The Toys Bulletin staff was not sure what to expect prior to opening the “Flash & Thunder” game box. From the description, it seemed to be some kind of video game, but there was also an action figure and a graphic novel inside. As it turns out, the game actually includes all of those features plus much more in the first of a series of leadership stories and games released from INVICTA Challenge.
The idea is to combine a fun exciting game experience with an actual historical event involving true American heroes. INVICTA is actually an acronym for Integrity, Nobility, Valor, Initiative, Curiosity, Tenacity and Accountability, all traits that encompass a real leader. The games are aimed at children ages 8-14 years old.
“Flash & Thunder” takes us back to D-Day, June 6, 1944, the beaches of Normandy, France, a perfect choice for the first of what will hopefully become a winning series of games. Using a set of 15 high quality colorful mission cards, a player learns the background leading up to this fateful day. The cards actually form an operations packet that describes the Nazi threat, the suspected enemy locations, the detailed invasion plan and descriptions of the leading characters in our story, including First Lieutenant Turner Turnbull.
Once a player has a good understanding of the mission, he can study two maps that show the landing locations of the Allied forces, along with key cities that must be held and defended from the Nazi garrisons. Once this is completed, there is tremendous anticipation as the mission is soon to become a reality. Now, the player grabs the 108 page graphic novel, and things begin to happen. The novel neatly sets the stage for the player to become part of the mission, and its many twists and turns. The player takes on the responsibilities of Turner Turnbull, and some crucial decisions lie just ahead.
As each page is turned, the mission progresses, and the player finds himself in some very precarious situations. In many cases, the player, acting as Turnbull, must choose between several decisions, with “mission failure” a real possibility. The graphic novel will instruct the player to proceed to a certain page to see if his decision was the best one. The pages of the novel quickly move from the beaches to the city defenses, as the player (Turnbull) must make some live threatening decisions. Finally, we must not forget the articulated 6″ action figure patterned after Lieutenant Turnbull….it just adds an extra plus to the entire experience.
We have to say, and the entire Toys Bulletin staff agreed, that we learned more about D-Day in a couple of hours of playing this game, than we had learned in all of years in school. It was an amazing journey, and one that we highly recommend to parents looking to find a way for their kids to learn and have fun too.
There is also a free app, currently available at the INVICTA Challenge website, that allows players to make interactive military decisions regarding troop movement and strategic positioning. Success with the app will require using many of the skills learned while reading the graphic novel. This app will soon be available at both the iTunes App store and Google Play.
In addition to the free app, there will also be an in-app purchase option ($4.99) that will provide a digital version of the operations packet, maps, the graphic novel and lots of videos too. INVICTA Challenge has also announced that in honor of the first hero portrayed in “Flash & Thunder,” the company will donate a portion of its in-app sales to the Turner Turnbull Scholarship fund, which will support a “Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma” student in his or her 2nd year of college.