In an era where the iPad 2 is the one of the most requested holiday toy of the year, Nukotoys is redefining the way children play. Called “Silicon Valley’s toy company,” Nukotoys is creating a new type of play combining the physical and digital worlds with its upcoming NUKO cards, collectible trading cards that come to life when pressed against an iPad or iPhone.
In Animal Planet, an Animal Planet-branded game, we saw a Thompson’s gazelle come to life on the iPad display. When its card came in contact with the display, we saw a digital version of the animal come to life on the African savannah. From there, we were able to pet it in a way that reminded us of Nintendo’s popular Nintendogs game. But it wasn’t all cuddly fun. When we pressed and held the gazelle, the game calling up a small entry with some interesting factoids.
We also witnessed a PG version of the circle of life when an African lion card touched the display. The lion immediately gave chase to the gazelle with the nimble animal barely escaping. There are currently 50 exotic animals to collect.
There’s also Monsterology, based on the New York Times bestselling Oology books. A combination of Harry Potter and Pokemon, players are charged with collecting a stable of mythical monsters including unicorns, wywerns, and manticores. Players battle through 60 levels to become “Monster Monsterologists” and take on the final boss.
Both titles will launch in Spring 2012 and will be free in the Apple app store with a free virtual pack of cards. Players can purchase additional virtual cards, but physical cards have stronger attributes than their virtual counterparts. Available in big box retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Toys ‘R Us, a pack of NUKO cards(3 cards) will cost $1.99; a full pack (7 cards) will cost $3.99.
Parents will love the educational and relatively inexpensive game while children will enjoy the colorful cards and the entertainment gameplay.