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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the name implies Pet Doctor by Toca Boca is an app where you take care of animals. As usual a beautiful app by the people at Toca Boca. The illustrations, music, sound effects and animations are beautiful and extremely well executed.
As usual the game play is opened ended. Children can pick any of the many animals in the main screen that need help. Each animal needs Once the animals are helped they get ready for sleep.
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.