Math Heroes vs Dragons by 12 Fingers Studio- Review + Giveaway



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What we love…

Entertaining and educational, high quality graphics, engaging game play, works on a variety of skills and difficulty levels.

Summary

A rare gem – a math app for older students that is really well done – engaging, works on a variety of skills, with different difficulty levels, has multiple player profiles and motivating reward system.

Our Rating

Math Heroes vs DragonsMath Heroes vs Dragons is an iPad only app from Houston, Texas based app developer 12 Fingers Studio. It is targeted at students aged 10 + and covers a range of mathematical subjects including: Multiplication, Adding and Subtracting of Integers, Division, Comparing Fractions, Perimeter and Area of shapes, and Comparing Multiplication Products. It is an app with a story – the student plays the role of their choice of 4 heroes. The heroes have to battle the dragons that have invaded their grandparents home. The app contains no in-app purchases, adverts or social media links.

The app opens with a short animated video showing Grandma and Grandpa Numbertson discovering their rather nice home has been over-run by dragons. The action then cuts to the heroes’ headquarters where the students can choose which game to play to battle the dragons, and can also keep track of their achievements, prizes and progress.

There are seven different games and each has 4 difficulty levels that are unlocked sequentially. Each round includes 8-10 questions.

Pool Products

In this game the student has to pick which of two multiplication problems has the higher product. It is set at the Numbertson’s swimming pool where the dragons e are floating in swim rings in the water polo court. After the student makes their choice they get to see the product of each equation to check their maths skills.

Problem Building

This is set in the playroom, students are presented with a problem of the type ? x ? + 24 and three cupboards, each with a number on the front. They need to pick the two that successfully complete the equation. When they tap on the doors of the cupboards they open,  dragons are inside,and they then fall through a hole on the floor if the question is answered correctly.

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Fraction Felons

In this game the dragons have been arrested and are lining up for their mugshots, each holding a board containing a fraction. The student has to place them in numerical order starting with the largest.

Multiple Madness

Here the dragons have taken over the hot tub, bubbles are rising with numbers in them. In each round the student has to pick which numbers are multiples of their given number.

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Chalk Shapes

In Chalk Shapes a square, rectangle or triangle is drawn on the chalkboard with its sides labelled with their length. the student has to calculate it’s perimeter or area and pick the correct answer from numbers held up by the dragons.

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Remote Integers

The dragons have taken over the home theatre, to vanish them the student has to use the remote control to key in the answer to an addition question. Both positive and negative numbers are included in this section.

Division Racing

The dragons are racing across the courtyard in numbered cars. The student is presented with a question of the type 60 / ? = 10, they have to pick the car with the correct number on it.

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Rewards

The app has a number of game like features to keep older children (and adults) engaged and keep coming back to practice their maths skills. As they get questions right players earn gold coins, these can be redeemed in the store for enhancements to use in the game such as the hero shield which protects the player from ruining their streak if they get a wrong answer or dragon fire which gives them a chance to win extra gold with correct answers.

The student can also choose to use their gold to buy wallpapers that they can download to use on their iPad.

Players are rewarded for getting perfect rounds – anytime they score a perfect round the Numbertsons dance for them, and they have a 50/50 chance of capturing a dragon (they can use use gold in the shop to upgrade this to a 100% chance). The captured dragons have trading cards and players can view their collection in the heroes headquarters. There are also 4 boss battles to unlock – each one is unlocked when the player has scored a perfect round in each of the seven games at that difficulty level. In the boss battle the player has to beat the dragon by answering rapid fire maths questions. I like that in the main part of the app the players can take their time to answer rather than being under the clock, as this gives more chance to really learn the material rather than guessing because time is running out. The boss battles then give a chance to practice what they have learned under pressure.

This app is designed for students from Fifth Grade onwards . As well as fifth graders, middle school students,  high school students, and many adults will enjoy keeping their maths skills sharp with it – I know I did! I tested the app out with my (very smart) rising fourth grader who really liked it, but agreed that some sections of it were too advanced for him. There are certainly no shortage of maths apps available -the app store is swimming with them. Math Heroes vs Dragons however, is a rare gem – a math app for older students that is really well done – engaging, works on a variety of skills, with different difficulty levels, has multiple player profiles and motivating reward system. Both entertaining and educational – highly recommended !

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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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.

Giveaway

If you would like to win one of 5 promo codes for this app, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


Lately Lily: Paris for a Day! by Lately Lily LLC – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Adorable illustrations, interactive games

What we’d love to see…

Another chapter, minor changes to soundtrack

Summary

Overall, a cute story and interactive game app, we love it’s unique, quirky style. This app will appeal most to 4-8-year-olds, who we hope will be inspired by Lily to want to see the world !

Our Rating

Lately Lily: Paris for a Day!

Lately Lily Paris for a Day! is an iPad only app and the first app from Southern California -based developer Lately Lily LLC.  Although this is Lily’s first app, she is also the star of a line of children’s clothes, you can read more about her at LatelyLily.com. Lily is a globe trotter – she loves to travel the world with her faithful companion a stuffed toy zebra named Zeborah. The app is a combination of a story and a game – children can complete a series of interactive activities, as the story of Lily’s visit to Paris unfolds. Lately Lily has charming hand- drawn illustrations –  they look cut-outs of pen and ink illustrations on different colored  papers. The app is child-friendly – it contains no adverts, in-app purchases or external links. The child can leap directly to their favorite chapter from the home page, but there is no way to navigate within a chapter.

