Mathos by Shanush Prema Thasarathan

Mathos by Shanush Perma Thasarathan is a math drill and a casual math game app. The beautifully designed interface is extremely clean and colorful. The game play is straight forward and addictive. Each level consist of answering equations correctly. The placement of the number keypad changes randomly for each equation, and to unlock the next level you need to correctly answer a certain numbers of equations before the time runs out.

Overall a good app. It does have an in-app store, but non of the items are consumable (the most you can spend on the app is now around $4.00). One of the in-app purchases is to remove the ads, but interesting enough I didn’t see any ads while I was playing. No interstitial and no banner ads.

I struggled with what rating to give this app. It would be simple if this was a general app review blog, but it is a children educational app blog. With some child protection for the in-app store and with age proper ads, it is a solid 4 according to our internal rating system. If those ads that we didn’t see are gambling, dating and/or any other non-child friendly category we would have not reviewed the app. In the end, I chose to review it for what I actually saw, but parents should be aware that the content of the store can change and that I didn’t see any ads. We recieved confirmation from the publisher that only children appropiate ads are shown.

I tested it on my iPhone at the request of the publisher. It is available in the Apple App store for free. I couldn’t find any versions for Android. It works fine without internet.

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.

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.

Save The Last Drop by Gregory Roumanis

Save The Last Drop bills itself as an educational and entertaining game. The key word is “and”.

The educational part of the app is only remotely connected to the game part. The educational part of the app consists of facts being presented over a static background. Since the facts are not read, for younger plays these facts will need to be read by an adult or older child.

The game part of the app consists of water droplets that drop from the the top of screen. You need to tap them before they reach the bottom. There is little variation on the game, but it is mindless fun, and it can be played by almost anybody.

Sadly I wish that the educational part of the app played a role in the game part of the app.

The education app is free, the water conservation facts are interesting, and the game is one of those mindless addictive/repetitive games. Give it a try, and then delete it if you need the space for something else.

I tested it on my Blackberry Playbook. Available in the BlackBerry App World. I couldn’t find a Android or IOS version.

I Spy with Lola by BeiZ Ltd.

I have played I spy with my children on long road trips. I Spy with Lola is not exactly that game, but it is a lot of fun. Lola the panda travels from place to place around the world. By clicking on a place you enter a scene where you are prompted to find particular items. You find the items by clicking on them in the screen. The scenes are larger than the width of the device screen, so you have to scroll to find the items. Completing scenes allows you to collect stars that are used to unlock other parts of the world.

Overall the graphs and animations look great. The music is catchy (but maybe annoying in the long run). My children loved the game including the oldest (who is 11).

An easy game to love. Great graphics, catchy music, and varied scenes and object placements make this an entertaining game.

Available for the iOS devices (iPad and iPhone) and Android devices (both on Play and Amazon App Store), I reviewed the iOS version on my full size iPad. The publisher provided the app.