Secrets to Free Play!

Posted in Ooka Updates on by Ooka Island

My name is Jim Barber and I am the CEO and creative director at Ooka Island Reading Programs. Today I would like to share a quick video with you on the Free Play Experience.

This video tutorial will focus on all the extra features available to little learners during the eight minutes of Free Play experience. Watch the video tutorial below, or scroll down to read the video transcript if you prefer!



Video Transcript:

The Ooka Island Adventure has a unique game flow cycle. The young learner follows Zobot in guided play through 20 minutes of reading skill activities, finding a a book and reading it twice, and then completing comprehension activities.

Then eight minutes of Free Play follows.

free play beach ballThe eight-minute Free Play time was included in the adventure to allow young learners to explore and play in their virtual environment. A multi-colored beach ball icon appears at the beginning of Free Play and disappears when Free Play time expires. The child then goes back to guided play and the game flow cycle continues. The following steps are recommended for the young learner to follow for the first few Free Play sessions.



Step 1: From Main Map, click on the Mist Mart

Mist Mart

During guided play, players earn Ooka Mist that can be spent at the Mist Mart. Items at the Mist Mart are only available to purchase if they have first been unlocked during guided play. A padlock on an item in the Mist Mart indicates that it has not yet been unlocked. During Free Play players can visit the Mist Mart to purchase items of clothing and costumes for their avatars. Once purchased, these can be found in the yellow wardrobe in the Pencil Playground. Players may also purchase playground equipment, music, wallpaper and flooring for the Pencil Playground, as well as Zopet, his food and his various tricks. For the first few Free Play sessions, players should be encouraged to visit the Mist Mart before travelling to the Pencil Playground to explore and discover.

Please note that because there are hundreds of items, it takes about 20 seconds for all of them to be loaded when a player clicks on the Mist Mart.



Step 2: Click on Treetop Castle and then Pencil Playground

Tree Top Castle

Pencil Playground

After clicking on the Pencil Playground, players view a short narrated slide show about the playground. Once inside the playground, players should be encouraged to click on the floor to move their avatars around to become familiar with the surroundings. This is what players can discover inside the Pencil Playground:

  • Playground Rides: Click on the slide, see saw, or trampoline, and then on the pop-up checkmark to ride. If an elf is near the ride then the elf rides with the avatar! Ride upgrades can be purchased at the Mist Mart. Once purchased they are placed in the Pencil Playground.
  • Avatar Appearance: Click on the yellow wardrobe door with the star to enter the wardrobe where changes can be made in the avatar’s features, clothing, accessories and costumes. After changing the avatar’s appearance, click the green checkmark to go back to the Pencil Playground.
  • Music: Click on the radio behind Zobot on the stage, to choose and change the music. Songs purchased in the Mist Mart are available on the radio.
  • Teddy Bear Collection: Purchase Teddy Bears in the Mist Mart to have them placed on the shelf in the Pencil Playground. Fifteen bears are needed to complete the collection.
  • Snack Shack: Click on the Snack Shack to feed an elf a healthy Ooka snack. (Each time five new books have been read, a rescued Ooka Elf is placed in the Pencil Playground.)
  • Zopet’s Dog House: Reach the top of Alphabet Mountain to unlock Zopet, and then purchase him at the Mist Mart. Click on the doghouse to bring Zopet out to play. Tricks and food can also be purchased.
  • Floor and Wallpaper: Change the floor and wallpaper inside the Pencil Playground by purchasing new ones in the Mist Mart. Once purchased, these items instantly change the décor in the playground.
  • Wall Paintings: Purchase paintings in the Mist Mart to have them randomly placed on the walls inside the Pencil Playground. The paintings change each time the player enters.


Step 3: Other Free Play Options – Trophy Room and Popcorn Library

Trophy Room

Popcorn Library

As young explorers become more comfortable with the island, they can venture out into other areas such as the Trophy Room, where they can view their award charts; the Popcorn Library, where they can read books previously read; or to any of the unlocked activities, where they can replay fun reading activities.

When the beach ball timer expires, the young learner will transition back into guided play and the Ooka Island Adventure continues.

Thanks for joining me today. This concludes the Free Play Experience video tutorial.


To learn even more about the Free Play experience, visit the Free Play Page!

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