Amos the Astronaut by Van Winkle Studio LLC – Review

Amos the Astronaut by Van Winkle Studio LLC – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Fun brightly colored app that encourages problem solving in a way that encourages preschoolers and older to engage with the app to complete the tasks as get Amos on his way

What we’d love to see…

even with hints some of the items are hard to find, my son also found the “backwards” navigation a bit challenging at times.  I’d also like to see more content in the app – after the one adventure the app is done.

Summary

Fun app that encourages kids to problem solve to help fix Amos’ ship by working with locals to put the pieces back together.  I’d like to see more content in the app at the current price point.

Our Rating

Amos the AstronautAmos the Astronaut by Van Winkle Studio LLC is a universal app for iOS featuring the astronaut Amos and a journey he has to get his space ship flying again!  The interactive storybook format of the app has you with Amos as he searches for items to fix the broken space ship.  The app opens with a sequence of the ship crashing and then Amos starts searching the forest for various tools to fix his ship.  As you complete each activity then you are given additional places to go within the app.  As you gather items they are stored in the “inventory” or toolbox.  As Amos starts chopping down the tree he is captured by locals who put him in jail but lucky he’s is creative and finds a way out!  The locals then help him as he tries to fix his ship via a variety of tasks.  After gathering everything and working with the villagers, the adventure is solved and Amos flies off in his space ship.  This app is perfect for preschoolers and early elementary aged children. You can also read an “e-book” of the story here.

I liked the bright colors of the app as well as the word bubbles which helped my son as he’s starting to read so he could see them as well as hear them spoken (note they do not include word highlighting).    I also love that the app encourages problem solving – in a fun age appropriate way like finding a specifically designed egg or solving a problem like chopping on a tree. It provides sequential step by step – although at times it seems like you go “backwards” in your adventure instead of forward when you meet the villagers.  I also liked the various interactions on each page which encouraged kids to follow directions to help Amos make his fin.

In terms of improvements – some of the items were really hard to find even with the hints – my son especially struggled with the toolbox which essentially unlocked the app.  It might be useful to have a map that shows the locations of the various items.  Some of the animations like hammering the flint were not necessarily realistic – as the hammer is close to his head instead of his hand. Once the “adventure” is completed with the fin and Amos is on his way the app just ends – it would be fun if there were more adventures or a way to navigate around inside of his ship as right now the amount of content is a bit limited and once the adventure is solved there is nothing additional to do other than reset the app and start over again.

Overall, this is a fun find and seek app where you look for hidden clues to work and fix Amos’ ship.  There’s an underlying theme of problem solving where you find items to help complete the ship and work with local residents by making arrows, finding eggs, and working with the blacksmith.  There are no in app purchases or external links.


Amos the Astronaut
Amos the Astronaut
by Van Winkle Studio LLC

Category: Books, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 250.21 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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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.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
 Camping With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway

Camping With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

realistic camping app that encourages kids to leave no trace and provides a variety of mini games to play which reinforce real word like dousing a fire, finding an animal via tracks

What we’d love to see…

a game that includes the stars or evening sky, trail safety tips and ability to make vocabulary words harder or easier depending on the age of the child.

Summary

Fun app aimed at preschool and early grade school.  My Cub Scouts enjoyed using the app as we talked about a hiking trip and prepared for it.

Our Rating

Camping With Grandpa Camping with Grandpa from Fairlady Media is a universal app for iOS featuring Grandpa as he heads out on a camping trip.  There are a variety of activities that include object identification (find the xx tree), word searches (you pick out the words and highlight them with your finger), identify animal tracks from a field of four animals and after you have completed your activities for the day you earn a badge as well as setting up camp for the night.  This was the perfect app to share with my soon to be Cub Scout Camper as we used it to talk about what it was like to go camping and the items we would need to bring!

