Wee Puzzles by Wee Taps

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

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.

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.

My Alphabet: Underwater ABC for Kids by brightblue apps

My daughter absolutely hates educational games. She looked at My Alphabet by brightblue apps and said it looked awful and boring. My Alphabet is an educational app that teaches children the letters of the alphabet with a series of interesting mini games.

Some of the activities the app includes are puzzle letters (pieces of letters have to come together), letter puzzles, selecting the correct letter after it is sounded out, and an activity where children have to correctly guess the missing letter in a sequence (my least favorite activity).

The graphics and sound effects are great. The music is ok at first, but gets repetitive. Other than that minor issue, my only other issue with the game is with the tracing activity. With no clear instruction my daughter was coloring the letters in and not tracing them.

My Alphabet is a wonderful and well thought out educational game. As for my daughter, she played this “awful” game for over thirty minutes and actually enjoyed it.

It is available on the Apple App Store for $1.99. I reviewed it on my iPhone. The publisher provided me with a free copy. Does not need internet, no in-app store and no advertisement. It does have an other game button and a protected parent section.

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.

Viva Diamonds by Ronen Tsamir

Viva Diamonds by Ronen Tsamir is a hang man word game and a sort of Angry Bird clone (in a very loose sense). Partially completed words are displayed at the bottom of the screen. Launching a rock will break colored diamonds and expose letters in bubbles. You can then pop the bubbles with the correct letters to complete the words.

I have to admit that it is an interesting concept. I don’t particularly like the in-app store, but sadly that is the only way most small developers can make any money. The graphics and sound effects are average, although I wish the design and color scheme were less busy and more polished. It doesn’t help that it also has ads.

Sadly I don’t know exactly where this app fits as an educational app. The ads and the in-app gold make it too complicated for younger children. The single word hang-man puzzle make it too simple as an educational app for older children. Which leaves me with the idea that maybe it would be good for adults trying to learn english as a second language.

Even with all its flaws, I like the concept enough to give it 4 Stars. Maybe this will encourage the developer to create other puzzle/action word games.

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Available free in both Apple and Google store, I reviewed the Google Play version at the request of the publisher.

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.

 

Labo Pebble Art by Labo Lado Inc.

So I lost my test device. I made the mistake of asking my youngest daughter to take a look at Labo Pebble Art and tell me what she thought about it. And that was it, the iPhone was gone. She would bring it back only to show me her lovely creations and to take screen captures.

The app is brilliant and kept my daughter entertained for hours. It allowed her to reproduce a bunch of her favorite stuffed animals and then play with them in a game. The initial activities consist of creating the selected animal or thing by using rocks (basically a puzzle where the outline is already visible). Once the puzzle has been completed the child can color it and/or use it in the activity designed for that item. Any design or pattern done while coloring will remain while playing the activity. Some of these activities include making music, helping with motor skills and matching games. There are a ton of little details that you only notice the more you play. Overall a great app.

As for as gripes I only have one and the rest of the game is so well executed that it doesn’t really matter. For a game this creative it seems that some of the music was an after thought. My daughter asked to turn it off after just a few minutes of play, and my wife said it sounded like awful elevator music.

The app is only available for in the Apple App Store for $2.99. I received a free version from the publisher.

Works Offline. No ads. No in-app store.

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.