Xander is always asking to download new apps and games and here’s his latest favourite! Airside Andy is the world’s first massive multiplayer online game for kids. As its name suggests, the game is set in a busy airport. The aim is to help Andy and his assistant Tilly ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Players can help with tasks in the form of mini games. These include cleaning the airport, baggage handling and ensuring flights leave on time. This earns them virtual coins which can be exchanged for upgrades to their avatars.
I have to admit that I had a couple of reservations about letting Xander play it at first. In particular, I was worried about the lottery of ads and the multiplayer element.
I needn’t have been concerned though. First of all, there are no ads. Meanwhile all of the interaction with other players is via pre-determined phrases. This means, of course, that there’s no chance of any unwanted communication.
I needed to provide my email address up front, then give permission for him to proceed, so I was quickly reassured that online safety had been taken seriously.
You can find out more about the security measures that have been taken on the parents page of the Airside Andy site.
With safety well and truly addressed, the most important consideration is what Xander thought of the game. I wasn’t surprised when he loudly announced that it was awesome! It’s obviously very intuitive as he managed quite happily on his own.
He only needed my help when it came to reading the odd dialogue box and it took some doing both to get my phone back and to get him talking about anything else afterwards!
It seems to be very educational too. As well as teaching children about earning and spending money, it introduces the idea of short-term goals and longer-term targets like developing the airport. Being a multiplayer game, it also encourages teamwork and that can’t be bad.
In addition, it nurtures science, technology, engineering and maths skills. With the creativity afforded by customising avatars and the airport in mind, that’s STEM and the arts covered. Result!
In conclusion, I’m happy with Xander playing Airside Andy. It’s secure and educational and he seems to really enjoy it. Plus it’s vastly more entertaining than our last trip to a certain Airport. If only Andy and his helpers had been on hand that day!
Airside Andy is free to play on Google Play and App Store with optional in-app purchases.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.