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Osmo review: Hands-on iPad games with real pieces give kids new ways to play

Susie Ochs | July 11, 2014
The iPad can be tons of fun for kids, but the trick is to balance hands-off activities like watching a movie with hands-on projects like making your own. Osmo is hands on--it's a set of iPad games played with real-world pieces, and unique stand with a red plastic piece that redirects the iPad's front-facing camera to the game pieces as your child interacts with them on a table or floor.

Still, Osmo needs a few tweaks too. I was able to fit my iPad in the stand even with a fairly bulky third-party Lightning cable attached to the bottom, but it wasn't a great fit. The tablet sat up a little higher in the slot, which caused it to wobble a little more when I tapped the screen, compared to when it's fully seated in the slot. And the cable was bent at a pretty sharp angle where the stand met the table.

To be fair, slimmer Apple-branded Lightning cables fit much better. Still, I'd like to see a better way to thread a cable into the stand without straining it, especially since this game can be rough on battery life. After all, the camera is on the whole time you're playing.

Bottom line

I had as much fun with Osmo as my son did, and when he's a little older I'm sure he'll love it even more. Osmo would be great in classrooms, since it encourages kids to work together. More games would be welcome, especially ones that reuse the letter tiles. But even as it is today, Osmo is a worthy purchase for your favorite little iPad fans.


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