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PadRacer By SMHK Funlab

  • September 6, 2011 7:44 am

PadRacer By SMHK Funlab is really a game for the whole family. As a young boy I would have found it irresistible, but as an not-so-young man I have been able to enjoy the game with my ten year old. We just now figured out how to link both iPads! (You have to choose the last track – e I believe).

The game is as fun as it is novel. As long as you have an iPad and at least one iPhone hooked to the same WIFI network you are set. You easily setup the game on the iPad then start the app on the iPhone(s) and you are linked. I haven’t seen a case where this didn’t just work. My iPads even connect to a different wireless band then the iPhones 4s so it was cool it worked just fine.

Game play is challenging especially if you are like my ten year old and like to hit boost constantly! The cars handle like 1940’s cars might. Very loose. The tracks are fun to build and you can see in the video we try to make them as crazy as we can before the app tells us NO!

Hooking up two iPads is fun, but not any more fun than one iPad. This is a novelty game that is fun for the whole family and some friends. Definitely worth the download!

Fun – 5
Attention – 4
Learning – 1 (Some games are just fun!)

Total – 10

I am marking PadRacer By SMHK Funlab as an iPad only game since it requires an iPad to play the game.

Candy Count – Learn Colors & Numbers

  • September 1, 2011 7:29 am

Candy Count – Learn Colors & Numbers is a fun and simple numbers and counting app. Your child can learn numbers, counting, large and small, and sorting skills in this app. It is a very well presenting numeric learning app. The graphics are very well done and the gameplay works as expected.

The only issue I have with the app is the price. It is free, but in order to unlock the full app it requires an in-app purchase. In this case it does not seem like the purchase could be abused, but I wonder why the app isn’t $2.99 from the start. If the idea is to provide a demo or light version, then do so, but the in app purchase model does not work in this case.

Still the app is a worthy download. Just download the app, do the in-app purchase and have the full app. It is worth it!

Learning – 5
Attention – 5
Fun – 5

Total – 15

iTunes Store

Time Run by Marc Didillon

  • August 31, 2011 7:21 am

Time Run by Marc Didillon is a fun and simple app from a great guy and a great uncle. Time Run by Marc Didillon simply has you running (it is called a side scroller) and trying to catch butterflies. There isn’t much more to the app than that other than it is simple and fun. A great distraction while you are waiting for your food to arrive or in line at Disneyland or something.

My four year old likes the app and has played several times. She cannot make it very far unless the vacuum comes out, but still she has fun doing it. Check out the video for more!

Fun – 5
Attention – 3
Learning – 1 (perhaps they learn to count a bit or hand eye coordination)

Total – 9

Princess Rainbow By Victor Bravo

  • August 25, 2011 7:29 am

Princess Rainbow By Victor Bravo is a fun app for kids, probably girls, who like to talk about fairies, decorate their bedroom, and draw rainbows. The storybook app is one you will need to read to your child (oh no!), but the games will have them playing for hours.

My four year old really got into the story even though she had heard me read it before. Given that it had been a few weeks since she last heard the story it could be she had forgotten or that it is just that interesting to her. I hadn’t realized she had found the “sticker” app within the book and that she knew she could draw rainbows too! On the regular reading pages of the book the elements on the page can be moved around too! So while you are reading you can ask your child to interact with each “page” in the book. Awesome.

Princess Rainbow By Victor Bravo is one of those story books that adds just a little more so that your child can spend a little more time in the app and it makes the characters more familiar too.

Princess Rainbow By Victor Bravo doesn’t have the best graphics of any book we have seen, but my four year old didn’t seem to care. The Princess and fairies made the story interesting to her and the decorating game sealed the deal.

Great app for young girls.

Fun – 5
Learning – 3
Attention – 4

Total – 12

Lilo Helps the Easter Bunny by Kids App Design Studio

  • August 24, 2011 7:00 am

Lilo Helps the Easter Bunny by Kids App Design Studio is a great learning adventure app. Really Lilo Helps the Easter Bunny by Kids App Design Studio is an app for exploration. My four year old will not put it down once we remind her to play it.

Just as the title says you are helping the Easter Bunny find their eggs. The app starts with a simple story and then changes into different activities where you can color eggs or paint them as the story continues. The app was developed by a Dutch developer and is available in a few languages. The translation is apparent, but it does not take away from the game at all.

This is the sort of app you could give to two kids on the iPad and let them work together to make it through the story.

