Dismonster by Dabadugames

Dismonster places your child behind the eyes of an investigator. The first person game has you walking around rooms and finding scary shadows. The shadows disappear (explode) when you cover the shadow with the item or items that produced the shadow (as in a jig-saw-puzzle). At first these shadows are made of one object, but quickly turn into scarier shadows that consist of more than one object.

The game play, graphics, music and sounds are great. It should be mentioned that part of the game play consist of rotating the objects to match part of the shadow outline. This might be to difficult for smaller kids.

Overall a great game. My only wish is that it had an easy mode where smaller children did not have to rotate the items.

Dadadugames is very kid friendly game. No ads, no in app store and follows the very strict MomsWithApps standard. The app will be available on November 18. I reviewed the pre-release version on my iPhone.

 

Jelly 8 by Yellephant

Jelly 8 by Yellephant is a game targeted to toddlers and young children. It consists of 8 activities of which 3 involve drawing something on the screen (I’ll come back to those 3 activities shortly).

The illustrations and animations are colorful and quirky (a plus around here). The activities I believe are unique and engaging enough to keep young children entertained for hours. I also found the mechanism to open up the parent section unique. The spoken words are human and perfectly enunciated. The app is one of the few toddlers apps that I have found that not only support multi-touch, but that activity depends on the child touching the screen with multiple fingers. The app is useful in helping younger children learn basic words, one to one relationship and counting.

Now for the dislikes. On two of the devices I used to test it (an android table and an android phone), the drawing activities were very slow. So slow to the point that I thought the device was frozen on a couple of occasions. Also on occasion I could still hear the music when the app was no longer being played.

Overall a great value for the price of $.99. I tested it on an android tablet and phone, but an iPad/iPhone version also exists in the Apple store. The app has no advertisements, works offline, no questionable permissions, and no in app store.

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.

Sago Mini Forest Flyer by Sago Sago

Sago Mini Forest Flyer by Sago Sago is a completely opened ended exploring game for the iOS devices.

My 6 year loves it. She takes controls the little bird and flies around discovering new places for the bird to play with. The places that have interaction are clearly marked as you fly by them.

The illustration, sound, music and animations are all engaging, beautiful and very well done. A beautiful app that everybody should consider downloading.

I played it on my iPhone. The app is only available in the Apple App store. I received a free copy from the publisher. The app does not have any advertisements or in-store store. It works offline.

MFF: Dorothy the Rainbow Fairy by Integrated

Dorothy the Rainbow Fairy by Integrated is a great science storybook.

Like most good digital storybooks, you can read the story yourself or let the book read it for you. It also has the typical interactive touch elements on all pages.

But it also has items I have not seen in other story books. Some of those interactive elements are modeled after pop-up or slider books. In most pages you can slide a virtual tab, or spin a virtual wheel.

The book is about fairies and rainbows. And if the book is correct, I might have learned a few things I didn’t know about the origins of rainbows. Overall a high quality and beautiful digital book.

Available in the Android App for Kindle, Google Play and the Apple App store. I received a free iOS version from the publisher. It works offline, and I didn’t see any in-app store.

MarcoPolo Ocean by MarcoPolo Learning, Inc.

Marco Polo Ocean by MarcoPolo Learning is an under water exploring app. The app is extremely well thought out and opened ended.

The first scene allows you to explore the ocean by both adjusting how far or close to the coast you are as well as how deep you are. Not only does the fauna and flora change by moving around in this scene but also the slide out menus change. There are also multiple interactive elements if you touch around.

Two menus are visible. One displays either the vehicle used to explore a particular ecosystem or the ecosystem. I selected only one, and it brought me to a scene where I had to fit in all the missing spaces (like a puzzle).

The other menu shows you living organism of the particular region you are now in. You can drag these organism out and add them to the world. You can also feed them.

The illustrations, animations, and the sound effects are all great. A very good app if your kids are learning about the diverse life that lives in the ocean, or you just want to expose them to a high quality entertaining and educational game.

The app is available in the Apple App Store. I couldn’t find an Android version. It is now on sale for 33% off (depending on the country). I received a free copy provided by the publisher.

eMotion Stories by GO UFO Ltd

eMotion Stories by GO UFO Ltd is a collection of interactive stories for deaf and hard of hearing children. The app and the first story are free. The app features an in-app store to buy other stories.

The stories are beautiful illustrated. As with most interactive books, the words are highlighted as they are read. Unlike all the story books that we have reviewed, in the lower left hand corner the words are signed by a real human ASL narrator. Some words in the story are under-lined. Clicking on these words makes the narrator show you how to sign those particular words. Like many brilliant concepts that look easy and obvious, I wonder why I didn’t come up with this idea first. You can even switch the words of the story to ASL gloss. The app also has a word dictionary where you can select words to be signed.

Overall a great concept and a great app. I believe 3 stories are currently available. And I hope that the app gets the recognition and sales it needs to continue to keep adding stories to the app shelves.

I reviewed the app and the free book on my iPad as prompted by the publisher. It is available in the Apple App Store. I couldn’t find an Android version.

Gombby Channel by Magnistage

I played this app with my 5-year-old daughter. Here at Smart Kids’ App we are always behind with reviews: too many ask for reviews, and not a lot of time to do them in.

My plan was to do a few today, and schedule them to be published through the week. Unfortunately that will probably not occur. You see my 5-year-old saw me launch this app, and after asking me a few times how to play it, she has now seen all three fee episode. I am probably on the hook for some of the paid ones.

Gombby Channel is not a game, but rather an app where you can watch the Gombby an animated cartoon series. As stated before the first three episodes are free, after that you are forced to buy more episode if your child wants to continue to watch.

The episodes are beautifully animated and illustrated. The music is beautiful. The colors vibrant. Overall they are of very high quality. The stories (the 2 I have seen at this point) are gentile and appropriate to the age that they are targeted for. The stories usually have educational arcs that are explained through the episode.

Overall I really like the app and Gombby. And by the looks of it, so does my 5-year-old daughter. Available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. I reviewed the Apple version on my iPad.

I received a press release from the publisher suggesting I review this app.

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.