Monster Physics Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on July 3rd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Monster Physics is a wonderfully creative and educational universal app which teaches about physics and building concepts to young engineers ages ten and up. This app, part of a library of applications from developer Dan Russell-Pinson, is a terrific choice for parents and teachers alike as this app requires focus and concentration as well as being a lot of fun.

There are many components to this app that children must understand in order to be successful with their builds, so I encourage adults to familiarize themselves with this application before showing it to their children. It is great how multiple players can save their game, making this app ideal for classroom settings as well as for families, and it is also cute and fun to have the ability to personalize the monster associated with a player’s individual account.

I would like to encourage users to start off by visiting the Learn section, which covers basic principles of physics such as gravity, friction, speed and velocity with the use of a simple, well-written explanation and animated scenes demonstrating what is being taught using the different pieces that one can later use in their creations.

After players study this section, there are two basic areas one can build machines in. A Build section allows children to create their own devices in an open-ended fashion, and it is wonderful that one can save and modify these machines for later, Yet I think players may have a hard time starting off in this section without a lot of building experience. Instead, I recommend the Missions area that will take players through sections of mini-games where they must build a contraption with various parts to unite monsters with the fruit they are trying to eat. The use of physics, as the title may imply, is top notch, making this a must-have application for young engineers, with the upper difficulty levels such as Challenge and Advanced great mental workouts for adults.

I admire all the work that must have gone into the developing of Monster Physics as the amount of content, assuming that one has the aptitude to complete this application, is impressive. I would like, however, to be able to see more tips given such as those found within the Training section throughout, possibly including even more specific hints as well for those who need it, with the use of helpful text and even a template that one can complete to give players a basic framework to follow while still needing to trouble-shoot the exact details. Even without adding more hints, I do find it a flaw within this app that the answer is not included for those who can’t continue within a missions from a section and need help. I don’t think one should underestimate the educational value of having challenges such as these explained - much more so than being stuck and walking away after hitting an impasse. Luckily, all the included mini-games are unlocked, and one can skip over a problem if need be. Do take as long or try as many times as needed to get things correct. There are no timers or points of any sorts, making this a great app for those who like to take their time and focus on the task at hand.

Even with this note, there is a lot to really appreciate about this application. I enjoy the look of these monsters, and I am impressed with different parts, connectors and special pieces one can use to create working machines both simple and complex making this a stellar application for teaching problem solving skills and critical thinking.

This is also a relatively quiet game that uses ambient nature sounds to a nice effect as all of these building exercises take place within an outdoor landscape. The other sound effects used to bring the different elements alive also bring a lot to this experience, but be aware that one can turn off these effects as well as the music used individually - always a nice touch.

It is easy to recommend the apps developed by Dan Russell-Pinson. They are go-to apps for anyone looking for an engaging education for older children and are-must have applications for teachers who use apps within their classrooms.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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