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Category Archives: App – Childrens

MAKE A SCENE: ANIMAL ALPHABET & PHONICS [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (85%)

Make a scene: Animal Alphabet & Phonics is an animated learning book released by Innivo Ltd.

“Make A Scene presents Animal Alphabet, a fun way for children to learn the alphabet and phonics. It is ideal for pre-school age children and those currently in early years education. It can be used as a teaching aid to help young children learn the letter names and sounds. The application contains two different modes, one for learning phonic sounds and one for learning letter names.”

In a change from their normal sticker books, Innivo have now broadened is scope into a full educational tool. The application uses all the sounds and images that any user of Innivo have grown to know and love, and uses them again here, so you child can quickly get use to the new application.

The application offers two main learning areas the alphabetic and the phonics. Even of these sections have a main A to Z menu and then a soundboard on a seperate tab.

The soundboard side of things is a basic alphabet on the screen, you tap of the letter and the letter (or phonics of the letter) will play back. This is simple and it works.

The main menus for the sections again have the alphabet, but this time you can open a page with the animals picture and at the bottom the letter and name of the animal. Tap on one of these and it was be read out. Tap of the creature and it will animate and make a sound.

The screen is uncluttered and easy to navigate. In the main screen with the animal pictures you can swipe left and right to move to the next letter along. This is good, but a little too sensitive with the screen moving at the slightess movement other than a direct downward tap.

This application is aimed at the under fives, and as my daughter is four I gave it to her to test and watched the results before testing myself.

She enjoyed using the application on her own for a few minutes, but began to lose interest. However, when I sat down with her and asked if we could go through the alphabet together, her interest immediately returned and we worked our way through the alphabet and then played with the soundboard for a while.

The graphics and sounds are both very good. However, you do get the feeling the sounds are just those from the other applications rather than being reworked for this application.

On the upside:

  • Nice artwork.
  • Easy to use interface.

On the downside:

  • The swipe between letters is a little too sensitive, so when you tap on something the screen sometimes moves.
  • I would have liked the phonics names to be read out with more phonically (v-ul-ture).
  • Lacking the interaction of the other Innivo products (animals do not animate until pressed etc).

Overall, this is a great learning tool for younger kids. The kids will sit down and play with the application for a while by themselves and play, but this application is more for the parents to sit down and use it as an educational aid. My young daughter like the Make A Scene series, and this one was no exception. She likes the sounds and animation of the animals, but she wanted to do more than tap on an animal or square. If you are looking for a way to teach your children letters, then this is a great app to have.

Rating: 85%

Size: 35.6 MB

Price (at time of review): £1.49

Link: Make A Scene: Animal Alphabet & Phonics – Innivo Ltd

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in App - Childrens, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

MAKE A SCENE: FAIRY TALES [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (88%)

Make a scene: Fairy Tales is an animated sticker book released by Innivo Ltd.

“Do your children enjoy making a scene? Then give them ‘Make a Scene’, and give yourself some precious peace and quiet. Make A Scene Fairy Tales is a fun interactive game that engages children’s natural sense of creativity.”

The application allow you to create a fairy tale scene using the animated “stickers” and backgrounds available.

As you place the sticker their name is read out allowed, then the sound effect is played and the “sticker” will go through its animation. As you continue to add to the scene, the “stickers” will animate at random times making things feel more interactive.

This application is very similar to the previous Make a Scene application, but is much larger and has stickers for five “Princess” fairy tales. These are: Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderalla, Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel. You can also select to use stickers from all of these together.

There are 7 backgrounds and 7 foregrounds to select from. There are around 120 stickers to use. 

The screen is uncluttered with only the top bar for adding the stickers and then three buttons at the base to allow the screen to be cleared or saved and to select a new background or foreground.

This latest edition of Make A Scene has added a new feature (now being added to older titles as well) that you can switch the direction of the sticker by double tapping the sticker once placed. To be honest it was something I had not really noticed in previous versions, but is a nice addition.

