Is this the next Pokemon Go? New app lets you dodge dinosaurs and gather kittens

The app is designed to get kids outside and active while staying safe and creating a healthy relationship with technology.
GEO AR GAMES

The app is designed to get kids outside and active while staying safe and creating a healthy relationship with technology.

A new app for kids is designed to get them outside - and hunting for kittens or avoiding dinosaurs.

Merrilands Domain in New Plymouth will turn into a fantasy world with the Magical Park game.

The game, designed for six to 11-year-olds, is a smartphone or tablet app which uses the camera to show the real world overlaid with pictures. 

The app uses technology to fill parks with creatures including fairies, kittens, dinosaurs, and aliens, and get kids ...
GEO AR GAMES

The app uses technology to fill parks with creatures including fairies, kittens, dinosaurs, and aliens, and get kids running around.

Kids have two options -  a game where the aim is to collect eggs while avoiding dinosaurs, or another a different game where they have to gather kittens without being caught by the bad fairy.

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The children need to physically move to find the eggs or kittens. 

The New Plymouth District Council has set up the game, developed by Geo AR Games, in the Audrey Gale Reserve in the Domain as part of Parks Week 2017. 

NPDC parks and open spaces manager Stuart Robertson said the reserve would be the only park in the region offering the Magical Park game.

"We see the initiative as an exciting and interactive way to provide our community with a great opportunity to learn, exercise and have plenty of fun at one of our picturesque park venues," he said. 

"We know this is going to be a lot of fun for the kids – and possibly a few adults – and we look forward to seeing the fairies and dinosaurs come to life in our own back yard."

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Possible safety issues have been addressed too - the app is geo-fenced – meaning as soon as a child leaves the pre-set boundary of the game, the content will disappear.

The New Zealand Recreation Association has been behind the push of the app into New Zealand, and chief executive Andrew Leslie said he was looking forward to seeing Magical Parks springing up around the country during Parks Week.

"We believe combining outdoor play with technology can motivate kids to get off the couch and be more physically active.

"We can't reverse technology or progress, nor should we try. What we can do is create healthy relationships with technology by using the screen to get kids outdoors and moving around."

The app is free to download, uses little data and is compatible with Android devices, iPhone 5 or newer and iPad 3.

The game started on Saturday and will run until March 12. 

 - Stuff

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