Periodic Game by Rene Basurto Quijada

Periodic Game by Rene Basurto Quijada is the first chemistry app we have reviewed.

The game consists of placing the elements into the correct place on the periodic table. Each round is a type of element or subgroup of elements. In the easier levels you can take your time to place the elements on the correct spots and it is easy to spot the missing tiles on the periodic table (they are blank). As you progress, the element tiles start to self destruct and the periodic table has all the tiles missing. The game play is addictive. For children or adults that need to learn the elements’ positions, this is a great game.

I did have some minor issues with the app. On smaller screens it is very hard to see the tiles (at least for these old eyes). It would be great if the app would zoom on the levels where you don’t need to see the entire periodic table. Also on my device unless I closed the app, other games were not able to play music.

I tested it on my iPhone at the request of the publisher. Available only on the Apple iOS for free; it does contain an in-app store (for the levels that are not included for free). No Android version was found.

Duh! Brazil by duhbooks

I always find it amazing the quality of e-books available at very affordable prices. Duh! Brazil by duhbooks is no exception. Pages filled with great information about Brazil. About its geography, people, fauna, history, and so much more. I loved the illustrations, the photos, and the interactive elements.

As far as dislike. In our house we frown on the use of the word “crazy”. Unfortunately this book uses it in the first page to discuss the enthusiasm of soccer fans. So many other words could have been used to convey this, it is unfortunate that “crazy” was used (but does offer a teaching moment).

The book is only available in the Apple store. I challenge you to find a book in your local or chain bookstore with this much content and information for $3.99, much less at the current price of free.

Mega LopArt by LopLop inc.

Mega LopArt by LopLap is a drawing tool where all the objects you draw can be animated. For example you can change the object by shrinking and growing, spinning, squeezing and expanding and/or fading and unfading.

The app has the usual tools that you expect from a drawing tool. An easy to use color palate, a tool selection bar, ability to share your creations.

Overall not a bad app, but I do have one gripe. I wish the app had some non-abstract drawing tools. They do have another app that does (LopArt Life) and that for the targeted age group (6+) this would not be a problem. The app should spur hours and hours of creativity. I actually bought an extra copy (the copy for the review was provided for free) for my personal iPad. I would also want to mention that on the iPad 2 that I used for testing, the app did crash a couple of times during testing. Hopefully that could be ironed out in the next version.

The app is available in the Apple App Store. I reviewed it on a iPad. No Android version exits.

Quick Math+ by Shiny Things

I know Quick Math+ by Shiny Things is supposed to be a math drill app, and as such it is great. Select the particular drill, watch the short introduction and then run through the math drill. All the drills are timed, the app keeps a record of your past runs, the app supports multiple students, and the drills are fun to play.

And the fun to play is key. As mostly a casual game player and a math enthusiast, I was instantly addicted to the math drills. I kept repeating to myself one more game over and over. I always wonder why not many casual math games exist, and this one could easily fit that category.

Alas, this blog is about education games. As such Quick Math+ is a great app. Clean graphics, beautiful to understand instructions, challenging and addictive game play, I didn’t find anything that I disliked.

This app was provided for free by the publisher, and I reviewed it on my iPad. It is available on the Apple App Store. I couldn’t find an Android version. The apps works offline. It does have an in-app store that promotes the publisher’s other apps.

Teach Me Apps: English for Kids by Bee Digital

Teach Me Apps: English for Kids by Bee Digital is an iPad app with 12 distinct activities. The include site works, vocabulary and spelling activities. All the activities are well thought out. For example the Alphabet activity has a particular object for each letter, but if you play that activity over or even go back to a previous letter the object is different. I also loved the voice is human and clear. The illustrations are beautiful, and the music is varied and not annoying.

Teach Me Apps: English for Kids is a great app for native speaking little children and for anybody learning English as a second language. I couldn’t find anything that I disliked about the app. Even the background is one of the cutest backgrounds I have seen in a while (kids drawings). The app has no ads, no in app purchases and the external links are protected behind a parent log in. I reviewed the full version as provided by the publisher, but a free version exists.

World Zoo Uncaged by Valarmabash!

World Zoo Uncaged by Valarmabash is an incredibly unique app. As the title suggests, it is a world zoo. A couple dozen animals are available to be selected. Once selected you can hear the names of the animal in 50+ languages as spoken in a particular country or region (it might be more than 100 but I didn’t count). You can also zoom around a world Atlas as native speakers pronounce in their language the name of their country.

