. You can usually find them while wandering around The Commons area and the Neighborhood. They just look like a lump of rocks with a shovel sticking out of them. Walk up to them and click on them and you get rocks. You can also try buying them from other players in the Marketplace, but don't pay too much for them! Search for the lowest price.

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  20. Do they offer a free subscription for teachers like they do for ABC Mouse?

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    1. Hi Diana, as far as I know, they are not currently offering a free subscription for this one. It really only allows three users at one time, so I'm not sure how it would work for a classroom. ReadingIQ is another option from Age of Learning, and just like ABCmouse, they do offer a free subscription service for teachers.

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  21. Hi TheJerseyMomma, I have a 2-part question: does this game teach evolution, and is it common core aligned?

    Thank you for your time!

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    1. I haven't seen any learning videos about evolution- I will have to look though. I know I can search on the subject matter to find out. As far as common core, there are no lessons specifically labeled for common core, at least not that I know of. If that changes I will certainly update! Let me see if I can find out about the evolution lessons for you.

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  22. (Regards Messaging others online in the game) Hi there, I just bought the game and have concerns/questions. I homeschool my child age 7 and she had ABC mouse as well and loved it, I thought Adventure Academy would be great for her continuance but I have a concern about the messaging thing. You see I not only Homeschool, I also work on missing children s cases as well as online predators and fear my child could be talking to one and never know it. I cant always watch her on the computer and need to trust whatever it is she is doing on the internet games I provide her, such as Adventure Academy. I had noticed before I told her Id prefer her not to chat with people, but she did and the person was asking where she lived and if they could meet her...I panicked being who I am and am wondering what securities do you have on this app to protect our children from online predators? I wonder and Im not one, but had I been a predator and paid for your app for my so called child and pretended I was the child...I feel its still too easy to lure kids into giving out address/location etc. I dont mean to sound like Im over reacting, its a very serious question and maybe many need this answer too. Other then the messaging, the app is cool.

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    1. Hi there! Thanks for your question. First, just so you know, I don't work for Age of Learning and I didn't have anything to do with the creation of the game or anything. I just tested it out and reviewed it. Second, if you are uncomfortable at all with the chat feature, you can easily turn it off completely. There are three levels to the chat and you can choose to turn it off entirely or choose "quick chat," which means your child can only use pre-written sentences and responses. Other players cannot private message a player who has chat disabled or even a quick chat player. Age of Learning says they have chat filters enabled for those people who choose to use the chats, which means that you would not be able to send an address or a social media handle (although I should test this out to see if it holds true!). If you disable the chat, that is done in the parent controls and is password protected, so your child should not be able to alter that. If your daughter was using the chat feature and another player asked for her address, I would block and report them! I, personally, keep the chat feature disabled for my own child, or let him use quick chat only. I just think that's the best bet all around! Hope that helped!

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