The story opens as Lily receives a letter from her good friend Audrey, who lives in Paris, inviting her to a concert, which prompts Lily to decide to visit Audrey. The reader can help Lily pack her bright yellow suitcase, choosing which outfits and accessories to bring along, Zeb cheers them along and makes sure they remember  to pack him too!

iPad Screenshot 2

In Chapter Two Zeb and Lily are at the airport, Zeb goes for a ride on the yellow suitcase as it heads off on the baggage carousel. However, this is no ordinary carousel – it is more like a fairground ride with gaps to leap, slopes to go up and down as well as lots of other luggage to avoid, it has multiple levels and if the yellow suitcase falls to the bottom level it starts moving back towards the baggage hall and away from the plane! The child helps Zeb to catch his flight by tapping on the suitcase making it fly up in the air to avoid the gaps and obstacles, until the suitcase safely reaches the plane.

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The third chapter is on the plane, Zeb and Lily are looking out of the window as they fly over France and the child must help them find 5 objects as they fly overhead. Objects out of the window appear out of focus until camera is over it, so the child needs to move the camera over the scene until they discover the correct image and then take a picture with it in the view finder.

iPad Screenshot 4

 

In chapter four Lily and Zeb have arrived in Paris. As they visit a typical Parisian courtyard the child can learn a little French. Tapping on an object will  make it’s name in French (and in smaller letters in English) appear on the screen, and then the word is spoken in both languages. The audio in this part of the app was quieter than in the rest of the app, so we had to turn up the volume to hear it properly. As the story ends Lily and Audrey are sitting together listening to the band play.

This is a very cute book/ game app and my six-year-old daughter enjoyed it. As well as being fun, this app works on hand-eye co-ordination, matching, visual discrimination and teaches a little French. There are a few enhancements I would like to see in a future update : I’d like to see the volume consistent throughout the app, I’d also like to see the chapter headings narrated if you touch them (most of the app is narrated but these are not, and many of the target audience may not yet be proficient readers). The app also feels a little short – I’d love to have a fifth chapter where Lily and Audrey together visit some of their favorite Paris landmarks, so the child can learn a little about Paris too.

Overall, a cute story and interactive game app, we love it’s unique, quirky style. This app will appeal most to 4-8 year- olds, who we hope will be inspired by Lily to want to see the world.

by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$


 

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.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends by Cupcake Digital and American Greetings – Review & Giveaway



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

the story is brought to life and reminds me of great childhood memories and Strawberry Shortcake; mini games, linkage to common core learning standards

What we’d love to see…

ability to turn off the music within the “read it to me” and “read and play” modes of the story; stronger parent lock (rather than entering a year of birth)

Summary

For parents who loved Strawberry Shortcake as a child as well as those who have little girls this is a great app with lots of great activities included.

Our Rating


Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends by Cupcake Digital and American Greetings is a newly released educational app featuring Strawberry Shortcake and her friends in Berry City including: Cherry Jam, Blueberry Muffin, Orange Blossom, Plum Pudding, Lemon Meringue and Raspberry Torte.  The app is an interactive storybook with a few mini games including nail painting, hair styling and berry blitz which is a Tetris like game where you have to move the fruit to fill the blenders.  There is also a “paint” section where you can paint your favorite character pages using brushes, crayons, chalk, stickers and more in a coloring book.    The story is about Strawberry Shortcake and a talent show that she and her friends will be putting on.  Each of the girls works on their “act” and then Raspberry  Torte’s keyboard breaks so all of them try to find something that she could do in lieu of playing her broken keyboard.  She decides to design a beautiful gown for the show and ends up the winner thanks to all of her friends support!

The app features “read and play” which allows you to have the story read to you and being able to tap on the characters as well as tapping on the words to have them read to you;  “read to me” features a read aloud narrated version of the story with word highlighting; “just a book” is the storybook with no music, narration or interactivity on the pages.

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This app reminded me of my Strawberry Shortcake Doll back in the 1980’s and I was glad to see that Strawberry Shortcake has tried to come back again.  I really liked the theme of working together in this storybook as each of the girl’s works on their own special talents.  There are interactive elements within the storybook in two of the modes and the third is simply just a storybook.  I also liked the “grown up’s corner” where it encourages you to think about the story and talk about it – and would like to see that included as part of the parent section rather than at the end of the storybook.  This section ties to Common Core Learning Standards and is a great way to stimulate a discussion about the book and characters beyond a simple reading of the book.  The coloring book features seven scenes where kids can draw and color with crayons, chalk, spray, brush and bucket as well as stickers which can be used to decorate the pictures.

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In terms of enhancements, the app does have a parent lock which requires you to put in your year of birth but there is no way to hide that button if your child does not meet the requirements.  The parent section tells you about the story and how to use it as well as including social media links.  I would also like to find a way to turn off the music within the app as it can be distracting and take away from the story.

