I love apps. So do my sons. I bet you do too!
I was running another blog when I realized the posts I liked most were app reviews. So, here we are- a place just for the reviews! The reviews I did on the other blog are listed on the right.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Video Review: Mr. Potato Head, Lego Trains, Toca Boca Trains, Bubble Guppies

Hello all!
We made a video review of four apps regularly used in our house. Mr Potato Head, Lego Trains, Toca Boca Trains, and Bubble Guppies.

I am testing this out as a new method of posting, since NOT involving the munchkin(s) makes using the laptop or doing anything for more than three minutes without interruption very hard. The previous sentence was interrupted four times. I am also going to leave the video exactly as captured. That means silliness and reminders not to trip over the charge cord will still be in the video because again, trying to take the time to edit would make this idea DOA.

I want to add that three of the four (the first three) apps are easy enough for my 2 year old to use, but Bubble Guppies is a little harder and he usually switches out of it quickly.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bugs and Buttons 1 & 2

These two apps are completely awesome.

This is the first one. There are three pages of games to pick from. Select the explore button- the play button launches a random game.

The letter train tests your alphabet skills.

The maze game it loads of fun. The line representing the path you draw stops if you touch a wall. From time to time a dragonfly buzzes by and if you touch him he say "excuse me!" Which my son finds hilarious.

I think one of the appealing aspects of the app is the range of bugs used. Not just dragonflies and ladybugs- roaches too!

Many of the games have clear educational skills involved.

Others, like this bee flinging game, are more fun than specifically educational. You pull the string back, aim, and let go.

The second app starts similarly.

Again there are three pages of games.

The puppet show game has a "Simon Says" aspect that is awesome and engaging.

Ant Herd is one of my son's go to games. The goal is to move the obstacles out of the way. When the ants strike an obstacle you lose those ants.

Oh, and this one is just plain fun. Use the controls to drive a little car. You can bump into things like other cars or vegetables or you can test your driving skills and try to avoid hitting anything.

There are more educationally based games as well, like sorting and counting. This is a counting game:

I have only touched on the games available inside these to apps. I highly recommend both.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Animation HD

I love the idea of an app that can take my mediocre skill and turn it into something awesome-ish. Animation HD is easy to use and has an end product that is easy to share.

Here is a hoping frog I made in five minutes. I will start with a screen shot. The tools should be familiar to anyone used to art type programs: different types of "brush", layers, fading, etc as well as the additional add/create frames part there at the bottom.

Frog hop ex

YouTube example drawing

If you like to create new things this is an absolutely fun app.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Castle of Illusion staring Mickey Mouse.

I played one...level... I guess and was blown away by the graphics and game play. Unfortunately my modest mini iPad couldn't handle the program and would toss me out of the game unexpectedly. If you have a new iPad this game will probably work for you. At $9.99 you may not want to risk it.

I was impressed enough that I will keep trying with each new iOS update in hopes of the game working.

iTunes link

I have had the chance to play this game on my phone. The phone is not the best device for this game- the graphics and motion controls are best on a bigger screen. In fact, I am unable to get past the second level's boss and I think it is because the controls on the phone just don't cut it. Well, and also I am not exactly a serious gamer.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Toca Boca Hair Salon Me

I am trying out a new format for my reviews. I am still working out some bugs- such as videoing the game action itself without inverting the image…

Bottom line for Toca Boca Hair Salon Me: totally worth the buy and probably will be continued fun (and thus, "appily (ever) after".

 Here are some finished products I made while testing out the app:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jelly Defense

I have had a great deal of fun playing this game. This game is at times quite hard but never impossible.

The set up is that there is an invading force trying to steal your gems. You have specific defense options and have to deploy your resources wisely.

There are fast critters and slow ones, ones that poof easily and ones that die hard. There are defense towers with a short reload time and others with a longer one. Sometimes you have to sell a defense tower, replace it with a different one with different capabilities, then sell that one and replace it with another. This game is a true strategy game.

And it is also cute and silly. I mean, look at how this invader responds to being defeated- tears and drama...followed by an exaggerated splat.

Watch out though! It doesn't take long before the invading forces test your abilities and make off with your precious gems! In this level I made it through almost all the invaders until the second to last wave swamped my defenders. You can see my last few gems being carried away at the bottom.

If I had to pick something to dislike, I would argue for the ability to pick defense positions rather than being limited to the propositioned circles open for your defenders. I have played through to the end of this game twice now, so when a level frustrates me I can rest assured that at some point I was victorious.

Little Inferno

There is something about this game that pulls you in. The graphics are beautiful and entertaining. The game play is simple if not a little odd (how did they make playing with fire fun?).

This game encourages playing with virtual fire, so of course a warning is needed regarding real fire.

The set up is that you have just purchased a Little Inferno fireplace for your home. You get to burn everything- the terms and conditions and the congrats on your purchase letter. When these are gone, you get a catalog. The items in the catalog are purchased using coins gained from burning items. The more items you use from the catalog, the more items that become unlocked.

You may have to wait for your catalog items to "arrive" and at times have to select cheaper items to save enough to try the more expensive ones or to afford the combinations the game will have you make to progress.

See that little spider? You can light that guy on fire for extra coins.

It feels weird to enjoy burning things. Even typing that sentence makes me feel deviant. That said- this game is highly entertaining. If you are looking for easy game play with no pressure- give this one a try.