Colorful engaging characters, videos tying games together, good selection of mini- games
What we’d love to see…
Written parents section talking about the characters, explaining games and scoring; multiple player profiles
Kekotukos Origins is a promising start to a new series for toddlers, preschoolers and Kindergarten kids. I will be interested to see more in the series. It works on valuable skills such as visual perception, memory, fine motor and problem solving in a fun, playful way with cute colorful characters
Kekotukos Origins is the first of a new series of children’s apps starring a little boy named Keko and the Tukos who are friendly aliens from another planet. The app is designed for children 2-6 years old and contains 12 mini games. It is totally kid friendly with no adverts, in app purchases or external links. The app contains no spoken or written language so can be enjoyed by kids of any nationality. The app contains a lively “alien” themed background music and the volume of the music and sound effects can be adjusted or turned off in settings.
Each of the mini games is accompanied by a short animated video which together tell a story about the Tukos visiting Earth and being shown around and introduced to our customs by Keko.The Tukos are cute colorful creatures, each one its own unique shape and color. In the first video the Tukos are on their home planet doing every day activities such as, eating, sleeping and playing.
The child can play the games in order or pick and choose the games they want to play. The videos play every time they play a game but they can press a skip button if they don’t want to watch. The mini-games work on skills such as memory, shape matching, hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. The games adapt their difficulty level depending on how the child is doing and parents can view their progress in the reports section.
There are 4 mini games that work on fine motor skills. In a dot-to-dot style game they fly the Tukon spaceship from star to star to map out constellations.The 2nd game of this group has Keko playing his electric guitar and the player needs to play along on the piano by tapping the marked keys. I found this game a little disappointing as tapping the correct key makes no sound, it would be nice for the player to hear themselves playing along. A fun endless runner style game (that does end!) has Keko out for a run with the Tukos, there are lots of obstacles in his path and the player has to help him avoid them by jumping. In the final mini- game players have to fly the Tukon spaceship through space collecting colored sparkles to fill their tank before they run out of time but they must watch out for the meteors- if they get hit the spacecraft is temporarily disabled and unable to collect sparkles.
4 mini-games work on visual perception skills. In a shape matching game players help Keko dress the Tukos up by matching the outline of an item of clothing or accessory to the real object. In another game the Tukons are playing hide and seek with Keko and the player must find where each one is hiding, their hiding place will wiggle to give a clue. Players must think ahead when Keko is out for a walk by choosing the right direction at a series of intersections so he can reach his destination. My favorite game is a spot the difference style game with blueprints. Keko has 2 blueprints which each show a circuit diagram, the player has to tap each spot on the diagram that is different until the 2 match.
In the first of the games to work on memory and problem solving a Tukos hides in a box which is shuffled with 2 other boxes in the style of the classic 3 cups game, the player has to help Keko find the right box and uncover his Tukon friend. In another game the Tukos are hiding behind trees in a forest and the player must remember which tree hides a particular Tukos. Keko is making lunch for the Tukos in another game and the player must remember increasingly complex food orders. In a memory match game, cards with matching symbols appear on the spaceship dashboard, and the player must find the match. This starts with only 4 cards but the number increases over time.
Kekotukos Origins is a promising start to a new series for toddlers, preschoolers and Kindergarten kids and I will be interested to see more in the series. It works on valuable skills such as visual perception, memory, fine motor and problem solving in a fun, playful way. It has a nice variety of mini- games that have replay value and adjust to the child’s level. The videos link the games into a story and the children can enjoy playing them as a story, or play them sandbox style in any order they wish. The characters are cute colorful and engaging. I think the app for the children works well without any language but I would like to see some written information in the parents section explaining more about the games, skills worked on and explaining how progress is measured. As the games do measure progress and adapt to the individual I would like to see multiple player profiles so that it would work well for families with more than one child using it.
The transformable interactive scenes filled with silly animations.
What we’d love to see…
Text highlighted in sync with audio narration. (This feature has been implemented! 🙂 )
A fun and imaginative story about a pair of magical glasses that can turn the ordinary world into one big personal playground.
The Wunderglasses by Luftlinie Produktion is one story book that I can truly relate to. It reminds me of the first time my daughter wore her glasses and how she kept commenting that she had never seen the world so vivid and beautiful before. It was just amazing how one pair of glasses could make so much difference to her. But whether your kids need corrective glasses or not, they will definitely enjoy this fun and imaginative story about a pair of special glasses.
