CES 2012: Nukotoys

by: Dan -
One of the great things about CES is being able to meet with someone that has a cool new product that you may not normally come across.  That started right on the first day of the show, as we met with Co-CEO and Founder Rodger Raderman of Nukotoys to get a hands on with the companies upcoming Android and iOS releases Monsterology and Animal Planet.  What Nukotoys has been able to do is blend the traditional card-based games along with iOS and eventually Android to create a seamless way to enjoy the benefits of both mediums.  Their goal was to create games that were fun first and educational second, without realizing hoe much you are learning.  They have accomplished this via their Tap technology, which introduces the physical cards into the digital realm by tapping them on the front of the device.  Although Rodger was not able to share with us how it works, it does not involve the camera and is very slick and something you will want to check out.
 
Monsterology is inspired and taken right from the pages of Templar Publishing’s Ology book series.  While it also has some roots in Pokémon, it is a tactile, turn-based game that uses creature from myth and folklore such as the Cyclops and Kraken.  The demo we received was on an iPad, but the game will also be playable on the iPhone and iPod touch.  The way it works is similar to other trading card games in that you use your Monsters with the best attributes to try and win the different battles.  Rodger showed us a capture-the-flag scenario in which he had to come up with the proper monster and power-ups in order to defeat his AI opponent and capture all areas of the map.  After getting the brief demo, it is clear that Nukotoys has something with Monsterology.  It should appeal to many types of gamers and is rated for those that are six years of age and up.  I particularly was impressed with the integration and the attention to detail the company put into this product.
 
When Rodger started the demo of Animal Planet, it immediately reminded me of the interaction you get with Kinectimals on the Xbox 360.  You can interact with them in a variety of ways, and it’s doubtful you will get bored as there will be 50 exotic animals to collect within the title.  Much attention was paid to the animals themselves to give them as realistic look and actions as possible.  Much like Monsterology, it will ship with two animals and you can add more from retail if you would like to expand.  It is also very educational, as their will be photos and videos that are accessible to players that want to learn more about the animals they are interacting with.
 
One cool feature within the games is that you can take your collectible cards with you and Tap in on a friend’s iOS or Android device.  While you are playing, the Animal or Monster on the card will remain, but will eventually fall off your friend’s device.  So this gives you the ability to take your stuff on the go, but alleviates the worry of having to switch it back to your own device at a later date.  Make sure you tap in the cards to your primary device first, as it is tied to the original device it is set up on.
The cards will be available at Wal-Mart, Target and Toys-R-Us in a variety of packs for both titles.  Pricing is expected to be $1.99 for an intro pack of three collectible cards and $3.99 for a seven-pack.    However, if you do not want to purchase the cards, everything will also be available digitally for the same price points in the applicable digital store.  The Apps themselves will be free for both iOS and Android (when available, probably March 2012), but the cards will be need to be picked up in either digital or physical bundles.  
 
I was very impressed with how both games work and believe this is one of the most innovative ways that a company has intertwined the physical and digital mediums into one big happy family.  The price points on the cards (both digital and physical) are well within reason and I am eager to get my kids involved to see if they will enjoy them as much as I did in my demo.  Nukotoys has promised us the ability to review the titles when they arrive in March, so expect something later this Spring.
 

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