Developed by Tourmaline Studio and coming to Kickstarter next week on March 16th, Oniri Islands: Children of the River is a cooperative, two-player adventure game that has players using beautifully crafted figurines in combination with an iPad (or Android tablet) to play out the adventure of lost twins, Mina and Tim, searching a mysterious island for their shadows. It is an original story inspired by the Lost boys from JM Barry’s classic Peter Pan.
Oniri Islands appears to use a similar design model (albeit a different underlying technology) to things like Cars (AppMates) and Skylanders, where the players move the figures around on top of the iPad screen to interact with the story and environment, collecting items or speaking with the island’s residents. Everything is presented on the screen with a top down view “to create an illusion of perspective (like a boardgame)”. The two character toys are recognized through tactile tags (pattern) so each is uniquely recognized and require no batteries, instead utilizing the static electricity from the player’s body.
Aimed at kids between the ages of 6 and 10, this augmented narrative adventure looks absolutely charming as your children can place five different animal masks on the toy figures to bestow the protagonists with special powers that will help drive the narrative and help them to solve puzzles. Maybe They need to fly like a bird, or swim like a shark, just pop on the right mask and let the magic begin.
Since Oniri Islands is cooperative in nature, it looks like a fun and engaging way to get your children to work together to solve puzzles as they explore the island and go on different quests.
The final game (which is likely to contain six, 30 minute chapters) is not expected to be released until the 4th quarter of 2017, though (as I mentioned earlier) the Kickstarter campaign is scheduled to launch next week.
In the meantime, you can check out a teaser trailer below.