iPhone Life magazine

School for Dragons Lets Kids Learn while Playing

My oldest daughter grew up on Knowledge Adventure's PC games, so I was excited to see their mobile offerings. The same daughter loved How To Train Your Dragon, so when Knowledge Adventure released an iPad app based on that movie, I was all over it!

School for Dragons is an official Dreamworks-sanctioned game for the iPad (sorry iPhone owners) that is visually true to the movie and educational at the same time.

The game is massive, and that's a good and sometimes frustrating thing. When you first launch it, there is a registration and customization process; but if you pay attention, you can skip it and play as a guest. That could be made more obvious, but now you know! The app also downloads a ton of updates, but that should be a rare occurrence. Still, most gamers and kids tend to be impatient and want to play a game as soon as they download it, so this is an area to work on.

Finally, because School of a Dragons is such a big app, they recommend quitting other apps that might be running in the background. Apple's iOS still doesn't have the true multitasking, swapping, and paging capabilities of Mac OS X, so programmers sometimes have to overcome this.

Once the initial setup is taken care of, you can begin training your dragon. Actually, that's a bit misleading, as the real focus is on training humans (Vikings!) to work with dragons. And that's how Knowledge Adventure uses to make this both a game and educational app... Clever!

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is founder of No Tie Software, an app developer specializing in Ringtones and Sound FX including AutoRingtone.

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip, but over the years, Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62.

In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.