For parents who loved Strawberry Shortcake as a child as well as those who have little girls this is a great app with lots of great activities included.   The underlying theme of working together, friendship, helping others as well as leading by example combined with the interactive mini games make this app a good deal for $2.99.

by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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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.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Strawberry Shortcake book, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only with a valid United States or Canada  mailing address.  Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

“It’s Show and Tell day at school for the Berrykins! One little Berrykin doesn’t know what to bring, so she asks Strawberry and the girls for their help. Nothing seems quite right until Strawberry suggests making a scrapbook all about friendship!”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.


Rocket Speller Plus by Little Big Thinkers – Review and Giveaway at The iMums



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

: Customizable, thoughtfully designed phonics features, adaptive play and fun for kids.

What we’d love to see…

Adult-only access to options screen, data collection for parents and teachers along
with support for multiple users, localized accents, confirmation that children’s privacy is protected.

Summary

A must-have for parents and teachers of pre and beginning readers.

Our Rating

 

Rocket Speller PLUSThe original Rocket Speller app made it onto my Top Ten list of free apps for autistic children, so when I heard that the developer, Little Big Thinkers, was producing a paid version of the app with more features, I was excited to try it out. And it did not disappoint; Rocket Speller Plus has retained the features of the original app that made it so much fun for kids to play but what they have added turns it into a must-have app for younger children who are at the pre-reading and early reading stage.

On the main screen there are a couple of places the parent or teacher should investigate prior to letting a child loose on the app. Tap the adult figures on the top left of the screen three times to enter the parent/teacher-only section. This contains explanations of how to play, the different levels of difficulty as well as information on the developer and how usage data is collated anonymously. Back on the home page tapping on ‘Level 1’ causes the customization options to appear. Here you can select the word categories you want your child to practice on, whether to use letter names or sounds and upper or lower case and the level of difficulty from 1 through 5. In Level 1 the child encounters words of 3 to 6 letters in length, they can place the letters in any order and they are provided with both visual and audible support. Once they get to Level 5 then the words are 7 to 10 letters in length, letters have to be placed in the correct order and the only assistance provided is adaptive – i.e., if the child is struggling then audio hints are provided. The different levels ensure that the app grows with your child.

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The last item to investigate on the home screen is the little green alien – tap on him for an overview of the game. Hit the play button to start and your child is presented with a word, let’s say it’s Level 1 and the word is “duck” – they see a picture of a duck, hear the word duck and have to place the four letter tiles in the correct spots to spell the word. Once the tiles have been placed in the right order the letters are read out, followed by the entire word. After spelling a few words then your child gets to choose the body of a rocket. Subsequent choices are the tail end and the nose cone. Once complete the rocket takes off! I love that this combines both immediate reinforcement (the child only has to complete 3 words before getting a rocket piece) with delayed gratification (they have to complete 12 words in order to see the rocket take off).

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What really sets this app apart from similar tile-placing spelling games is the way that the phonics play has been designed and the letters sounded out. For example, let’s take a word like pineapple. The ‘e’ after the ‘n’ isn’t sounded out, to reflect the fact that it’s only there to make the ‘i’ a long sound. The double ‘p’ tiles are actually linked together and read out as one ‘puh’ sound. Blended sounds like ‘sh’ are similarly linked together to help kids place them correctly. Illustrating how to decode sounds and giving children practice doing this is a terrific feature.

Of course I still have a wish list for ways that I think this app could be even more outstanding:

  • Localized accents. I would love to see British and Australian accents incorporated into the app as some of the words are pronounced differently in these places. For example, apricot is pronounced as ay-pricot in the UK.
  • My kids tap on everything, so I would prefer to see the customization options in the parent/teacher only area to prevent children inadvertently playing with them.
  • The ability to track a child’s progress and share this data with parents or teachers would be a great feature to add to the app along with multiple user support.
  • The newly beefed-up COPPA, designed to protect children’s privacy online affects all developers of kids apps. Given that Rocket Speller Plus tracks usage data (albeit anonymously) I would love to see this app certified using the “Know What’s Inside” program from Moms With Apps. I think this would provide parents with additional comfort that their children’s privacy is protected when using this app.
  • I’d like to see the ability to buy additional categories or word packs via in-app purchase.

Lastly, in terms of price, I think that the app is good value. The customization features, phonics play and adaptive assistance work together to make a high quality product and the inclusion of over 450 words and 3,000 rocket design combinations certainly provide a lot of content. A highly recommended app.

Rocket Speller PLUS
Rocket Speller PLUS
by Little Big Thinkers

Category: Education, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, 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: 72.12 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
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Try the lite version 

Rocket Speller
Rocket Speller
by Little Big Thinkers

Category: Education, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, 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: 39.68 MB

$0.99USD

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

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Deanne fundraised to acquire iPads for her autistic sons, twins currently aged 7, after hearing how beneficial the new technology was proving to be for individuals on the spectrum. She's been addicted to iOS ever since and has now been reviewing apps for kids for two years. Deanne is a freelance writer and you can find her blog at smallbutkindamighty.com

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