The setup of Empire Run (Planet H/Red Games, 2014) is similar to another Planet H/Red Games app, Frontier Heroes (and with the same caveat about some arguably stereotypical images; see details below) several sections, themed by historical time period, each contain a few games; each game has a number of different levels which allow the […]
App Review of the Week
Each week we publish a review of a new app people are — or should be — talking about.
We are always on the lookout for great kids’ apps and e-books to recommend to our readers. If you would like to submit an app or e-book for review consideration, please send an iOS promo code with all release information (developer, price, release date, supported devices, etc.) to kbircher (at) hbook.com. Please keep in mind that a submission does not guarantee review.
MarcoPolo Ocean (MarcoPolo, 2014) — in the same series as MarcoPolo Arctic — introduces young children to an ocean biome. A blue sea with gentle waves appears on the main screen as vaguely Caribbean-sounding background music plays. Before beginning, you can orient yourself by investigating underwater, looking at some fish, bobbing the buoy, etc. The […]
In today’s exciting installment of “Shoshana Is Bad at Spatial Reasoning”…Kiko’s Thinking Time (Kiko Labs, 2015)! This is an app with a lot of games that help hone a lot of skills. I’m sorry, did I say “a lot?” I meant “a zillion.” Approximately. Each day, the app provides a “Daily Quest.” Complete a series […]
Edoki Academy‘s low-key app Zen Studio (November 2015), a “geometric finger painting app designed to help children relax and focus,” is probably best described as a hybrid of tangrams and coloring (colorgrams?). In the first section, you’re invited to create your own masterpiece. “Paint” with your finger with a wide array of colors on any […]
Low-frills app Farm2Table (Little Pickle Press, January 2016) — based on the 2013 picture book The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by Diana Prichard, illustrated by Heather Devlin Knopf — gives young children a basic idea of where some of their food comes from. One morning young Patrick O’Shanahan goes downstairs for breakfast and finds a […]
Marshmallow Games‘s Math Tales: The Jungle app (March 2016) opens with upbeat, Caribbean-style music and happy jungle animals poking their heads out of greenery to greet the player. Once the pulsing, yellow “play” button is pressed, the player is brought to the first page of a story: “On a sunny day, the king of the […]
Tinybop‘s new app The Weather (number 6 in Tinybop’s Explorer’s Library; February 2016) doesn’t give you any directions or tutorial to start. None. The home screen is a simple yet elegantly animated landscape with a few scattered houses, situated beside a sea. A pull-out sidebar menu provides four buttons, each showing a different general weather […]
The Newbery App (Sugar Coded Apps, 2011) is a handy resource if you’re interested in Newbery history, keeping track of which Medalists and Honor Books you’ve read, or choosing the next one to read. It’s also a fun place to test your skills. The landing page contains the enticing phrase, “Suggest a Book to Me.” […]
As Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery (Smithsonian, 2015) opens, it’s your first day as an intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. After curator Isabella Wagner introduces you to the museum and the task at hand, you head down to the creepy basement — alone — to get to work. Your job […]
Kids these days, with their Minecraft and their interwebs. Not too long ago, Simon was the cutting edge of electronic gaming (and no one considered it educational*). Now MarcoPolo app Recall (January 2016) brings players a similar Simon experience. Four horizontal color bars — pink, sky-blue, orange, and green — appear on the screen. A […]