CocoaNaut is a cross over game. Cocoa is a monkey from ItzaZoo, which is a Windows game. And a fantastic game at that. So good that I am completely satisfied buying CocoaNaut in the hopes that it shows enough support that they port more games over to the iPhone. Allow me to digress a moment.
Sabi games, the makers of ItzaZoo and ItzaBitza, have created a fantastic game engine where the characters in the story need help and your child is the hero coming to the rescue. Animals will need a house for instance and your child will draw them a house. Sabi’s drawing engine, the Living Link, recognizes the roof, the door, and windows. Coloring them distinctly, allowing your child to see through the windows into the house. The characters interact with the house, opening it’s door (even shrinking in size if it’s a tiny door or growing larger for big doors).
The engine is so fun, I admit I play it myself sometimes, just to test its limits. It is a pretty open game.
Additionally, the tasks your child are asked to help with, are phrased in a clear, simple way, and read aloud along with color highlighting to help encourage reading. Finally, there are some basic lessons about nature ingrained in the game. Sure, polar bears and penguins don’t really play together on sleds, but dandelions do spread their seeds in the wind and sprout up more dandelions with water and sunshine.
Anyway, we enjoyed the games so much, but found drawing with the mouse awkward and immediately thought they would have created a game on the iPhone with their Living Link. And so Cocoa, the monkey you’ll meet in ItzaZoo, is the first to make it over to the AppStore. He’s your typical monkey, hanging out on a island and wants to goto the moon. He needs you to help him get there. First, you need to draw a hammock. Then you can use the hammock as a slingshot to get him up to the moon. The game basically becomes DoodleJump at that point.
Still, there are achievements you can reach, to gain a sense of accomplishment. I’ll admit, we haven’t made it to the moon yet. But we like to keep experimenting with different hammocks (though I don’t think they make a difference – it just is fun to experiment with). And even though they haven’t done much with the Living Link in this app, I’d like to hope that they’re hard at work in bringing a more full featured Living Link app to the iPhone or iPad. It’d be a favorite across the family immediately.
So, if you were only going to spend 2 bucks, I’d hope it was here, to help encourage Sabi to build for the iPhone. And then hopefully when they do come out with an app, you’d be willing to buy that one too.