You cannot see it in the video, but many of the items on the page move when touched. The spider crawls, the monkey moves, and there are several more interactive elements to each page. Be sure to explore!

Fun – 5
Attention – 5
Learning – 2

Total – 12

Story-Boards Little Bot Big Bot By OmegeBlueStudio

  • August 12, 2011 7:57 am

Story-Boards Little Bot Big Bot By OmegeBlueStudio is a really fun learn-to-read app. In the app you follow around the Bot and learn that he is small on his planet, but large on ours. In the game you are simply presenting with words on cardboard cut-outs. You are first read the words by a youngster, and then you can read them yourself along with the adult. The graphics are very interesting and the way the game is laid out makes for a book that is easy to follow.

Story-Boards Little Bot Big Bot By OmegeBlueStudio reminds me of the Dick and Jane book style of reading. Your child is learning site-words and the process of reading. Once they are comfortable with the words in Story-Boards Little Bot Big Bot By OmegeBlueStudio they can move on to another book or perhaps OmegeBlueStudio will release another book!

Attention – 5
Learning – 5
Fun – 5
Total – 15

This is a universal app, so it works great on both the iPad and the iPhone.

Baby’s First Monsters: 123 By Three Brothers

  • August 7, 2011 7:11 am

I was a bit confused when I first opened Baby’s First Monsters: 123 By Three Brothers. I thought that it might just be a dictionary app for kids to learn about mythological creatures. I was wrong.

Baby’s First Monsters: 123 By Three Brothers is a fun learning game, in this case numbers is what you will be learning. By visiting the various islands you can count the ears on the monsters, or the feet, or just the monsters themselves. Without realizing it your child is counting by twos and threes and so on. It is a fun app with great artwork that will keep your child engaged.

My four year old really likes the app, but isn’t quite ready to actually get the counting by multiples yet. That is ok she can still experience the app and learn through practice. It is fun to watch and achieve the various levels of the game. She still learns to count by singles and a great re-enforcer for when she starts preschool in a few days.

Fun – 5
Learning – 5
Attention – 3 (she wont play it for hours, but still very engaging)

Total – 13

Papa Penguin By Ideal Bureaucracy LLC

  • August 3, 2011 7:05 am

Papa Penguin By Ideal Bureaucracy LLC is a fun and simple counting app. The idea is you are the Papa Penguin and your family needs fish. So you swim down and gather the amount of fish request by your family before running out of air. The game is easy to understand and builds number skills and some hand eye coordination in your child.

Is it fun? It sure is. Is it a challenge? Yep. Will it keep your child occupied for hours on end? Probably not, but a fun counting app isn’t that easy to come by so Papa Penguin By Ideal Bureaucracy LLC is worth the download.

Fun – 5
Learning – 4
Attention – 2

Total – 11

Paint My Wings by Toca Boca

  • August 1, 2011 7:47 am

Paint My Wings by Toca Boca is an app my four year old absolutely loves. She took to it immediately and has painted probably 40 butterflies in the past few days. She spends a lot of time one each butterfly and of course she takes a picture of each one.

Paint My Wings by Toca Boca is another beautifully simple app. You are presented with a butterfly and asked to paint its wings. On the left you get several colors to choose from but the colors come as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc. The neat thing is that when you paint the left wing the color is automatically repeated on the right (just like we assume in nature). When my four year old realized this she was very pleased. You could see the recognition in her eyes.

Your child just paints with her finger and can adjust the “brush” in the bottom left. For older kids (or parents) this means we can create some neat butterflies. For the kids it is a change of pace. Great app.

Fun – 5
Attention – 5
Learning – 2 (hand eye coordination, but really this is a fun app not a learning app).

Total – 12

Toca Doctor by Toca Boca

  • July 27, 2011 7:55 am

Toca Doctor by Toca Boca lets your child be a doctor, well sorta :)

Have fun while killing germs, repairing bones, clearing up a red eye, and more. My four year old has played with this app for HOURS so far. In the past few days she has spent more time with this app than any other. Over and over again she fixes the bones, plugs the nose, applies bandages to the scrapes. She is really having fun.

Does it teach anything? Sure it does. Perhaps some responsibility and cleanliness. It also makes the breaks and scrapes seem less scary. It is a fun and engaging app.

Must have this app!

Fun – 5
Attention – 5
Learning – 3

Total – 13