We love indy developers at Smart Kid’s Apps. One of the reasons this site was created was to give indy developers a platform to showcase their good educational games. Planet Lettra is just that type of app.
The app takes place in a beautiful planet where letters float in the sky. As the player you can force letters to group into words of your own making or you can just grab and drag letters around until they form words. There are also little trees/animals in the surface of the planet. Using your bubble letters or words you can interact with the trees/animals in un-expecting ways.
As for complaints I have a few. I wish the voices were human (not an easy task for an indy developer). I love the video and the poem about the planet. I just wish that the words of the poem were written out somewhere where a child could follow along.
The app is available in the Apple app store for $1.99. I couldn’t find an Android version. Doesn’t require internet, doesn’t have ads and doesn’t have an in-app store.
I have to be honest; I know my addition. The game play although initially appears to be repetitive somehow is addicting. I am a middle age man. What am I doing playing a game intended for children from age 4 to 7?
That is exactly what happened when I picked up Astro Nora by Julie Ward. I don’t know if it is the music (which I love), the special effects (just as well done), the beautiful and quirky illustrations or that I can win tokens that I then can use to make the monster burp. All I know is that I really enjoyed this game.
The game is intended for 4 to 7 year olds. You play the part of Nora. An astronaut that apparently has lost all the pieces to her space ship. Collect the pieces from monsters by answering subtraction and addition questions. Along the way you can also jump on platforms and collect coins (not sure what they are for). You also collect burp tokens that you can use on another screen to make the monster burp.
Overall I loved it. My only issue was that on my old iPad 2 at times it would stall between scene transitions.
Available on Apple App Store, I was not able to find an Android version. Works offline. No ads. No in-app store that I could find. I reviewed it on my iPad using a free code provided by the publisher.
Wee Puzzles by Wee Taps is a puzzle app. The app has over 50 puzzles in about 8 categories. At least for me it is the first time that I have played a puzzle game where not all the spaces and pieces are visible at the beginning of play. Every time you cover a piece another space is shown as well as another piece to fill in a space. At the completion of the particular puzzle a fun animation is played.
Overall a great app. Beautiful illustration, and abundant puzzles choices. For those that have not bought a puzzle app for their younger children this one will fit the group nicely. For the current price of $.99 US there are very few better choices.
I tested the app on the iPhone and a free copy of the app was provided for review by the publisher. I couldn’t find an Android version and it is available in the Apple App store for $0.99. Works offline and I couldn’t find an in-app store in the version I played with.
My Town: Home by My Town Games allows children to explore the inside of a house. The virtual house is filled with intractable items. Almost everything that you can see can be played with.
From blocks, to a ball, to a slinky. You can open and close doors to not only cupboards and closets but also to the oven, microwave and the fridge. As you can see the in picture you can play with the fish tank and even a remote control helicopter.
There is also a mini game where you collect hearts as you find them. I believe you receive a gift after you find all the hearts.
Overall a great game and at the price of free parents with children in the appropriate age range should download and give it a try.
Ronnie Robot by Silver Bay Labs is a wonderful app. An open playground for smaller kids to explore and interactive with. The main character is an ant robot that you can drag around to ride vehicles, enter buildings, stop fires, and other activities. The app also has a plethora of vehicles that can be used and interact with including a fire engine truck, a tow truck, and a fireworks truck.
The graphics, animations and sound effects are all beautiful and well thought out. It is one of the best apps we have reviewed this year. Since it is available for Free there is really no reason not to try it out.
As far as dislikes I can only think of one. It is to easy for a small child to leave the main game screen. It would be nice if that particular button had a delay before it activated the transition.
Not only is main game well thought out but other aspect of the app are also well designed. The in-app store for extra content protected so only parents get into it. Individual toggles for sound effects and music. Clear and human understandable privacy notice. The developers are also members of the wonderful Mom with Apps group.
I tested the app on my iPad (prompted by the publisher). No Android version exists and the app does not run on the iPhone. It works great offline. It doesn’t have ads. It is available for Free in the Apple App store.
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.
Moon Tunes by Wee Taps is a music player for smaller children. The app consists of at least two scenes (or music players). Each music player has a tray of music items that can be dragged onto the scene to play that particular song. It comes with a few songs and as a parent you can associate any of the music items with songs in your library. There are also special effects that the child can touch as the music is playing.
The app is beautiful. Beautiful bright colors, nicely done illustrations and great sounds effects. It should help younger children learn one to one relationship (a building block for more advance math skills).
As far as dislike I only have one, I wish it didn’t display the extra purchasable scene in the main screen selection area. Technically it is a gift for people who have purchased their other game , but small kids might not understand why they can’t use the rocket player and parents might not want to buy an extra game just for that scene.
Overall another great app from the people at Wee Taps (my daughter still plays Wee Subs). Available in the Apple App store for $1.99. I reviewed it on my iPad and was provided a few copy by the publisher. No android version. Works perfectly fine without internet connection.
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.
This time your kids get the change to create their own monsters. You start by coloring in a shape that comes up from the swamp. Plenty of eyes, horns and colors to choose from. Once your monster is created you can feed him, brush his teeth and snap pictures.
The app also includes an informational parent section to help parents play with their children and a catalog of other Sago Sago and Toca Boca apps. No internet required, no in-app store and no ads.
The illustration, music and special effects are all great.
Math Slicer Free by Tumbstorm is a fruit ninja clone with a math educational twist. In this version you use your fingers to cut the numbers that match the answers to equations displayed in the background. By playing the game you win eggs that you can use to unlock other levels, slices and even power ups. You can also buy more eggs if you don’t have enough for the items you want. The music, sound effects and graphics are ok. The animation when you slice a piece of fruit is very good.
Overall the concept is great. Taking a familiar and popular game and making it into an education game is a great idea. I really tried to love the game but I struggled with what star rating to give it. First on the Kindle Fire that I tested it on, the slicing of the numbers is awkward. After a few minutes of playing, I got the hang of it (smaller children might get frustrated). I didn’t have the same issue with the Google Play version. Also for some reason the Amazon Kindle version is not recognized by Amazon Free Time as a valid educational app.
Although the issue above is annoying, my biggest issue is with the egg in-app store. Small children might end up buying eggs for real money. There is no mechanism to stop small children from buying eggs. The paid version removes the ad banner but retains the in-app store.