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.

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.

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.

Toca House by Toca Boca

Toca Boca makes beautifully illustrated and conceived apps (they like to call them toys), Toca House is no exception. Toca House consists of over 15 household activities that your child can carry out by touching, dragging and dropping.

The app is beautiful illustrated. The sounds effects and music are good, but might get annoying after a while (to the parents). All the activities are well conceived and all of them can be figured out by the child exploring. I love that the app rewards exploring, and that not all the activities are obvious or spelled out.

I reviewed it on my iPhone, and received my copy for free. It is available only on the Apple App Store for $1.99. No in app ads and the only in app purchases I could find were related to the other excellent Toca Boca apps.

Butterfly Math by Bugaboo Games

Butterfly Math by Bugaboo Games is an educational math game. The educational part of the app consists of clicking on butterflies with numbers to match the result of an equation presented above. The butterflies selected leave the screen, and what is left is used for the next problem. Repeat until all or 1 (not enough to answer a question) is left on the screen.

The second part of the game although not educational does give a nice transition between the math questions. You are challenged to click on as many butterflies.

The game is nicely illustrated. The music and the sound effects are mild enough to not be grading over time (at least for me, my wife had other thoughts). The game play is varied enough to keep your children entertained.

There are a couple of details that I really like. The first one is that there might be more than one set of numbers to satisfy the result of the equation. The second detail I like is the timer. You are given a set amount of time to complete the particular problem. I think the timer makes the game more fun (there is an option to turn it off). Other options available include type of problems (addition, multiplication, addition or subtraction), and music on/off.

Overall not a bad app. I reviewed it on an Android Phone as prompted by the publisher. No iPhone/iPad version exists that I can find. Available for .99 in the Google Play Store. A free version exists. It works offline. No in-app advertising (the free version will ask if you want to upgrade) and no in-app store.

Paquitoland Maria & Thomas: On The Farm by IMAGINARIUM S.A.

Paquitoland Maria & Thomas by Imaginarium S.A is a simple farm app for younger children. Kids get to move animals around a fixed farm background.

Since I tested the free version, there are other animals that I was not able to click. Those appear as white animals on the screen. My daughter didn’t mind these and mostly disregards them.

The most brilliant part of the app are the interactive elements. Many of the app reviewed here have interactive elements, but this is the first where the interaction depends on factors of its surrounding. For example click on a cloud anywhere but in a valley and the cloud produces rain. Click on that same cloud as it passes over a valley and the cloud produces rain followed by a rainbow appearing over the valley. This is the first time I have seen visual problem solving for small children based on interactive elements. Sadly not enough of these educational elements exist (at least not in the free version).

The graphics are average but cute. The music that plays in a loop gets annoying to adults (but not my kids). I couldn’t find a way to turn off the sound on the game.

Honestly, I did not like the app. I felt it needed more. But this is a blog where the opinions of my kids also get factored in. And although the app was not liked by the two older kids, the little one loved it. She has played it on and off for the last few days.

The app appears to work offline. It does have an in-app store, and a banner to upgrade the app running across the top. The good news is that it is a one time buy and not a star or coin scam. It has no 3rd party in app ads.

Overall a decent simple farm app with some educational elements. Download the usable free version and see if it is a hit with your younger kids.

I played the free version on my full size iPad (as promoted by the publisher). It is available on the Apple App Store.

Dress-Up! by By Antti Lehtinen

Sometimes in Smart Kids Apps we get apps that I really want to like. Dress-Up! by Antti Lehtinen is just that type of app. Two of my children love dress up apps, and all the ones I have seen so far would not be considered educational apps. Dress-Up! tries to change all that by providing puzzles games you can play with your dressed up dolls.

This app is not bad. It has incredibly cute and beautiful illustrations. Big eyed dolls you child can dress up and some interesting puzzles to complete with the dolls. The background music is average and might get annoying after a while, but that can be said of all other dress up apps.

As far as dislikes. I don’t like the in-app purchases, and that the content provided for free doesn’t give a good idea of what the rest of the app is like. I also wish there were more variety in certain aspects of the doll (like skin color).

I reviewed the app on both an iPhone and a full size iPad. It is available on the Apple App Store.

Kids Clothes & Seasons: Learn to dress up by Pyjamas Apps

My children are going to have a hard time picking the app of the month. This blog has been inundated with very good apps lately. Kids Clothes & Season: Learn to dress up is no exception.

After the customary splash screen, I was able to select a girl or a boy as my avatar. Inside the house my avatar was wearing his PJs, and I can tell that it was a hot sunny day from looking out the window. Before I was allowed to take my avatar outside, I had to replace his PJ with pants, a shirt and shoes from his closet. If I didn’t select the correct items of clothing, when my avatar stepped outside he would overheat. From looking at the scenes coming up, I see some cold days, raining days and other variations. I didn’t play past the first scene, but in each scene I would have to dress my avatar appropriately for the weather outside. The app is a very creative puzzle games.

The app has above average illustrations and music. I really liked the characters: they are cute and bright. The clothes and items around them are also nicely detailed, and many of them are interactive. For example I was able to turn the lights inside the house on and off by clicking the light switch near the door.

I have very few gripes. I wish there were more clothing options, and some of the items my avatar could wear were not that obviously wearable (this will come obviously clear on the first puzzle).

Overall a great educational app. I played the app (provided for free by the publisher) on my full-sized iPad. It is available on the Apple App Store for $1.99 (Currently on sale for .99). I couldn’t find an Android version.

PoppetPuzzles by By PoppetUniverse Limited

Poppet Puzzles is a puzzle game similar to the sliding plastic puzzle games of my youth. I believe you can still get these types of puzzles at the dollar stores and party supply stores. This particular apps provides numerous categories to select the picture from and three difficult settings. The difficulty settings modify the number of the squares that the picture is divided into.

Unlike the plastic puzzle pieces of my youth, this particular app does not have an empty space where you can slide pieces into: every square has an image. It is not clear exactly where you are able to slide the squares to. Picking up a square by tapping it results in a strange flicker as the tile is placed in nearby squares.

The app also does not have sound. Apparently this was done on purpose to provide a “silent app”. I rather have the option to have sound, and turn it down if it becomes annoying.

Overall disappointing app. I really wanted to like this app: indy company, percentage of revenue given to charity, and a concept that I use to love as a child, but the lack a sound and the annoying flickering bad it un-playable for me. Giving it a higher rating, because maybe these issues are not that problematic for some people (and I am hoping for updates to fix the major issues).

It works offline and it is available in the Apple App store and Google Play store. I reviewed the iPad version provided for free by the publisher.