Things are very different for kids growing up today. Technology has advanced so much since I was a kid, when a Game Boy Color was revolutionary and when shows like ReBoot or Beast Wars were still airing. Now, many kids walk around with portable supercomputers, having information at their fingertips thanks to YouTube, Google, social media and more. They also have access to tons of apps catered especially for them. One such app releases today, as the DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition app launches on iOS and Android, offering hours of free entertainment to kids. Thanks to Warner Bros. Consumer Products, we were able to get a lot of information on the app, even giving it a test drive ourselves.
The DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition app utilizes a variety of activities to create a one stop destination for young Batman fans everywhere. This is done in part by using augmented reality, but also with frequent updates to keep content fresh and interesting. The main concept of the app is to initiate kids into the fictional “Knightwatch” program, led by Batman. Using Batman’s computer AI assistant, Penny-One, kids will be able to help Batman solve crimes on the streets of Gotham City. They’ll also be able to participate in several mini-games to get high scores and level up their Knightwatch profile.
“Batman is one of our most important franchises, so bringing together the DC and Warner Bros. Consumer Products teams to develop this app featuring his fan-favorite gadgets and crime-fighting tech was a chance for us to give fans yet another way to engage with a favorite DC Super Hero,” said Pam Lifford, President of WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experiences. “The app creates a truly unique experience that gives kids around the world a chance to immerse themselves in the DC Universe – there’s no other app like it available today.”
With the DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition app, fans will also be able to take part in an original narrative adventure. They’ll learn about Batman’s gadgets and utilize them to take down the likes of The Joker, The Riddler, and Mr. Freeze. They can even earn stars in several mini-games, including an endless Batmobile driving game, a rooftop runner, Batarang target practice, and a hide-and-seek mini-game with multiple henchmen. While doing this, they’ll unlock stickers and filters to make fun photos and pictures. Using the AR filter, kids can essentially become Batman, or even become one of his many villains.
“The Batman mobile app showcases Batman’s innovative technology, using augmented reality like never before, and gives kids a way to unlock the mystery behind Batman’s crime-fighting gadgets,” says Kevin Morris, Vice President of Franchise Management and Marketing at Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Kids can now experience being a DC Super Hero alongside Batman, and while learning and playing they can also help save Gotham City.”
Of course, there’s even more to do with the DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition app. The app will include brand new comics focused on the Knightwatch plot line, giving kids even more stories to enjoy. There’s also the video section, delivering classic and new Batman related media, including clips from Batman Beyond and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. The video section also includes the Batman Science Lab series, focusing on Batman’s tech in real life applications.
When asked about potential DC crossovers, Kevin Morris gave some hope with an optimistic response. “Let’s just say we’re going to start with Batman. Batman is our number one super hero. He is the icon. We want to explore that world, and there is a lot to explore in Batman’s world, so that’s going to take us some time. But we’ve been tinkering in our head about ‘where do we go next?’ so, nothing to give away here, but I will say: great question, stay tuned.”
During our time with the DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition app, we could see how kids could have a lot of fun with it. The AR missions are pretty interactive, requiring kids to really focus on the objectives. These missions will require some space and appropriate lighting, so it’s best to have a play area for it. Penny-One will guide you through the missions and help you use the various gadgets to investigate criminal activity. One thing I found disappointing was the voice acting, as it seems that all voices are handled by one actor. This means every character sounds roughly like Penny-One, using voice modulation to alter it slightly. Aside from the voice acting, the augmented reality is pretty cool for kids.
The mini-games are also pretty fun, offering some challenging missions that require practice and skill. Each mini-game uses procedural generation, so every attempt will be a bit different. It also helps that kids can play these games without the use of the camera, making them more accessible. While it might have been my preview build, there was one other disappointing feature: the camera filters. In motion, they worked perfectly fine, but once the picture is taken, the image stretches vertically. I couldn’t tell if this was intentional or just a bug in the preview, but it did diminish the enjoyment. At least the sticker application works without issue.
As a 32-year-old game journalist, I definitely don’t fall into the target audience of 6-12 years old. With that in mind, I can say without a doubt that I would’ve loved this app as a kid. Younger kids will definitely get a kick out of seeing this side of Batman’s technology. The fact that the app will receive regular updates will make it even better too. The app can notify users of the updates and make it even easier for kids to jump back in. Parents that are Batman fans will likely enjoy watching their kids enjoy the iconic hero as well. With the worldwide release in 13 languages today, Batman fans all over the world can take on this new experience.
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