Play Shifu – The augmented reality game

Its Rey’s birthday month. He is soon turning two. Where did the last 23 months go?! It’s been a beautiful blur of ever-lasting memories.

I am mighty proud of the fact that in these 2 years (almost), I’ve kept my son away from any kind of screen time (barring a few short video calls a week to family). He’s been actively involved in reading (read – flipping pages and pointing at objects or drawings), outdoor activities (our park visits and walks), indoor games (from football to stacking to helping around the house) and spending time with family.

However. I do realize that sooner or later, I will need to bow down to the technology God as it has taken over almost all aspects of our life. Fortunately, I can control what and how much exposure do I give to my child, well until a certain age at least! I recently received Play Shifu – Jungle Safari for my son which proved to be the perfect initiation.

What is Play Shifu?

Play Shifu is an augmented reality game that integrates audio-video digital input with the user’s real-time environment. It is an interactive game that allows kids to navigate and engage all the while adding to their learning bank. These are games designed for kids between 2 to 10-year-old and focuses on early learning in the most engaging manner. It combines the physical and digital world through augmented reality. It helps kids learn about animals, their habitats, sounds they make to communicate and the food they eat.

The kit contains a set of 60 flashcards, a device stand, a pouch to store and carry the flash cards and the activation code for the application.

The game requires a mobile or a tablet – IOS or Andriod based. The app is easily available on Play Store or Apple store. No in-app purchase required, it’s free, and requires a one time download. The activation code is valid for three uses so the app can be installed on three different devices.

How to install: Its easy – peasy!

Simply go to the play store, type Play Shifu and search for it, click on install.

Run the app and it will ask you for the activation code. Enter the activation code. The app will take a few minutes to set up for the first time. Once done, you’re all set to go on a Jungle Safari!

How to Play?

It’s child’s play. 🙂

  • Place the device on the stand and start the application.
  • Place a flash card within the camera focus and to see the animal/bird/sea animal
  • Tap on the animal or the bird to see and hear them come alive in their natural habitat.
  • With the touch of a finger, they become your virtual pets.
  • You can see them in their natural habitat, their movements, etc. Shifu Safari reproduces the habitat, the eating habits, the sounds of each animal on the mobile screen so that the child can have a holistic understanding!

Why would I prefer it over the idiot box?

  • It’s a learning-based game.
  • Enhances General Knowledge.
  • Helps increase vocabulary and develop language skills. Helps grasp spelling for older kids
  • Boosts imagination with free play
  • Does not need internet connectivity, absolutely safe for the child
  • The act of stacking the card in front of the phone and ensuring it is in focus develops hand-eye coordination in children
  • Fine tunes motor skills
  • Hones skills like recognition and interpretation
  • Widens attention span
  • Strengthens memory through interactive approach and 4d experience
  • Is education-based game that promotes learning game.

To introduce the game to Rey, I started off by first introducing the flashcards to him. He is able to easily identify close to 18-20 objects/animals/birds from flash cards at a stretch, hence I was glad the pack contained 60 Animal kingdom cards for an extended engagement. So we don’t always have to rely on my phone battery for the game. 🙂

Though I briefly initiated the app, Rey seemed more interested in the flashcards as of now. The game is designed for 2 – 10-year-olds, but the interest level completely varies from child to child. I will slowly and gradually introduce the app to him,

Its a blessing in disguise for when you want your child to be in tune with the technology changing this world yet retain the innocence as well as get something to learn out of it.

The only opportunity I felt was the load on the mobile, my phone screen heating up after a while. It may not be the case with tablets though.

A good activity-based game for a child, economically priced, a great gifting option. Cant wait for Rey to turn two so I can inculcate the learning based game in his schedule.




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One thought on “Play Shifu – The augmented reality game”

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