 

There are seven educational mini games which include

  • Read a compass – which way to go down the path
  • Hiking – find an object like a type of leaf or what type of tree
  • Animal food – what types of foods do the animals like
  • Animal Tracks – what shaped track do the animals make when they walk on the beach
  • Word find – can you find the forest words and highlight them with your finger
  • Tent Shadows – which pocket knife makes the shadow
  • Hiking Gear – which items should we pack in our backpack

I loved that the app encouraged “leave no trace” and to pick up your litter as well as having a variety of things you would actually do on a camping trip like finding a specific type of tree or learning how to read a compass to find the direction we were going in.  It also taught you about foods that animals ate as well as different animal tracks.  My son had fun looking at the tracks and trying to figure out which animal made which track.  We also talked about which objects should go in his bag when we go hiking.  He loved roasting the hot dog and marshmallow like we do at home some nights in the summer.  He also liked dousing the fire before Grandpa went to sleep at night.  The graphics are clear and realistic and the activities rotate in a different order so kids don’t get bored with the content.  My son also loved the different educational videos.  I liked that when you doused the fire every last bit had to be out – just like in real life.  It was a nice way to reinforce with my son that we can’t leave even a little bit alight.

In terms of enhancements – I would love to see an avatar to represent the child in this app.  My son was also sad a few times when he had finished some of the tasks and reopened the app and had to start over again – for us I just minimized the app rather than closing it so we could go back to it.  I’d also like to see some sort of star activity included like finding the big dipper or evening sky to learn or educate about how we used to use the stars to navigate.  It might also be fun to have a way to follow the trail with trail markers as well as some safety pieces included – i.e. if you get separated from your parents do this.  I also liked the vocabulary words – but some of them were hard for my first grader so perhaps a way to choose the types of words or complexity via a parental control would help to reduce frustration especially for younger readers.

Overall, this is a fun and realistic camping app suited for preschool and early grade school children.  I found it was a great way to prepare my Cub Scouts for their hiking badge and give them an idea of what to expect before we went.  This is a great real world type app that incorporates education about what we should and should not do when camping with some fun learning activities that encourages kids to explore the outdoors!


Camping With Grandpa
Camping With Grandpa
by Fairlady Media

Category: Education, Family, Educational, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 105.58 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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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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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
 Patchmania KIDS – A Puzzle About Bunny Revenge! by Little Details LLC – Review

Patchmania KIDS – A Puzzle About Bunny Revenge! by Little Details LLC – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

fun way for kids and adults to practice critical thinking skills..  I would often take Otto and my son would take Calvin and we would try to see who could finish the path first

What we’d love to see…

the coins appear for a little longer as well as more “hints” especially for younger kids

Summary

Overall, this is a fun app which encourages creative thinking in a fun and interactive way that helps kids learn but they don’t realize they are learning.

Our Rating

Patchmania KIDS - A Puzzle About Bunny Revenge!Patchmania KIDS – A Puzzle About Bunny Revenge! is a universal app for iOS by app developer Little Details.  This fun app is designed for preschool though adult and features a variety of problem solving quizzes which involve a bunny named Calvin who is after carrots, a farmer and Otto. The app utilizes critical thinking skills as you have to draw a path to get to the hole quickly before the farmer comes to catch you.  As the levels get harder items are added like stumps, rocks  and lines which require you to think on your feet to get to the end the fastest.   As you go through the levels you can earn coins which are used for hints if you get stuck.  There are no in-app purchases contained within this version of the app, however, the app includes “coins” which you earn as you complete the various levels and can be used to buy hints.  There is another version of the app in the app store which does contain IAP so be sure to get the “kids” version if you plan to let your kids use it. The app includes 625 puzzles which teach reasoning, creative thinking and problem solving with an original story and multiple different backgrounds that you can unlock as you progress.

I loved this app, it made my son think on his feet to get to the end quickly and he didn’t even realize that he was problem solving.  My husband and I were away earlier this week and he even played it on his free time trying to see how far he could get!  That’s a huge win especially because we have lots of apps on our device.  It’s cute and user friendly and the levels get harder over time which means that kids progress but they don’t have it get so hard they get “stuck” and frustrated!  As you complete each level you are awarded a rating – for the most part my son didn’t look at these.  You also have to choose which animal you want to get the items first which involves reasoning to get to the hole first.  As we got better, my son would take one of the animals and I would do the other where we “released” at the same time to see which of us completed first! I really enjoyed it as a parent too for those moments when you are waiting to pickup and have a few minutes to spare in the car line parked.

In terms of enhancements, my son didn’t like it that the “coins” which you earned in the app popped up and disappeared so fast as he sometimes was so focused on getting to the end of the hole that he didn’t see them until they were gone.   I’d also like to see more hints especially for younger kids – maybe via a toggle switch in the settings which takes you to a parental area where you can also turn off Game Center integration. I chose not to use Game Center integration which I turned off in the settings of my iPad.

There are no in-app purchases or advertising.

Overall, this is a fun app which encourages creative thinking in a fun and interactive way that helps kids learn but they don’t realize they are learning.  The hints keep them from getting frustrated and critical thinking and reasoning skills are accomplished with active learning in a fun way.

iTunes Link: Patchmania KIDS – A Puzzle About Bunny Revenge!

Patchmania KIDS - A Puzzle About Bunny Revenge! Patchmania KIDS - A Puzzle About Bunny Revenge! by Little Details LLC

Price: $3.99 USD

Lead a brave little bunny named Calvin, and his adorable furry friends, on an exciting adventure through Pitchfork Farms!

Patchmania KIDS is a brand new edition of the popular puzzle game Patchmania.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
 ZyroMath City Count by Zyrobotics LLC – Review & Giveaway

ZyroMath City Count by Zyrobotics LLC – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

customizable, easy to use math app includes functions for special needs kids and provides a motivating learning experience

What we’d love to see…

hints if you get the same answer wrong over and over again,

Summary

Fast paced math app that encourages children to learn in a drill and challenge mode. Love the special features for special needs kids including switch accessibility and the ability to turn down sounds and graphics.

Our Rating

zyrocityZyroMath City Count is an interactive counting game designed for late preschool and early elementary school aged children as well as those with special needs.  The app features an integrated switch-accessible runner game which has Zyro running through the city collecting stars and power ups for solving math problems.  The app teaches you how to count to 100 by ones and tens, improves hand-eye coordination as well as fine motor skills and has the ability to turn down the graphics and music which can be overwhelming to kids with sensory challenges.  There are three modes (beginner, advanced and expert)  which can be chosen based on the level of math or motor skills as well as a customizable learning mode which will help you find the right settings based on your child’s skill level.

One of my favorite things about the app was that it encouraged children to learn through a variety of different rewards and motivators.  By coordinating fine motor skills (touching, jumping) and providing “prizes” kids were motivated to learn and demonstrate their skills.  My son liked the “drill” mode to practice his skills and then switched to challenge mode to answer questions and earn points.  I also really liked seeing how my son did with the app using the parent dashboard.  I was able to see if he consistently struggled in one area versus another.  I also liked that the app could be used as part of an IEP for demonstrating mastery for special needs children or kids who might be having trouble focusing on one specific type of math skill and to demonstrate common core skill mastery.  For example, if your child has trouble with a specific number in counting like (5, 9, etc) then you can pick a mode which will help them focus in on core skills and move forward within the app.  I also liked that the drills were fairly short so they held kids attention while they ran and captured the numbers.  I also liked the multi-player capability and the reporting to I could see the areas that my son was working on as well as struggling with.

In terms of enhancements, my son got “stuck” in the store because he didn’t have enough earned stars to buy a prize and we were unable to exit it without closing out of the app even though we kept clicking back.   If you get a question wrong in the challenge mode, even if you get it wrong multiple times there is no “hint”  I’d like to see a hint or some sort of annotation about this so I could work with my child to make sure he got the right answer in the future.

Fun math app that encourages children to work hard on both math and fine motor skills with motivators while they learn.  There are no external links or in app purchases.  My son loved working on his math drills in the fact paced learning environment and I loved that he was having so much fun he didn’t want to stop! I loved that I could turn down the graphics and the sound if he got overwhelmed with them while he still enjoyed the app.



by

Price: $

.

ZyroMath City Count
ZyroMath City Count
by Zyrobotics LLC

Category: Education, Family, Games, Educational
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, iPodTouchThirdGen-iPodTouchThirdGen, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 218.55 MB

$1.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

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.

Code drop 2.21.16


ZyroMath City Count ZyroMath City Count by Zyrobotics LLC

Price: $1.99 USD

Platinum winner of the Best App for Children and Toddlers from Best Mobile App Awards. From the makers of the award-winning OctoPlus comes another fun, interactive, math game for young children and children.


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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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