Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
My girls love technology. What kid doesn’t these days? But I was really getting tired of them just wanting to play mindless games on their cellphones. If I let them, they’d play on their cellphones all day. That’s why I set up our Summer Electronics Rules. They have to earn electronics time by doing chores but to cash in their earned electronics time they have to do various tasks such as reading for 30 minutes and playing 15 minutes on an educational website or with an educational game. When were were offered an Osmo to review my girls couldn’t wait to test it out. I’ll admit that when I first heard of Osmo I worried that my girls (10 and 12 years old) would be too old for it but boy was I wrong. The product says it is for ages 5-12 but it each game has so many levels and grows with your child’s skills so it is challenging even for my 12 year old. I played with Osmo and some of the levels of games like Osmo Tangram were even challenging for me. And any age can learn to draw with Osmo Masterpiece. But I’ll get into all that in a bit. Let’s talk about what Osmo is.
So what is Osmo?
Osmo, created by young parents, encourages creative thinking and social interaction by expanding gameplay beyond the screen, turning any physical object into a digitally connected game piece.
Osmo is a game system that is integrates with your iPad for a unique gaming experience. There are five games can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App store. Search for Osmo and you’ll find Newton, Tangram, Masterpiece, Words, Numbers and the newest game Coding. All 5 games require use of the Osmo reflector and base which come in all 3 of the Osmo Kits. Tangram, Coding, Words and Numbers use physical objects that come with the set, whereas Newton and Masterpiece only require use of the Osmo reflector and base. We received the Genius Kit to review which comes with the physical objects needed to play all the current games except Osmo Coding and my girls have already
asked if I would begged me to buy them the coding set.
What Comes With Osmo?
- Genius Kit comes with reflector, base, and Words, Masterpiece, Tangram, Newton and Numbers Games
- Coding Kit comes with reflector, base, Newton, Masterpiece, and Coding.
- Wonder Kit comes with reflector, base, Newton, Masterpiece, Tangram, Words, Numbers, and Coding Games.
- Groundbreaking system encourages creative thinking and social interaction by expanding gameplay beyond the screen.
- Games can be played and even created by the whole family, anywhere, and on any surface.
- Works with latest iPads: iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Air.
- Recommended Ages: 5-12
- Suggested MSRP $99.99
The Osmo is very easy to set up and can be used almost anywhere with a flat surface. Right out of the box you just have to adjust the base for your model iPad by following the direction. Once the base is set up for your model iPad simply place the iPad in the base, slide the Osmo reflector over the iPad’s camera and you’re ready to play. Osmo works by “reading” the playing area in front of the iPad. We found that it works best (especially playing Tangrams) when you play on a light surface so we put a big piece of white paper in front of the iPad when we play. It just makes it easier for the iPad camera to properly see what is in the playing area. Playing in a well lit area helps, too.
Arrange wooden puzzle pieces into matching onscreen shapes. Play with your child or challenge yourself to more advanced levels with Osmo acting as your mentor by lighting up with each victory
Tangram can be played individually or with more than one player cooperating together to solve a puzzle. There are 7 Tangram tiles in various shapes and colors. On the screen the game shows the players an image formed with the various tiles and they have to figure out how to place the tiles to form that image. In easier levels the picture on the screen shows each individual tile that is used to form the image and in harder levels players just see an outline of the image and have to figure out how the tiles get arranged to form the image. Tangrams is a great game for spacial and visual problem solving. Players have to look on the screen of the iPad to see the image and move the pieces in the right position in front of the iPad on the table. As the correct tiles are placed in the correct place the image changes color on the screen to let players know it’s in the right spot. Make sure to move your hands out of the way after you place a tile so the camera can see the pieced you put down. As you complete the puzzles, the harder levels become unlocked.
The game Tangram has been around for almost a thousand years, but Osmo reinvents this classic using a fully interactive video experience. With visual and audio feedback, multiple levels of difficulty, achievements and more.
Use your creativity with inventive objects such as a hand drawn basket, grandma’s glasses, dad’s keys or anything around you to guide falling onscreen balls into targeted zones.
Newton is one of the games that can be played without any special pieces. Balls drop from the top of the screen and players direct the balls to bounce off of various targets by drawing shapes to direct the balls where they want them to go. Players can also put random objects, even Tangram pieces on the playing surface and the iPad camera will turn those objects into lines that will also direct the onscreen balls to bounce off the target. Players have to plan how to get the balls to bounce off of the targets and adjust their technique as the balls come down so there is lots of problem solving and strategizing involved.
TIPS- Use a dry erase board to draw shapes to direct the balls into the targets. Grab items around the house and see what works best to direct the balls. We tried various markers, pencils, our hands, and even some dolls and toys.
