Review: Shifu Plugo Link
Using Unique Tech to Have Fun Teaching Kids
The Shifu Plugo Link is a great STEM toy that makes education at home fun. We were lucky enough to be sent the Shifu Link, along with other Shifu STEM products by Professor Plums. They asked us to give it a test drive and to share our thoughts. Here is our review of the Shifu Play Plugo Link.
Disclosure: This post does not contain affiliate links; however, we were sent this product for review. Saying that; our reviews are real reviews regardless of whether the product was bought or supplied.
Overview of the Play Shifu Plugo Link
The Plugo Link seems complex but is actually quite simple. The first thing you need to do is download the App called Plugo (See Links Below). You then set up a tablet (Not included) at the far end of the 'Gamepad' (Play Mat), and you build with the magnetic hexagonal blocks at the end closest to you.
What you build will depend on the game you play. The application has all kinds of puzzles and quests. The app uses the camera on your tablet to identify where you have placed the building blocks. Kids will be challenged to put the blocks in the correct location to achieve objects and unlock new levels.
On the Plugo website, this is how they describe the Plugo Link:
Classic building blocks meet modern digital play with Plugo Link! Build and balance the magnetic blocks in real-world to solve exciting engineering puzzles on the screen.
What's In The Box?
Unpacking the Plugo Link Kit is a delight. The boxes and packaging convey quality just as much as the products do when you get them in your hands. Everything feels solid and well made.
The Plugo Link Kit has two main parts:
Plugo Foldable Gamepad: The is the mat that you will build on. It folds up neatly to store, and when unfolded, it has a universal mount at the end that holds most tablets and iPad. It is the same Gamepad as used for the Plugo Count System.
Plugo Link: This is the block kit. It contains 15 magnetic hexagonal building blocks, along with the instruction manual.
Shifu Link Game Play
All of the games for the Shifu Plugo Link are found on the Plugo App. These are available for Android and iOS. Here are the links:
Once downloaded, you can choose to play as a guest or create an account. We created an account just to keep track of the levels achieved.
Available Games on the App
There are six games currently available that use the Plugo Link Kit. They vary in skill level and are aimed at slightly different age ranges.
Who Am I?
This is my sons favourite game (At the moment). Use the magnetic blocks to build the shape on the screen. Once built, an animal in the shape of the blocks reveals itself. Great for kids just getting started with the Plugo Link System.
Help Jojo through 24 levels of fun. Kids use the magnetic blocks to build up towers to help Jojo find treasure. Each level kids will have to decide which of the four towers to build up to tilt the platform Jojo is on that will make him fall into the treasure. Slightly more advanced than 'Who Am I', but still an excellent game for young kids.
Help turn the gears with Gear Up. In this game, you need to use the magnetic blocks to build shapes that resemble complex gears on the screen. Once you place the blocks correctly, the gears begin to move, and you are off to the next level.
Use the magnetic building blocks to create rocks and stones on the screen, which help Bob hop to eat bugs. Just make sure you stay away from the snakes.
Kids need to problem solve a little in this game. Using the blocks, they need to connect the pipes from one side of the screen to the other. Once the hexagonal blocks are placed on the gamepad, the pipes on-screen take the shape. Connect them to get the water connected to the other side.
Using the blocks, build structures that find words on the screen. Very fun and very educational.
Plugo Application Compatibility
Here is the current list of compatible devices for playing Plugo Link. You can also check the official list here.
iPad 3rd gen & above.
iPad Mini 2 & above.
iPad Air all models.
iPad Pro all models (except Pro 12”).
iPhone 6 & above.
2015 and newer, 2GB RAM and above.
Amazon Fire Devices
Fire 7 - 9th gen, 2019 release.
Fire 8 - 8th gen, 2018 release.
STEM Education with Shifu Plugo Link
The Plugo Link is a great STEM education toy for many obvious reasons. It teaches logical reasoning, critical thinking, structure & balance, problem-solving, spatial reasoning and comprehension. Each one of the six games focuses on a slightly different STEM element.
Plugo Link Video
This is the official Plugo Link: STEM Toy video.
Ash Playing Plugo Link
Here is a photo of my son Ashton playing the Shifu Link. He is just one building block away from unlocking the turtle! He loves this game.
Our Review And Opinion
We absolutely love the Shifu Plugo Link System. While it is not technically Augmented Reality, it certainly blends the real world with the digital world. It creates a unique learning experience that is fun for kids, and a fun learning experience is what it is all about. My son loves it, and I can see us using it a lot more when he gets a little older.
There is not a lot to dislike about this product. Price is one thing that might stop you from buying it; however, at $90, we think it is great value. The only other negative to mention is device compatibility. Now, we have an iPad, so our device is listed, but not a lot of android tablets are listed. I think they support a lot more devices than they list, but it would be helpful for them to have a complete list.
Our favourite features include the wide range of games and levels, the graphics are amazing, and the quality of the physical blocks and gamepad are exceptional. The magnets are strong and hold very well.
Overall, this is a great educational STEM toy. We rate it 4.5 out of 5.
We take a look at the Plugo Count by Shifu. Here is our review and a detailed overview of the product. The Plugo Count is a great STEM learning toy for kids.