My Town: Home by My Town Games

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.

Available in the Google Play and Apple App Store. It is now free. I reviewed the Android version at the request of the publisher.

Ronnie Robot by Silver Bay Labs

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 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.

Sago Mini Monsters by Sago Sago

We loved the last app from Sago Sago that we reviewed. Today we are reviewing Sago Mini Monsters.

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.

I reviewed the iPhone version. It is now free on the App Store. It is also available for .99 on the Amazon App Store.

Math Slicer Free by Tumbstorm

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.

Available in the Amazon App (Kindle Fire), the Apple App and Google Play store. I tested the Free version (the paid version does not have ads but still has an in-app store) on my Kindle Fire HD+ and a recent Android phone.

nester by Mindquake

nester by Mindquake is an Android kids’ launcher. I remember a few year ago, when I was looking for a kids’ launcher, it seemed that I had very few choices. I downloaded a few and most didn’t work. Oh how things have changed in a few year. The Play store is littered with kids’ launchers. I am actually surprised that this is the first kid’s launcher that has been reviewed on this site.

Although we have not reviewed any other kids’ launcher, I really liked this one. I am not sure what others have and do not have, but nester seems to do the basics very well. It also includes very useful extras. For example not only can you set a timer (for how long the child can use the device), but you can also have a period of cool down. Great for children that have a problem with transitions.

As far as what you would expect of a kids’ launcher, it is all here. You are able to select the apps that are available through the launcher and as mentioned above set a time limit on device play. The parent lock is also sufficiently enough to keep most children from accidentally disabaling the launcher.

My only gripe is that for whatever reason a few options and features are not available unless you are logged into google or Facebook. Other than that it is a beautiful launcher with all the features you would expect and some that are unique and very useful.

 

The app doesn’t have any in app store or ads. Available on Google Play for free.

MarcoPolo Weather by MarcoPolo Learning

MarcoPolo Weather is the second app by the wonderful developers at MarcoPolo Learning that we have reviewed at Smart Kids’ Apps. As with the first app MarcoPolo Ocean, it is extremely beautiful and filled with discoverable content.

I loved the illustrations, they are quirky and interesting. I also loved the ability to experience the app using a few different characters (although one in particular was my favorite). Like their earlier effort there is a lot more to the app. Almost everything is touchable and can be interacted with.

Unlike the first app, this app is free. The app does have an in-app store that sells expansion packs. The store is protected with a birth year challenge which should keep most children from getting things accidentally.

Overall a great app. Highly recommended. And since it is free, you have very little to lose. My only small gripe is the in-app store, but unfortunately it is currently the only way to generate meaningful revenue.

Available only in the Apple App store, I tested it on my iPhone. No ads.

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.

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.