This app is aimed at the under fives, and as my daughter is four loved it. She played it for around half an hour and then has asked to play several times since the original session.

The graphics and sounds are both very good, with a nice look and feel. The sound effects are good, but one of two seemed a bit tinny.

On the upside:

  • Nice artwork.
  • Easy to use interface.
  • Nice sound effects.

On the downside:

  • Would be nice to resize the stickers manually, rather than based on the position on the screen, as some stickers look out of scale on some backgrounds.
  • If you have kids, they will play this app a lot.
  • I did have to turn down the sound, when my daughter got the the prince to ask the princess to marry him for the 20th time 😦

Overall, this is a great application and will keep younger kids very happy. My daughter loves the Disney Princesses and this game seems to fill the bill nicely for her. This is the best of the Make a Scene application to date, especially due to the number of stickers. If you have a daughter then this apps are a must have. 

Rating: 88%

Size: 47.5 MB

Price (at time of review): £1.98

Link: Make A Scene: Fairy Tales – Innivo Ltd

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in App - Childrens, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

FUNTIME 3D EDESIGNER EASTER [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (60%)

FunTime 3D EDesigner Easter is an easter egg designer released by Game Scorpion Inc.

“A Truly unique Egg Making experience! FunTime 3D eDesigner Easter edition is the most unique 3D app in the market allowing you to fully customize your own 3D Easter Egg! Choose from various colors and designs for a truly unique Egg that you can share with the world!”

The idea behind this game is simple. Create a colourful and unique easter egg with the application and then save it out to show to friends and family.

My daughter who is four was excited when she saw the application on the App Store, and wanted to make a Egg, so as I was going to review I agreed she could try it. I think she also liked the cartoon rabbit on the screen shots.

On loading you are given an egg to work on, you need to give it a name, and there is the first surprise. The application pops up a none Touchpad keyboard which is not very responsive and has a strange layout.

Once named you can click the -> button to move to the next step and begin to design your egg. This is split into 4 steps, with the top design first, then top middle, bottom middle and then the base of the egg. It has to be said that the user interface for the designs is slow and hard to use. You tap slowly left and right through the designs and the colours are done via R.G.B. interface of 0 to 255 for each of the prime colours. So when my daughter whats a yellow on her egg, what RGB setting does see need for that, as I said, not kid friendly. I have a clue as I am a web designer. 

The design elements are also blurry when placed on the egg, so look nothing like the preview for them.

The application really does feel like it was designed for a mouse rather than touch interface. It may be built from a flash site for all I know.

Both my kids had a look at the application aged 4 and 8, and neither liked the user interface. My daughter keep trying the paint brush button to change the colour, but all this does is take you to the main menu.

The graphics of the egg are nice 3D, but the effects are blurred. There is a 10 second music track that loops continually, so you soon turn it off. I am sure that I have heard the track before in another app, I will not say which one I believe it is from, but you can hear a click when the recording stops and loops.

On the upside:

  • you can design some nice eggs.

On the downside:

  • Sound loop taken from another app (you can here the click at the end of the 10 second loop)
  • User interface is poor (non-touchpad keyboard, poor colour selection, poor effect selections)
  • Not kid friendly in the user experience.
  • The cartoon bunny does not appear within the application.

Overall, this is a tough app to rate. If it was designed for kids to us, then it is too confusing and poorly designed for them to use. For adults the tools are still confusing and a simple colour and effect selector would have been far better. This just seems to have been thrown together from a tech demo in order to release for easter. Which is a shame as my kids could have had some fun with this one. FunTime it isn’t. I have not rated too low, as you can design nice looking eggs given the time and effort.

Rating: 60%

Size: 10.3 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.79

Link: FunTime 3D eDesigner Easter – Game Scorpion Inc

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2012 in App - Childrens, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

PEG PUZZLE: ABC 123 [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (82%)

Peg Puzzle: ABC 123 is a digital peg jigsaw game and is released by Pulse Apps.

