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.

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.

Geometry Quest by Bugaboo Math Games For Kids

Since I have not reviewed many educational Geometry apps, I was excited when the publisher Bugaboo requested that I review this app. Geometry Quest does not disappoints. In this app, you get the opportunity to travel around the world. Each city has a set of geometry questions that you need to answer to be able to travel to another part of the world (and another city). In order to be able to visit a country you need to have a passport. You start the game with 3 passports. You lose a passport every time you miss a question. If you lose all your passports you are not able to travel to the next part of the world. As you enter each part of the world you are presented with some pictures from that area.

The app is very well done. The questions and answers are clear, and the app provides hints if you get the answer incorrect with your first try.

Now for the things I didn’t like. On one of the devices I tested it, it would take a very long time to load the scene picture after selecting a place on the map. It took so long that initially I thought the app was frozen. Although the tablet is not state of the art by todays standards, it still is fairly fast (dual core, 1 gig ram). I understand the problem of trying to support many android devices, but as a consumer it is hard to pay for an app that might not work on a device. At least there is a free version. I also wish the app supported landscape view for all its screens. As it is now, some screen flip to landscape and other don’t. And lastly I wish it supported multiple users, and provided some description of what the particular lesson is about.

Overall a very good app. I tested the Android free version as prompted by the publisher. It is available on Google Play, the Android App Store, and the Barnes and Noble store for the Nook.

Dr. Morph’s Memo By Raketspel AB

Every app store is littered with matching memory games (including one I created about a year a go). All the ones I have tried consist of flipping cards that flip back if you can’t find the matching one. Dr. Morph’s Memo is also a matching game. This app has no cards and it has no flipping. Instead of cards the app has beautiful illustrated 3D boxes that drop from above at the start of the level. Clicking on a box causes one of the animals to pop out. Matching two boxes based on the animals that temporarily pop their heads out makes the boxes disappear, the animals to jump out of the box, and increases the volume of potion in the beaker (located on the top of the screen). Once the beaker is full, you are rewarded with one extra animal to match in future rounds. The game apparently has 100 different animals to win, and then match. You also get a gallery to view the animals that you have won already.

There are also other variations to the game. There is the ability to have a time limit to complete each level, and a variation where you only get three opportunities to match the angry-looking dogs.

So up to this point I have described the game play. The rest of the game is also outstanding. The graphics are unique, quirky and above average. The music although not varied is again quirky and very catchy.

Ultimately most of the apps that are reviewed on this blog, I end up deleting from my devices. There is only so much space, and we receive so many app review requests (many don’t end up getting reviewed). This app will probably stick around for a while. I love it. I am amazed that somebody took a tried and tired concept like a memory matching game and created such a unique experience. If you are looking for a memory matching game, you can’t go wrong with this app.

The app was provided by the publisher for free, and I tested it on a full size iPad. It has no in-game purchasing, no ads, and works offline. It is available only on the Apple App Store for $2.99.

Bird Launcher by RV AppStudios

Bird Launcher is a puzzle app where you launch a bird further and further upward until it reaches the nest. There are plenty of game upgrades and bird power-ups that you can get with coins. The coins can be either won through in-game play or purchased for real money.

The graphic are nicely done but nothing special, and the music is tolerable in small amounts (at least you can turn it off). The default bird is acceptable, and you are able to get free coins by posting on twitter, Facebook and other public forums.

What age group or grade would this be appropriate for? Not sure. If you forget about the in app purchases, very small kids could probably get entertained by launching the bird, and learn very little. But it also has in app advertising for their other apps, and some of those might be a little scary for younger kids (One has severed finger).

For older kids the puzzle appear to be fairly easy until they get extremely frustrating for no reason (probably to encourage in app purchases).

If you collect puzzle apps, like birds, and don’t mind spending real money for upgrades (for a different bird or a different background) this one might be one for you. Available for iPhone, Android, Nook, and Kindle Fire. I played the iPad version.

