|Appsolutely Fun (all apps)|
|ABC Match (Age 3+)|
I found this particular app by searching the app store for free apps with “ABC” in their name. I already had the memory match game from Jirbo, but this one appealed because of the use of letters rather than pictures. This felt like a useful app to help reinforce the learning and recognition of letters (upper and lower case). Big-T (3yo) will play it if I start it, but prefers the cute pictures of the Jirbo matching game.
On startup you are given a choice of just upper case, or upper and lower case (mixed). You also have the choice of easy (12 tiles) or harder (20 tiles). After you select this, you are taken to a screen where you touch two tiles to reveal the letters. If they are the same, its a match and they stay visible. If not, they hide and you try again. You keep playing until all matches are found. The upper and lower case version you have to match the upper and lower case forms of the letter.
- Helps practicing recognition of letters.
- Has different levels of complexity.
- The upper case only version can be used by children you cannot read the letters yet.
- The upper + lower case version helps children practice matching upper and lower case letters.
Most of my negative comments relate to quality.
- The user interface is not as slick as the best apps. This does appear to affect Big-T’s enjoyment of playing the game. He will go for a game with a simpler UI and nicer graphics every time. Even the logo for the app is pretty basic.
- The first screen of choices requires an adult to navigate the child through as the buttons and choices require you to be able to read. (The buttons have textual labels – no images.) Not a big issue – Big-T memorized which button to click pretty quickly.
- Some of the animations for user interactions did not feel like the appropriate choice was made. For example, when starting a game the screen does the “rotating card” animation. Normally this is used when on a screen to display options for the screen. You flip over to the back, fiddle options, then flip back again. This is not the case here. You start the game, and it flips over to play the game. Not a big deal, but these things are noticable and do detract from the feel. More and more I think I prefer the approach of taking the user directly into the game, with an options page to change settings – rather than starting on an options page then moving on to the game page.
Its a memory match game which is good – helps develop memory. But this app has advantages in that it also uses letters (all upper case, or matching upper with lower case forms). This may make it a little less fun (no pretty images), but of better educational value.
4 stars. It is good that it helps practice reading letters, but the quality makes it less fun for Big-T. If I have to force him to play it, it really does detract from its benfit. (I have found it an interesting personal observation that even young kids appreciate the spit-and-polish of a quality app.)
Get it in iTunes
More information, screen shots, and user reviews can be found in the iTunes store.
- Letters: iWriteWords Tracing Game, Alphabetic, ABCs
- Matching: Elephant Song, Memory Match, Preschool Adventure, Shape Builder – the Preschool Learning Puzzle Game, iPushFit Jigsaw, Animal SNAP!