Some other activities are also available. Touching the sun on the introductory screen allows you to cycle through what I assume are the greetings in all the countries in the app. There is also a flag quiz where you try to guess the country that the presented flag belongs to.

Another interesting feature of the app is that if your language isn’t represented in the app, you can record and send your translation to the author. And apparently he will merge it into the next version of the app.

Now for the issues I had (and most of these might be related to the device used to test). The app for me would crash after 10 minutes of playing, and then take an awful long time to launch. The button used to pronounce the particular animal can be double touched, resulting in unpleasant pronunciations.

For this review, the publisher provided the app for free. According to the information received the app will be available Dec 17 only on the Apple App store. From the documentation I received there will be a free version with in app store and a paid version with all the items unlocked. I am not clear on what the pricing would be.

Overall a very unique, entertaining and educational app for everyone.

Toca Hair Salon 2 by Toca Boca

After our summer hiatus, what would be better than to start with a review of a Toca Boca app. Toca Hair Salon is yet again a beautifully executed app that will delight children young and old.

In this app you are a head dresser. In a usual Toca Boca fashion the game play is completely open-ended. You pick your victim and then have an arrangement of tools to make him/her look beautiful. Don’t worry if you make a mistake cutting, there is even a tool to magically grow your subjects hair back.

The illustrations are quirky and the arrangement of tools are enough to keep your young ones entertained for hours. The sounds that the participants make at time are odd, but not at all distracting to the game play.

I tested the Play version which I received for free. Versions on the Amazon store and iOS also exist.

Fibble HD by Crytek

We have reviewed plenty in the past, but sometimes I question the educational value of some puzzle apps. I can understand the need to teach children reflexes and spacial problem solving, but how many of these apps do you need clogging up your phone or tablet. In Fibble HD by Crytek Gmbh you fling the main character (similar to the angry series) to complete stages that remind me of miniature golf.

The game has great illustrations and is beautifully animated. The music is interesting, unique and doesn’t get annoying as quickly as some others would. Unlike the 2D worlds of most puzzle games, this one has a beautifully rendered 3D world. Also the story is advanced by little movies in-between the levels.You can also tilt and roll your ipad to help the little one land in the hole.

Overall a very gentil and enjoyable game. A easy upgrade for some of the more popular puzzle games out there.

I played it on my full size iPad. It is available in the Apple App store and the Google Play store for .99 cents. It works fine offline and does have a in-app store. I received my copy for free.

Kids’ Vocab by MindSnacks

Kids’ Vocab by MindSnacks is a vocabulary builder educational apps. It does this by using varied and multiple games that re-enforce the meaning, usage and spelling of the words.

There is a lot here to like. The animations, illustrations, music and sound effects are all extremely well done. The games are challenging and fun. Many of the games are addictive and frantic (this might be stressful or frustrating for very small kids). For kids or schools that share devices, the app supports multiple logins. A feature that I wish more educational apps would have. You can also keep track of the child’s progress. The publisher also claims that the instructions are mapped to the core language arts standards (didn’t verify this).

I think it is fantastic educational app with enough varied content to keep children entertained while educating them. It will also be a great addition to a home school curriculum.

I played the free version of the app (as prompted by the publisher) on my https://itunes.apple.com/be/app/kids-vocab-mindsnacks/id582128594?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2&buffer_share=74eeb&utm_source=buffer. You can buy all 25 lessons for $4.99 from within the app. No Android version exists (that I could find). The app works offline and doesn’t have any advertising (the free app version does have a button to upgrade).

StorySmith: Medieval Kingdom HD by Brytag Creative

StorySmith: Medieval Kingdom is a story building app for the IOS devices. The setting for this education app is Medieval times (plus pirates). You select the scene, place characters where your want them and then enter the text for the scene. Repeat this process over and over until you end up with a story.

The illustrations are beautiful. They give a great framework for story telling. Entering story text is straight forward. In the last update a beach scene plus a few pirate items were added (who doesn’t like pirates). The app would also be a great addition to a story writing education unit.

Very few things to complain about. Younger kids will need help writing the story. I would love more scenes especially about pirates or completely new pirate app. It does not have any sound, but that is expected since it is a story book writing app.

I tested it on my full size iPad (app was provided for free by the publisher). It is available for IOS devices on the Apple Store. I couldn’t find an Android version. It doesn’t have an in-app store, doesn’t need internet access, and it has no advertisements.