For those that always struggle with screen time for kids (like, everyone?!), there’s a new game launching in Australia that is set to reinvent screen and board games.
Bringing the world of real and virtual together, we got to test out this stack-load of fun recently... and it is seriously top of our #want list right now!
Beasts of Balance is a game of strategy and balance, where you work together with your friends and family to build a tower of beasts, helping them evolve and migrate to get the highest score you can. Something akin to Jenga, the pieces balance on top of one another, each piece you add changes the world on screen.
Download the app to your device. With the Plinth turned on (a battery-operated base on which you stack the pieces), your device will automatically detect it via Bluetooth.
Then it’s time to play!
Choose a piece to play, scan it onto the Plinth, then stack it on the tower. The pieces are categorised three types that either create, enhance or evolve the creatures.
You can cross eagles with warthogs, migrate an octopus to the land... every move creates something new. Create a Tardigrade (migrate a bear to the water), an Octoucan (cross an octopus with a toucan), or a Bristlebeak (cross a toucan with a warthog). You gain points for each move, but don’t forget to keep them nourished with element pieces such as Air, Water and Earth. When the tower collapses, it’s game over.
It’s been a while since we’ve found a game that the whole family can play, and enjoy, without it resulting in a) kids fighting, b) kids getting bored or c) parents getting bored.
But Beasts of Balance is perfect, and it is sure to be played time and time again.
On first play, the pieces can be tricky to stack, so there is certainly an art in constructing the tower. But as you get to know the pieces, the strategy really kicks in and it becomes incredibly addictive.
The graphics are really fun, as you watch your beasts evolve and grow. There are apparently 100 beasts to meet, we haven’t scratched the surface on them yet! And with so many combinations, the game plays out differently every single time. It’s definitely a great pairing of tech and toys.
The simple inclusion of the iPad was enough for the kids that they felt they were still getting screen time, but in reality, the device isn’t the main part of the game at all. In fact, when the iPad wasn’t available, the kids still played – finding ways of successfully stacking the blocks without using the app.
Our favourite part was definitely the social play - the game inspires a fun, cooperative experience where the players work together, and the screen is the supporting element to the action on the table. And it provides just the right balance of physical and mental challenges – with strategy combined with the motor skills to build the tower.
Because you work together, it’s a really nice for the kids to share. And rather than competing, they were quickly strategising on how to migrate animals to get the highest score.
Though the box says 7+ our 6-year-old absolutely loved playing it. And it’s great fun for adults too.
Beasts of Balance is available in Australian Geographic stores nationwide, as well as Apple and Kogan.
RRP $149.99. Supports iOS and Android.