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Play Impossible Gameball Review
I made the decision to write this Play Impossible Gameball Review because it has amazed me since the day I realized it existed. I first discovered this game when my son received one from a family member for Christmas. He is 3, so naturally I was skeptical initially.
Our family believes that technology has some educational benefits, along with the many drawbacks. Therefore, we have made the decision to allow our 3 year old to have our old unused iPad. We use it for some learning objectives as well as a little entertainment. For entertainment we allow Netflix Kids, PBS Kids, and a few games chosen by parents. I do make sure the device is locked down tight using parental locks to prevent unguided access and financial losses. I’m still not sure who gets more frustrated with the ads in games, our 3 year old or me.
What is it?
It’s a digital game that is played in the real world. Not on the screen. The touch screen is only used for navigational purposes which can also be controlled with feedback from the ball itself. Instructions are shown on the screen and voiced audibly in a number of different accents and languages.
The Play Impossible Gameball consists of a foam ball and a charging wand. The ball is a little larger than a men’s softball and has artwork that makes it resemble a futuristic mini soccer ball. The surface of the ball has an embedded triangular charging port. The wand, containing 2 AA batteries is pressed into this port for rapid charging in ~20 seconds. This charge has lasted longer than any of our play sessions, but does drain itself even during periods of non-use. Play Impossible claims it receives a 1 hour charge.
Bluetooth Connection and Sensors:
When charged the Gameball automatically reconnects to the App via Bluetooth. A patent pending sensor in the ball provides all of the monitoring and feedback that allows the user to complete the challenges.
I’ll be honest, my expectations were low at first. Most consumer level wireless feedback products I’ve tinkered with to date have offered very little in the way of precision. This is especially true for devices that do not utilize a camera or a field of multiple points of reference. While I still haven’t pulled a tape or grabbed a stopwatch to check its accuracy for distance and time measurements, it’s a game after all.
I have been impressed with the consistency with which our Play Impossible Gameball maintains a connection while also reporting reasonable numbers. That being said, there are some arbitrary numbers it seems to make up on its own. For example, a few levels of the game wish you to throw the ball up for a given period of air time (in seconds) and catch it with less than an unidentifiable unit of force. But after a couple trials of testing the sensitivity you are good to go.
Play Impossible Gameball Modes
Because the Play Impossible Gameball is a paid product the app itself is available at no cost and without advertisements. Participation falls into 3 different modes: single player, 2 players with one ball (games like hot potato), or by 2 players with 2 balls in a competitive format. The app includes several different game formats to choose from including:
Impossible – standard level based challenges with star rewards (1 player)
Splash – Virtual water balloon toss, requires a soft touch! (1+ players)
SkyScraper – Race the clock to accumulate elevation, but don’t bust or you start over ( 1 player)
Rally – the original beach ball game made virtual keep the ball in the air without catching it using taps, bumps, and volleys (1+ players)
Jostle – Virtual Keep Away, earn points by not moving the ball while your opponent tries to make it move. (2 players)
Hot Potato – The name says it all! (2+ players)
Sport Labs – Study the physics of your ball, downloadable data if you really want to nerd out! (1 player)
Showdown – Head to head competition with challenges similar to Impossible (2 player)
Party Time – Alternating Party mode with fun challenges (4+ players)
Due to the younger age of my players we haven’t had the chance to try out every game mode. I’ll try to write a follow up Play Impossible Gameball Review later on discussing our favorite modes!
I’m making the assumption that most of my readers have some sort of smart device that they are using to access the Standard American Dad website. It would still be wise for you to verify that the Play Impossible Gameball App is compatible with your device. As for Operating System support they require Android 5 or later (6+ is ideal), Apple iOS 8 or later, or Amazon’s Fire OS 5.4 or later. A full list of devices that have been tested and optimized is located on here on the Play Impossible Website under Technology and ‘What Devices do you Support”.
Who is the Play Impossible Gameball for?
If it sounds like I have written this review as if it were game designed for me, there’s a reason! I’m the family member that has gotten the most use out of it. At the age of 3 ½, our son is nearly 6 years below Play Impossible’s recommended age range of 9 to 16. With that being said, I believe it is more because of the use of technology along with the fact that the ball is large enough to do damage if a toddler were left unattended with it in the wrong environment.
Our son plays with it, just not with the focus and intent of completing challenge the way it is designed. Instead, we practice controlled catch and toss games and he enjoys challenges like: rolling for a set distance, holding still for ‘X’ seconds, shaking for score in ‘X’ seconds. Dad just stays close by to help navigate the menus and combat frustration by getting him past the challenges that he still lacks the coordination to perform. I suggest you pick one up and try it out then you can make the decision of when to introduce it to the younger portion of the household.
- Indoor or Outdoor Use
- Quick, Easy, and Stable Bluetooth connection
- Haven’t had to replace AA batteries in charging wand (6+ months and counting) Play Impossible suggests they will last for around 200 charges.
- Light and soft enough to not cause injury (lying on my back throwing in the air my toddler has tackled my arm causing me to miss the ball)
- Tough enough to withstand drops.
- Smart enough to detect and warn about exceptionally rough play.
- 90 day warranty
- Charging Wand is not rechargeable (replace AA batteries)
- A bit heavy for playing in the house with breakables nearby.
- A few seemingly arbitrary units of measure like ‘catch with units of force’
- Water resistant but not water proof. Pool play would be a fun improvement!
- Play with a friend game modes are local only.
Overall, I think this is product was a good find. First, it helps get those youngsters that are glued to their tablets and TVs moving a little. Secondly, it can help the lower age groups develop some hand eye coordination and introduces a general concept of time, distance, and measurements (both metric and imperial). Thirdly, it’s just plain fun, I often catch myself trying to get a perfect 3 Stars even after our 3 year old has moved on to building train tracks or playing dinosaurs. I hope my Play Impossible Gameball Review helped you make a decision about your potential purchase for the family. If you have decided to join in on the fun and help a growing new start up by ordering one (or two) Gameballs you can get them direct from the PlayImpossible.com or Amazon.