One of our favorite camping activities is to watch the stars at night. These evenings often sparked conversations about the planets and space travel. If you have a star gazer in your family that enjoys adding a bit of galactic trivia to their gazing experience, then welcome to Space School with Astronaut Trainer.
Astronaut Trainer is a bit of a step up to the app Jetpack Journeys. This app introduces Kindergarten and Preschool age children to the solar system in a self-guided exploration. There are five game modes to choose from, each of which appear on the home screen. I like this approach because there were no levels to work through and game selection is at a glance. For this younger audience they have also included a nice pop-up demonstration when you initially access the game. For Astro Navigation this image shows that you tilt and roll the device to guide your explorer to the flashing planet. Along the way there are badges to collect, but make sure to avoid the spinning asteroids or your ship will explode and you have to start over. When you reach the planet you earn an interesting Space Fact. The other games include: Pilot Training, where you pilot your spaceship through an asteroid field with an up and down finger swipe; Astro Matchup, where you drag and drop images to pair them up; Planetary Order, where you place the highlighted planet in its correct position on the screen; and Rocket Building 101, where you select parts to create an original spaceship.
The Space Facts you earn are collected in a type of star log that pops up when a new fact is earned. It can also be accessed from the home screen at any time. A couple of cool facts I discovered were that while Uranus is often called the Ice Giant because it is so cold, Neptune is the coldest planet in the solar system.
Although the game is fairly simplistic in format I was really impressed with the graphic detail and image quality presented throughout the app. I thought it demonstrated a nice pairing of age appropriate activities and bite size trivia. Overall I think young explorers will find Astronaut Trianer an out of this world experience.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.