60 levels of fun! The more you succeed, the harder it gets! You can use simple strategies in the beginning, but as you progress Newton will challenge you with bouncing balls, accelerating platforms and fans that force you to think in new ways!
Be the first to guess and spell out the on screen hidden word by tossing down real life letters faster than your friends. A related picture gives the clue
Words is similar to a game of hangman. There are 2 sets of letters and you can play by yourself or with several players. In Verse Mode players compete and in Zen Mode players work together. An image appears on the screen and players have to figure out what is depicted in the image. There are circles on the bottom of the screen that represent how many letters are in the word. Players put letters on the playing surface that they think are part of the word that is being represented. If the letter is correct they get a point and the letter shows up in the word. If they get the letter wrong the letter goes up on the top of the screen so players can keep track of letters that have been tried. But you have to be fast or your opponent will put the letters down before you!
As the levels get harder the images get harder, too. For example one round there was a picture of a horse jumping. We thought that the word was HORSE but when my girls put down an S it was wrong. It turned out that the word was RIDER. So they had to think outside of the box a little and not pick the obvious word. It’s all trial and error but you only get a certain amount of guesses per round so be careful! For younger children this is a great game to learn to spell various words and while older children might already know how to spell the words, the harder levels make them think about what the words might be and act fast to get the letters down quickly.
Words comes with over 150 default puzzle images, but if you guess your way through those it’s easy to log on to myOsmo and download new albums created by the community. This added content can extend your playtime endlessly! Do you have a great idea for a Words album? If so, you can create and share it with the community at myOsmo! The platform allows you to easily build and download your own custom albums. For teachers, this is a great way to translate class material in an engaging way.
With a counting, addition, concatenation and multiplication mode, there is a challenge for everybody. As kids get more confident in one mode, they can move on the the next one, allowing them to learn at their own pace.
Numbers is a fun math game that players play with the Osmo number tiles. The goal is to fill up the tank with water and collect all the fish. There are 4 different modes that range from simple counting using dot tiles to more complex multiplication problems using numbered tiles. Again this just shows how the system will grow with a child through various math levels.
Kids arrange physical tiles, including dots and digits, to make numbers and complete levels. Add by putting more tiles, subtract by removing tiles and multiply by connecting tiles together. Experimenting becomes fast and intuitive. Kids play math without the pressure of time or the fear that they’ll get the wrong answer. Osmo’s real-time feedback lets kids learn through experimentation in a stress-free environment.
Supercharge your drawing skills with Masterpiece. Pick any image from the camera, curated gallery or integrated web search and Masterpiece will transform it into easy to follow lines and help you draw it to perfection. You can then share a magical time lapse video of your creation with your friends and family
Masterpiece is a great tool to learn how to draw everything from objects around the house to pets and people. My girls love art and love to draw but they sometimes get intimidated by drawing things from their own minds. That’s why the both love Masterpiece. Simply use your iPad to take a picture of what you want to draw and Osmo will turn it into a lined drawing that you can draw. You can even adjust how simple or complex the drawing will be.
TIP- We found that the less shadow in the picture the easier it was to draw because Osmo will turn shadows into random lines in your drawing. We use a light to get rid of shadows when we’re taking pictures for Masterpiece.
Once you take a picture in Masterpiece it turns it into a lined image. Then simply look at the screen and use your pencil on your paper to follow the lines and draw the picture. It is great for eye hand coordination. As you draw the lines you can see what you’re doing on the screen.
There is no limit to the images you can create with Masterpiece! There are also lots of templates in various categories that you can learn to draw such as animals, food, nature, and lots more plus you can search for images, too. My daughter has problems with handwriting and there is even a set of block letters and a set of cursive letters for children to practice with.
When you are finished with your picture you can save the time-lapsed video of you drawing the image and even email it to someone. It’s fun to watch the video to see how the drawing was made.
Take a picture of anything you want, be it a friend, a toy or anything online. Masterpiece will transform it into simple outlines so you can draw it to perfection. Kids love to draw, but with the rise of smartphones and iPads, they increasingly dismiss pen and paper. With Masterpiece kids can combine their love of technology and drawing, while learning useful skills.
Why We Love Osmo
Both my girls are loving using Osmo. They are asking to use it instead of playing on their phones or watching tv. Both said it would be too hard to pick a favorite game because they are all fun. They enjoy the challenge and the variety of the games. It’s nice to have an electronic toy that you want your children to be playing on. I love that as a parent I set up an account and add each child as a user so I can track their progress in each game. I also love that my girls can play the games together, learn to work cooperatively, and they are learning while they are playing. It’s a win win all around! If you have an iPad and children you need this game!
Watch how teachers can use Osmo in the classroom, too: