I first reviewed Dragon Shapes back in October 2013 and loved it, and with a major update to version 2.0 it is even better now! It has more puzzles, new settings, new rewards, an option to play against the clock, a new parents guide and best of all it is now fully narrated.
There is a free version with in-app purchase for a full unlock, and full paid version without IAP. All external links are in the locked parents section.
Dragon Shapes is a Tangram app with a difference, it teaches geometry using a series of 80 tangram puzzles and also incorporates a story about the legend of the first Shape Master. The story is told as a series of short animated movies between sections of puzzles.
Druzzle the Dragon lives in the village of Tan in ancient China. One night whilst watching smoke rising from the chimneys in the village, Druzzle sees smoke in the shape of the dragon; he follows it and gets lost. The village folk are distraught and want to find him, the only clue is some dragon scales of different shapes that he left behind – will re-arranging them give a clue? They arrange the scales to form a butterfly and one brave warrior follows it on a quest to get Druzzle back. To succeed in the quest he must solve many different puzzles and become the Shape Master! As the player works their way through the tangram puzzles, they too acquire the skills needed to become a Shape Master. For each puzzle they can earn up to 3 lightening bolts, and at the end of each section they can see how close they are coming to being a Shape Master, both in terms of number of puzzles completed and number of lightning bolts collected.
There are 4 sections, each containing 20 puzzles. In the parents section there is an option to switch on or off puzzle locks, if the locks are on the player must complete the puzzles in order, if off they can do them in whatever order they wish. The locks can also be reset. This is useful if a new player is using the app. I’d love to also see multiple player profiles added- I have several kids who all like to play this app, so it can be hard to keep track of who is on what level.
Each section includes 20 tangram puzzles in a theme: butterfly shapes, water shapes, mountain shapes and starlight shapes. As the player completes the puzzles they also learn mathematical terminology, and learn about the properties of different geometric shapes. The puzzles start very simple, such as putting 2 triangles together to make a square, and increase in complexity as you move through the levels. If the player gets stuck tapping on the light bulb symbol will reveal hints one step at a time, the hints can be switched off in settings if you wish. If they make it through an entire level without using any hints they earn a dragon scroll. A new addition in this update is that the app is now fully narrated – this is a great improvement, as it now makes the app fully accessible to children who aren’t yet proficient readers.
The tangram puzzles use various sized triangles, a square and a parallelogram. The player is given the correct number of pieces, but may need to rotate them to solve the puzzle. The puzzles are simple in the early levels and gradually evolve to very complex ones in the higher levels. As they complete the puzzles players learn how different shapes relate to each other, and how you can create one geometric shape using others, for instance you can create a pentagon using five triangles. They also learn that there is more than one way to create a particular shape using combinations of shapes. For an additional challenge in the final section, starlight shapes, players learn to “copy shapes” by re-creating a shape without a template to fit the pieces in.
The app is designed for 6-10 year-olds, but I believe it will appeal to a much wider range of ages than. With the addition of narration it will appeal to some younger students, and the tangrams are fun an challenging enough that many adults will enjoy solving them -I know I do ! This is an app my whole family enjoys playing, and that has stood the test of time, all of my children were excited to learn that there were 30 new puzzles to solve and couldn’t wait to try them out.
By playing the app students learn to look at shapes in a whole new way. They work on spatial awareness, visualization and rotation skills as well as learning terminology and attributes of different geometric shapes. Dragon Shapes is the best kind of educational app: it has bright, colorful high quality graphics and engaging gameplay; it is fun, challenging and educational. Highly recommended! Players will have so much fun solving all the tangram puzzles that they won’t realize they are learning important mathematical concepts at the same time. A great educational app made even better with the new update !
Dragon Shapes - Lumio Geometry Challenge (Full Version)
by Lighthouse Learning
Price: $2.99 USD
Solve geometric math puzzles and unlock the legend of the Dragon Shapes Geometry Challenge with this Lumio math app.
Dragon Shapes: Geometry Challenge – Lighthouse Learning
Dragon Shapes - Lumio Geometry Challenge
by Lighthouse Learning
Solve math puzzles and unlock the legend of Dragon Shapes!
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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