Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2013
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The Electric Company Party Game: Lost on Prankster Planet

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Collaborative board game gets kids interacting, thinking, and laughing

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Teachers say (3 Reviews)
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1-2 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Gameplay requires real-life talking, moving, and laughing, as well as some math problem-solving.

Cons: There's no single-player option, and you can't shorten game length.

Bottom Line: Another top-quality, ultra-fun educational product from the creative minds at The Electric Company.

This app plays very much like a traditional board game and, as a result, is perfect for more active times in the classroom or during a rainy indoor recess or in after-school care, when kids want to play a fun game and you still want them to be practicing some learning skills. For these instances, The Electric Company Party Game is an ideal choice. It could also be a fun reward during math class, as it focuses primarily on math-related questions and problem-solving.

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The Electric Company Party Game: Lost on Prankster Planet is a fast-paced board game app that gets kids interacting in real life. Created for 2-12 players, this turn-taking game focuses on math and literacy skills but also includes silly physical challenges like balancing a crumpled paper ball on your head and dancing for 10 seconds.

During gameplay, the device should remain on a table in the middle of the players because it acts as a shared digital board complete with an in-app spinner and place markers. Listen to the intro, then choose the number of players on your team. Choose an Electric Company show character to play for and then, turn by turn, answer the game's questions to move forward on the game board. Some questions require simple tapping of the answer on the screen, while others require players to do some physical action or ask questions of other players. Game pieces move on their own on the board, and the game leads players through each turn and related task. For example, one player may need to put numbered jelly beans in order, while another turn may require a kid to poll other players about their favorite color and chart it on a graph.

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As teams move along the game board, kids practice basic math and literacy skills, learning collaboration and turn-taking, as well as how to play a classic-style board game. The mini-games and activities that make up each turn include questions about shapes, graphing, money, sequencing, probability, asking questions, and following (sometimes very silly) directions.

While this game moves along rapidly, it can take quite a while to complete the entire board. Especially if many students (up to 12) are playing, the poll-taking questions and answers and the graphing can take much longer than just a tap or two on the screen. Still, it's well worth that extra time. The Electric Company Party Game: Lost on Prankster Planet gives kids a solid educational experience wrapped in a fun-filled package. It gets them thinking and moving, talking and laughing in a collaborative way.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Players must engage in real-life collaboration to progress in the game -- it's silly fun that they'll love. Design is bold and colorful, and it's a blast to explore the board.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids stretch their minds and bodies as they work with teammates to solve problems, ask questions of each other, and follow physical activity directions.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The game gives verbal instructions during every turn. Kids can repeat the instructions or get a hint for each turn. Brief written instructions are provided for parents, teachers, and other facilitators.

Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Jennifer A. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Montclaire Elementary School
Los Altos, CA
Digital Board Game for Standards Review

I'm glad I used the app and will use it again next year, but probably only once in a year. It didn't generate enough excitement and interest in my students that they want to play again. It was a better way to review math concepts than a worksheet. I wish there were some differentiation options. We initially started to play on an iPad mini purchased in the spring of 2014 (so 1 model removed from the newest) but the sound wasn't working even though sound was fine on other apps. We switched to an iPad 2 and had no problems with the sound. Incorrect answers were corrected by undoing the student's work if the timer hadn't ended so they could have another chance, or by outlining incorrect answers in red. If the time was up the correct answer was shown. In general this was effective in letting students know their mistakes. However, there was no reteaching or deeper explanation. Students did work together and the app was interactive in the sense that all students moved around the board together and some of the questions required students to talk to each other, such as polling for a graph or getting teammates to guess a word. However, it was not collaboration, in my opinion, in the sense that the team would be unsuccessful if a member didn't participate fully.

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