“Peg Puzzle: abc 123 is a digital take on the classic children’s wooden peg puzzle toys. A fun and interactive way of learning, the game helps to develop fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, logical thinking skills and can also be used as a tool to help develop vocabulary.”

The application allow you to select from three different peg board, these are:

  • Letters a-z (Lower case)
  • Letters A-Z (Upper case)
  • Numbers

Once selected a peg board will appear with slots for six randomly selected characters in that theme. The letters has the full alphabet and numbers go up to 20.

There is a bar at the top of the screen to select the numbers or letters (depending on the board selected), these are listed in order and the child needs to press the arrows to move to the correct page to match the peg. The child then selects the peg and pulls it onto the same number or letter on the board.

Once all six number or letters are placed the game plays the sound of applauding. 

The graphics of the pegs are nicely done, there is music in the application, only sound effects when the pegs are placed and the end of the game.

This app is aimed at the two to four years old, and as my daughter is four I gave it to her to test it. She enjoyed the application. I would say that a 4 to 5 year old is the perfect age for this one as it covers what my daughter is currently learning at school and bedding in the basics. It was good to see her quickly scrolling the top bar to get to the correct area to find the number or letter she was looking for.

On the upside:

  • Easy to use interface.
  • Great for kids between 3 and 5.

On the downside:

  • Does feel a little bit too educational, but my daughter did not seem to mind.
  • A bit lacking on the sound and music side.

Overall, this is a great application if you have kids under five. I was nice to watch my daughter using the application and scrolling through the numbers to find the number she was looking for, fun and educational what more could a parent want? It would have been nice to have shapes (as my daughter is learning them at school too), but that would have been a very limited amount of pegs. Anyway, well worth a download for those kids or grand kids.

Rating: 82%

Size: 20.1 MB

Price (at time of review): £1.29

Link: Peg Puzzle: abc 123 – Pulse Apps

 

THE FROGGIES GAME [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (73%)

The Froggies Game is a catch and save game released by SempaiGames.

“Save the little frogs of falling in the waterhole!”

Why you need to save frogs from falling into the water, when they can swim is a little questionable, but who really cares.

The game design is simple, you have a lilly pad and you need to move it left and right to catch the frogs and other creatures who fall towards the water.

The frogs will stay on the lilly pad if they land on it, and you need to bring it close to one of the shores to get them to leap off. If you let the lilly pad get too full all the frogs leap back into the air again.

As you progress through the game, the level will advance. Each level a new element is added (up to level 9) with new frogs and creatures added to the mix. After level 9 the level continues to advance, but no new elements are added.

Lives are rapidly gained as you get the points for saving the frogs, however, each time a frog or creature is lost to the water a life is lost. Lifes can disappear very rapidly on later levels of the game.

The game is complicated by the addition of red frogs and other creatures. The red frog make the green frogs leap up in the air, so if you are not close to shore you may lose half or more of the green frogs to the water.

At some points the game turns into a tactical game letting some frogs go so you can save more falling at the other side of the screen and regaining one of the lives you lost.

Control wise, you can select from Drag (pull the pad along), Accelerometer, Tap (the pad drifts toward the tap point) and Kinder (slightly slower gameplay).

The graphics and sound are reasonable, there is no music on the menu screen. 

On the upside:

  • Fast and fun gameplay.
  • Interesting variation on the standard caugh game.

On the downside:

  • Repetitive gameplay.
  • No in-game purchase button.

Overall, this an interesting game. The game is more for younger kids, but the fast gameplay can make it entertaining for some adults too. The game is a little too repetitive to play long term, but at the lower price point it should be worth the money. Hopefully the developer will add a pause button and a few additions the game in a future update.

Rating: 73%

Size: 12.3 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.79

Link: The Froggies Game – SempaiGames