Kids and aliens learn to play soccer in Jolly Blast

Kids and aliens learn to play soccer in <i>Jolly Blast</i>

Credit: Jolly Blast Productions, LLC

Kids and aliens learn to play soccer in Jolly Blast

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by TRACY-MARK GORGAS / Special contributor to NWCN.com

KING5.com

Posted on January 27, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 1:06 PM

Bored alien kids, just like bored earth kids, want to have fun.  Jolly Blast looks to break that boredom and teach some things along the way.  Get your cleats on, we are going to learn soccer.

Story

Jolly Blast, his sister Holly, and their robot Tom live on the Planet Blah.  True to its name there is nothing fun to do on Planet Blah.  Using their Blink Stop machine they teleport to planet Earth where they meet Maddy, Cat, Max, and Coach Tony.  Coach Tony teaches everyone how to play soccer.  As Coach Tony is unloading the  bag  of soccer equipment Jolly uses his "Sportometer" to bring all the equipment to life.

After a fun day of learning and playing soccer Jolly, Holly, and Tom return to Planet Blah with all the soccer equipment. They then teach everyone how to play soccer.

Controls and Gameplay

Jolly Blast is an interactive story book.  The controls are very simple with arrows at the bottom corners to advance through the pages.  Interactive elements have sparkles to highlight them.  The story can be told two different ways.  Either "read to me" where the story is read by voice actors or "read myself" that allows a parent or the child themselves to read the story.  Both ways are also available in two languages, English and Spanish.
 
Along with the story there are some simple games that teach real world soccer drills kids can do to improve their soccer skills; interactive animations that show how to perform stretching exercises, a glossary of soccer terms from A to Z, and more.

Graphics and Sound

Jolly Blast presents itself in a very colorful and cartoony fashion that's sure to appeal to any kid.

The voice acting sounds good, clear, and concise.   The sports equipment is even worldly with the cleats hailing from Brazil and the shin guards from Scotland.  Coach Tony is voiced by All-Pro NFL Tight End Tony Gonzalez, who sounds like he could have career in voice work after football.

Overall

Jolly Blast is the first in a planned series of interactive books, each focusing on a different sport.  The goal of the series is to teach children sports, teamwork, good sportsmanship and a healthy lifestyle.  With the "read to me" and "read myself" options children can improve their reading skills too.  Even the two language options can become teaching moments.

The simple games and the animated stretches give clear instructions spoken in such a way that kids can understand.  For instance, deep knee lunges are called "giant steps" and are explained to kids to pretend they are giants taking giant steps.

From beginning to end Jolly Blast is easy to understand, keeps it all simple, and really talks to kids.  It's what you really want from a storybook to inspire them to go outside, play, and exercise.  I can't find anything wrong with Jolly Blast other than it being rather short, but then again, what kids book is long?

Jolly Blast is a great start for a series.  I give it a 5 out of 5.

Jolly Blast is rated 4+ for 4 year olds and older by the iTunes AppStore.  Jolly Blast is available now and works on any iOS device with 4.0 or higher.

For more information see the Jolly Blast web site.
 

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