Magi Forest By Ola Games

Magi Forest is a puzzle game where you click on gems to drop animals into their nest. Upon dropping all the animals into their nest you can proceed to the next level.

The background and the characters are beautifully painted. The music is also very nice: not extremely annoying after extended play. There is also enough variations to keep the puzzles interesting (balloons, jellies and other game play variations).

The puzzles get progressively harder, and might get too hard too quickly for younger children. You are not allowed to proceed if any of the animals do not reach the nest (no partial credit). You can purchase the ability to skip a level: for .99 cents or by joining Alfa Circles and earning it (After signing up and logging into the site, I couldn’t figure out how to earn anything). If you don’t want random extra charges, I would recommend turning off in app purchases or telling your kids not to purchase a level.

Overall a pleasant, but not ground breaking puzzle game. If you don’t have enough of them on your tablet, wouldn’t mind another one, and you don’t mind the in-app purchase for skipping a level (or signing up and into a random site) this one can provide a hours of entertainment.

Available on the Apple App Store for 99 cents. I reviewed the iOS version on the iPad (provided by the publisher).

Dictionary.com by Dictionary.com, LLC

Available from the Apple App Store (version reviewed), Play, and Amazon. This $2.99 version of this dictionary is all the dictionary you might need. Like any good dictionary, it provides  a detail definition of the word, idioms, origin and even sample sentences.

Although I have not reviewed any other dictionary app, two features really stand out. The first one is the ability to do searches when offline. When I place the iPhone in Airplane mode, I am still able to search for words. Although I was no able to test it, it should work great for devices that don’t have permanent internet connections or where it is not permitted.

The second feature that I really liked (and probably not the intended purpose) is the ability to make a list of favorite words. My daughter receives a list of words weekly for a test at the end of the week, and it would be useful to have those definitions handy and quickly accessible throughout the week.

 

It also has many other features of various value. It has a built-in thesaurus, able to hear the word spoken out loud, search by voice (worked great for me), share the word via e-mail, twitter or Facebook (limited value), and word of the day in Spanish and English (not bad to increase your vocabulary).

My only complaints are that on the iPhone 4S it is slow sometimes especially clicking between the button navigational buttons, and that although I like the extra features the interface seems cluttered.

The $2.99 version has no ads except a more page where it promotes other apps.

Shakespeare In Bits By Mindconnex Learning Ltd.

Works of Shakespeare abound for free from online booksellers. You can get them in paperback for less than $8. Plenty of people reading them can be found on YouTube. So why would anybody buy these same works for $14 each on the Apple App Store?

Shakespeare In Bits is beautifully animated, provides a space to write notes as it is read to you, is annotated, provides clarification (in the way of synonyms) for certain words, summary for each act/scene, character relationship map and you can even show the animation on a monitor (via AirPlay). Sure you can cobble together all this information for free on the web, but it wouldn’t be as polished and as enjoyable as this app.

My complaints are minor: No Android version exists, although technically you can use the web browser (I did not test this). In a couple of the scenes it was hard to hear the words over the background music. Perfectly read, but I felt some of the characters didn’t act it out as well as they should have (but this is subjective, and for $14.00 you can’t expect Claire Danes).

For a child struggling to understand any of these great works, I think Shakespeare In Bits is a great addition to the learning tool kit.

It is also available for teachers and teaching institutions online.

Minecraft – Pocket Edition

In creative mode you can build anything you want out of blocks. In survival mode there are animals, zombies, and mummies and you try to survive.

You can build anything you want, there is no limit. You can go into the same world as other people and build with them.

I wish that you could customize your character and that you can see people connected to a different wifi.

LMG

Additional Notes from AJG:

Allows you to build structures of any sizes. Houses, Tunnels and basically anything else you can imagine in a 3D world.

Other than the educational building aspects (think of Lego blocks), some school districts (at least in North Carolina) are using the full version as a way for children to build items that they plan and design.

Available on Play and the Apple App Store for $6.99.