The tori Explorer Pack from Bandai Namco is a screen-based play platform that combines real-world action, creativity, and digital play into one package.
In addition to the dashboard app and the “board,” the set includes a catapult, a wand, and a “creative kit” composed of 4 DIY spacecrafts, a book, and a stand. Combine one of these toys with an RFID tracking component and the magnets in the “Mirror Board” are able to track its location – effectively allowing the player to use each to control a virtual counterpart within one of the four tori games.
tori supports a variety of play patterns. Kids can use the catapult to play the first-person, Angry Birds-style Jungle Rescue. Or they can race a spacecraft, collecting jewels and eliminating enemies. The wand has the most intriguing potential, even if it’s a bit more challenging to control. Two of the four tori apps use the wand – one, a creative building tool, and the other a meditative game which asks the user to manipulate virtual objects to match a shadow outline.
Templates are provided for kids to decorate their own cardboard spacecraft. Once decorated, the template can be quickly and easily scanned into the app, which morphs into a virtual shell for the spacecraft within the game. This gives kids a unique opportunity to see their own creation as part of a video game right away – instant gratification for our testers.
Parents should know that they’ll need to help with the instructions, especially with the initial set-up. The tori Explorer Pack packs a lot of advanced technology, facilitating interesting play possibilities, within a fairly easy to use platform. If your budget allows, this is a fun way to explore the bridging of the digital and physical worlds of play.
Jennifer Wells ©2020 Parents’ Choice
For more than 20 years, Jennifer has been developing play experiences for children, with beloved organizations like Highlights and LEGO. With a Master’s degree in Children & Media, a Bachelor’s in Music, and a love of Star Trek, Jennifer has many layers.