Presidents vs. Aliens Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on July 21st, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Presidents vs. Aliens is another fabulous universal educational app from developer Dan Russell-Pinson, who also created the hit apps Stack the States, Rocket Math, and Stack the Countries.

This app focuses on the knowledge of U.S. presidents, as correct answers gives the player a chance to defend national landmarks from an alien invasion.

A variety of questions is included within this app, including the identifying of the 44 U.S. presidents by their picture, political party. nicknames, quotes, as well as general facts, historical events, and their predecessors and successors. Questions can be chosen from these categories randomly or from selected areas of knowledge, a nice touch which also changes the degree of difficulty.

When a correct answer is made, one has a chance to fight an army of invading aliens that can be seen in formation across the sky, and it is nice that a famous landmark is included as the backdrop for this game, further adding to the educational aspect of this game as well as added fun.

To defeat these aliens, fling a president's head at these invaders, trying to knock as many down as possible. It may take a few tries to get all of them and this game allows the players to keep trying with new heads until the level is complete.

I like that a physics engine is used here, something to keep in mind as one lines up the head toss with the use of an arrow showing the angle at which the head will be thrown, as the president heads thrown and aliens being hit respond as if gravity is a factor in their reactions. If one is lucky, aliens will bounce into each other, taking themselves out as well having the presidents bounce off red brick structures that are included for the purpose of ricocheting off of and hitting more aliens, but be aware that these structures can also be lost if shot at directly.

If three questions are answered correctly, one gets to use “executive powers,” allowing three head tosses at once. Finally, when all the aliens have been defeated, the level is over and the player wins a president for his personal collection in the interest of collecting all 44.

It is great that this app, like Russell-Pinson’s others, includes up to five players and one guest allowing large families or small classes to create personal profiles, and kids will enjoy choosing their personal president avatar to distinguish their saved info from others'.

Two other mini-games are included as well that one must unlock by earning enough presidents, "Heads of State" and "Executive Orders" to further learn about president identification as well as arranging them in correct order.

An excellent resource is also provided, namely a set of presidential flash cards complete with all the information needed to be able to answer these questions, nicely outlined in a very clear and useful style that will aid in the retention of these facts.

I have had a lot of fun with this app; so will children grade school and up. Undoubtably there is a lot to be learned a lot from playing Presidents vs. Aliens, and I appreciate the level of difficulty offered when tossing president heads at the aliens, as there is no time limit in deciding what angle a good toss would be and that persistence will be rewarded, as one can answer as many questions as needed, earning and tossing heads as needed to win the level.

The physics used in Dan Russell-Pinson games is always an educational experience itself, and this is no exception. This game is a must-have for grade schooler, as well as for anyone learning about the U.S. presidents or interested in history. Great for families, parents and older kids, all will find themselves drawn to this app as much as I was, playing long after I needed to for the sake of this review.

Do also check out the other apps by this amazing developer. His ability to mix educational content with fun and engaging games is top-notch, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. I think his applications are some of the best educational interactive games available in tunes.

iPhone Screenshots

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Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 1 Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 2 Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 3 Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 4 Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 5

iPad Screenshots

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Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 6 Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 7 Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 8 Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 9 Presidents vs. Aliens® screenshot 10
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