Status: Beta reviewer - Video Reviewer
iDevices she/he owns: iPad1- iPad2
Description: Software engineer by training, currently stay at home mum to two kids (3yrs and 9mths). Enjoy the outdoors, good books, baking, playing with the kids and making things. Enjoy well-produced apps and am great at finding those little issues that need fixing.
Profile categories: None
Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-07-21
User who invited him/her: Jean-Eudes L.
Total review Karma: + 3 ?
|What I liked||This app is a good tool for learning times tables in a fun way. I particularly liked the ability to select either a single times table to concentrate on, or a range of tables to practice and the option to restart the game if you get one wrong, although this might become frustrating for some users. The teacher mode is also very useful, allowing the user to specify particular equations and see the answer.|
|Improvements||Having the ability to have the answers (and possibly equations) read out would be of benefit, particularly in the teaching mode and when incorrect answers are chosen. This would reinforce the answers and enhance learning. It would also be of benefit to users who are still becoming familiar with, particularly the larger, numbers.
From a usability perspective, if you select the incorrect answer until only one option is left there is a pause that is just long enough to make you think you need to select the remaining answer to continue, meaning you select an answer for the next question instead.
|General review||This fun, educational app provides the opportunity for lots of practice of times tables. The different modes of play allow for selective learning of specific tables or more general practice of multiple tables. There is also a useful teacher mode which allows the user to select specific equations and see the answer. The gameplay is simple, but entertaining which keeps the focus on the learning outcome without being boring.|
|What I liked||I really like the images in this app. They are whimsical and beautifully drawn. I also really liked the explanations for each of the shapes. They cover the aspects that make each shape unique and provide examples which will help those still learning their shapes. The interface is very simple, great for young users.|
|Improvements||I think it would be useful to have some hints to find shapes when the reminder that there are more shapes to find are given. Maybe an area containing the shapes left could flash as some of the small shapes are hard to spot. It might also be useful to indicate how many shapes are left to be found - maybe the count could count down rather than up. More pictures or the ability to select varying difficulty images would be really nice.|
|General review||This is a lovely little app for learning to identify shapes. It provides practise not just in shape recognition, but also fine motor skills, concentration and observation. I think this could be too difficult for the youngest users as some of the shapes are very small or particularly hard to find, but would provide a good challenge for early primary users.|
|What I liked||I liked that this app goes beyond the simple puzzle and includes a story for the user to listen to as they work through the puzzles. The story is engaging for young listeners and contains age appropriate themes. I also liked the simple button controls as they are easy for young users.|
|Improvements||The narration is clear, however the volume fades in and out on occasions making it hard to hear. Also, some of the shapes the puzzles is broken into are to complex for my 3yr old to use easily, and he found it hard to distinguish where the pieces were when they were on top of each other. Because the engine is partly white he also kept looking for pieces to fill in the white areas of train.|
|General review||This is a nice take on simple puzzle apps and engages the young train lover in the story. My son enjoyed finishing the puzzles and then listening to the story chapter. Some of the puzzles are a little difficult for a 3yr old but should be fine for those slightly older. A few changes to the interface would really help this app reach its potential.|
|What I liked||I really liked the interaction with this app. There are plenty of things for users to interact with, the animations are cute and it provides plenty of fun. I also think it is great for encouraging observation skills and logical thinking when playing the challenge version. I also really like that this app encourages play with a parent.|
|Improvements||I would love to see a simplified challenge version for the younger audience, possibly with spoken clues and symbols or letters to find to encourage matching skills and provide more interest once they have completed free play. I also think it would great to include more scenes or areas over time.|
|General review||I think this is a great app. The treasure hunt theme appeals to young players and the artwork and animated objects within the game are excellent. The challenge mode provides plenty of interest for older players (particularly independent readers) or for play with an adult. There are enough different clues to play the game more than once without repeating all of them.|
|What I liked||The narration in this app is excellent. The quality, clarity and pace of the reader is very professional and easy for young listeners to understand. The existence of two levels of storytelling makes the app appealing to a wider audience and will ensure it can be used for longer.|
|Improvements||While the interactivity of tapping on items and people in the images is a nice feature, the sounds (especially speech) override the narration making it difficult to understand at times. Maybe the narration could be paused if a person or noisy item is tapped?|
|General review||This is a very polished app suitable for a range of young users. The stories, a traditional tale, are retold in a lovely fashion and there are a number of extra activities available to challenge comprehension and engage the user. This app will be enjoyed by any child who enjoys a good story! If I had one criticism, I would say it is a little expensive, but it is definitely higher quality than many other story apps.|