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Plugo Link

Lower Age: 4
Upper Age: 10
Website: http://www.playshifu.com
Year Added: 2019

Plugo Link, by Shifu, is an augmented reality building toy and app for ages 5 and up, where players build structures using the included 15 hexagon building blocks on top of a special building mat. The gift also includes an instruction manual, but the user does need a smart device to download the Plugo App available on Google Play and the App Store. First, the player must set up their device on the gamepad following the directions provided for proper setup in the instruction manual. Next the player will open the app and choose which game they wish to play. Within the app there are 6 different games to choose from: Loco Jojo, Hoppity Bob, Who Am I?, Word Hunter, Gear Up, and The Piper. In each game, the player will place the hexagon block pieces on the magnetic spots on the build mat. The player will see their piece appear on the screen. The player stacks and adds pieces to solve the puzzles in each game. 

While each of the included games uses the same mat and pieces, they each have different types of puzzles and objectives. For example, the goal of Loco Jojo is to use the blocks to tip platforms so Jojo will roll to the treasure chest, without falling into a hungry monster’s pit. Hoppity Bob requires the player to stack pieces so Bob, a frog, can catch all the flies. In Who Am I? the player places the blocks as shown on the screen. After they have finished, the screen will reveal what animal or object the player made. Word Hunter is a word game where the player arranges the pieces to select the right letters to spell a word. To play Gear Up, the player uses the blocks to place gears on the screen. The gears must form a chain to connect the starting gear to the ending gear. The last game, The Piper, has the player use the blocks as pieces of pipe and supports to help the water reach the destination.

    All of the games require the player to use spatial reasoning and problem solving skills, as well as creative and critical thinking skills. The player must ensure that their pieces are put together so they will not fall over, as part of the challenge is building a stable structure. The games encourage the player to think and use iterative design to produce the best solution possible by using the least amount of pieces necessary. The games are easy to play and the magnetic blocks connect easily so young users will have no difficulty enjoying the games. Plugo Link is a great choice for children who will enjoy fun problem solving games with an interactive component!