Now, we’re not a super techy family. Mobile phones and their virtual cave of wonders are restricted to adult usage for the most part (with the exception of long waits in the doctor’s office and the like). We are also selective about which Apps our children, aged 7 and 4 (the 18mo is a phone-free zone) interact with, given concerns over cyber safety and excessive screen-time. As a parent I’m looking for Apps which engage my kids’ interests and feel like a comfortable extension of their everyday entertainment.
So the launch of an App centred on one of their favourite TV shows peaked my interest immediately. Particularly with the knowledge that it is safe and AD-free. Featuring only preschool-age appropriate content, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko are waiting to take you into the night on a fun-filled adventure that’s out of this world with the brand new official PJ Masks: Racing Heroes App (RRP $5.99).
My 7yo is undoubtedly more adept at the concept of using her fingers to propel her chosen character across the screen aboard their PJ Rover as she attempts to defeat night-time villains, Romeo and Luna Girl. Racing across the surface of the moon, Miss 7 is constantly challenging herself with each game and level she accesses, to grab the gold moon crystals before her foes thereby upgrading her Rover and avoid losing powers as she slams into the virtual obstacles blocking her path. It’s a great exercise for her to sharpen her response skills as the obstacles pop up without warning.
Meanwhile her 4yo brother is finding his gross motor skills developing in his efforts to sync his touch as a satisfying cause and effect with the action on screen. He has been slower to grasp the goal of recovering power cells and driving over boost pads for extra speed while avoiding Luna Girl’s moon fizzle balls and Romeo’s shrink ray but the more he plays, the more he understands and the more he enjoys. I also love that this gives his sister an opportunity to help him, building her self-confidence and pride in her own ability while supporting him as he masters a new skill.
There are mysteries to solve and lessons to learn as you race to overpower the night time baddies, just as in the television series. Because being heroic is about working as a team, understanding your strengths and putting them to use in the right way. As life reflects art (or App in this case), my kids are taking the lead from their masked heroes and working together to pool their skills and beat the night time baddies.
Their favourite aspect is the ability to superpower their character’s powers as they collect as many power cells as they can in the fast paced timeframe of the game. Catboy’s Super Cat Speed makes him faster than the other heroes, Owlette’s Super Owl Eyes help her spot more crystals and draw them to her with magnetic power, and Gekko becomes invisible care of his Super Gekko Camouflage as well as being able to drive through obstacles.
There are over 35 unique levels to race through, with the landscape always changing and the challenges too. So once you’ve selected your favourite PJ Masks character get ready to collect the lunar treasures that will boost your powers, watch out for the features that enhance them like the holo-platforms which bestow you with extra power cells and even pilot the HQ Rocket through asteroid fields as you earn rewards and unlock new skills and levels.
The PJ Masks App is brilliant as it brings to life the quests and adventures kids watch their heroes encounter on the show, giving them their turn in the driving seat or rocket capsule and be a hero just like the PJ Masks!