It’s been a while since we released our first version for Akzara. One of the main reasons why is because we’re working on a major update for our next version. Today, we’re going to start revealing what those changes are, leading to a 1.1 release on Friday, Jun 8 2012.
One area that we improve in this release is the number of animals in the game. We add 12 new animals, i.e. Aardvark, Beaver, Fox, Giraffe, Lizard, Lynx, Mosquito, Owl, Ox, Squirrel, Whale, and Worm. We move away from one animal per alphabet setup to a more flexible gameplay where we can add more animals in the future without heavily affecting the gameplay. We hope these new animals can bring freshness to the game and to your toddlers when they play Akzara.
We also update how some animals look. But, most importantly, you can now hear the sounds of all the animals in the game. Just by tapping the animal before the puzzle is solved, you can hear the animal sounds as they are animated. Based on our testing, toddlers love to tap the animal over and over again, just to hear the sounds. We believe toddlers should be able to learn various aspects of animals, i.e. how they look, what they’re called, and how they sound.
While we’re developing Akzara, we also learned a lot from how our toddlers are being taught at their schools. Most teachers prefer to teach the students to recognize lower case letters prior to upper case letters. So, we decided to support this feature in this update. In the new update, your toddlers will be greeted with the lower case gameplay until they are advanced enough to unlock the upper case gameplay. After the upper case gameplay is unlocked, they can play whichever mode they prefer.
Speaking of unlocking upper case gameplay, Akzara now has smart leveling gameplay. We have grouped animals based on their syllables and the number of unique letters in their names. We know that toddlers have their own learning curves, hence we decided to introduce them to animals with simpler names, e.g. Ant, Cat, Dog, Pig, Yak, Fox, and Owl, over the more complex ones, e.g. Elephant, Mosquito, Butterfly, and Jellyfish. There are 9 levels in the game, and the game will automatically advance your toddlers to the next level when they have mastered the current level. Akzara is no longer a game where you traverse through the alphabet from A to Z over and over again. We hope the game can entice toddlers to learn more by providing the levels and increasing the difficulties as they play.
Updated Parents Zone with Charts
Akzara is known for its Parent Zone feature. We built this feature because we are parents who care about how our toddlers are learning and progressing through the app. With the new smart leveling, we also introduce a chart that can illustrate how your toddlers are progressing, in terms of levels achieved, in both lower case and upper case gameplay over the last 6 days. We hope this can provide insight to the parents on how they can motivate (and/or play along with) their toddlers in areas where they may not be progressing.
We have also adjusted the Parent Zone control feature, where there are some features which are now password-protected, e.g. the Reset Data button. We have had numerous feedback suggesting this, because it’s quite easy for the toddlers to hit it by mistake. With the new smart leveling, we also add a way for you, the parents, to adjust the levels so that you can have your toddlers revisit any level which has been unlocked previously. You can also use this feature to restart the game to level 1 without erasing the gameplay data.
On the audio side, we’ve made a lot of improvements to Akzara. We include a new original music for the splash screen and the in-game mode. We really love the new music and we hope your toddlers will too. You can now hear how each letter sounds when you tap them, which will help your toddlers to learn. And, we also allow you to switch on/off the music, sound effects, and voice overs should you desire to.
Finally, you can now send us feedback from within the app. We always love to hear your feedback on how we could improve the app and your toddlers experience while playing with Akzara. One last thing that we want to mention before ending this article is that whenever you see a notification badge in Akzara icon, you know that your toddlers have played with Akzara since the last time you check the Parent Zone. You might find this small feature to be very helpful if you really want to stay on top of your toddlers progress.
If you love Akzara and you know how other parents might benefit from this app, please kindly share this article with them.
We will be posting 5 promo codes here that they can use to redeem the current version of Akzara, and be upgraded for free to this awesome 1.1. version.