In this story, Max finds a pair of glasses that can transform his ordinary and boring world into one big personal playground filled with all his favorite things. With the new glasses on, everything is brighter and the colors more vibrant, but there is something more magical than that. The world seems to have come alive and so many things have changed. It looks like how Max would have imagined it to be – weird and hilarious.
Max is thrilled that he is the only one who is able to see this fun new world! Curious, he wants to know if the glasses will work in other places as well. He stops by at the ice-cream parlour, a construction site, the market place, the lake, the city streets and his neighbourhood before reaching his home. He is so happy that the glasses work its magic in these places too but what will happen to his new glasses when his angry mother sees them? The conclusion may not be as exciting but I personally like how the glasses changed Max at the end of the story.
What is really cool about this app is that readers get to witness all the transformations for themselves as well, when they put on the Wunderglasses (by pulling down the glasses on the screen). Flowers become lollipops, high rise buildings are converted into giant dominoes, a wheelbarrow changed to a man doing a wheelbarrow walk, a statue comes to live, the dog turning into a holy cow, people doing weird things, everything is just out of this world!
The changeable scenes contain over 100 imaginative and silly animations that will keep your kids coming back to explore. My youngest was really amused by all the transformations and animations, spending more time than usual scrutinising all the details, giggling and talking excitedly about all his discoveries.
Kids can choose to read by themselves or listen to the app narration, in English or German. They can also skip to any page on Max’s journey home from the park on the city map.
This story book is just perfect for feeding the imagination of young children. Adults will also adore the whimsical hand-painted watercolor artwork and jazzy background music. Mischievous and unpredictable, the Wunderglasses is a storybook that will delight both adults and children. Download it and have fun discovering a different world with Max.
beautiful illustrations and engaging story with different story points chosen by the reader
What we’d love to see…
font in one consistent color and easier to read, currently it’s small in size
Remove this text and add your own here.
The Voyages of Aladdin and Sinbad by BelMontis Publishers is an iPad only app featuring two characters Aladdin and Sinbad in a storybook for young readers (ages 6 – 11) with three translations in English, Spanish and Chinese. The story is about a magic lamp and how Aladdin and Sinbad are going to search for a magic lamp. The story pages are on parchment with a red background with pen and ink drawings and each page features an interactive element that engages the reader into the story. The words are highlighted as the are read and turn a slightly different color after they are read which makes them show up more clearly on the page. There is an option to have the words translated and they appear at the bottom of the page. There are choices that the reader can make which help direct the story and engage them further as well as exploring the app via a map. As each island visit is completed, the map is highlighted to show you where you had been on your adventures – and each time you open the app you can explore a different place. Each of the islands features an interactive element either a riddle, a book given or something else to help Aladdin on his journey to find the magic lamp. While Aladdin is away on his journey, the city has fallen into poverty and the story continues even after the lamp is found! After completing the journey you are invited to choose another island to explore and the story continues.
The app features:
interactive story elements
ability to choose your destination based on a map and learning about new places including Bubble Kingdom, Kingdom of Dreams, Upside Down Kingdom,The Mirror Door, The White Dome, Hose Shoe Island, Soo-Ven-Ir and many more
narration in English, Spanish and Chinese
beautiful pen and ink illustrations and hand drawn pages
narration to hear the story
original music throughout
I loved the illustrations and interactive elements on each page and this app kept my son engaged as he read the story with me and subsequently by himself. He enjoyed tapping on the treasure map and exploring each of the different paths the story could take to read it. I also liked the different areas that could be tapped on to learn more especially the fish bubble that contained an underwater kingdom. He enjoyed touching the screen and exploring inside the bubble and spent quite a bit of time studying the image. My son enjoyed hearing the story of the lamp, especially in the underwater kingdom as well as the gift that was given by the Sultan.
In terms of improvements, the font is problematic. It varies in color and style and can be difficult at times to read on the screen until it is read aloud. I would also like the option to have the translation read aloud – perhaps there is a way to have the words in English on the page, and then also read them in the translation. Currently, the translation is at the bottom of the page and requires you to “scroll” with your finger in order to read it, it’s smaller than the read aloud font on the screens.
This app provides engagement for kids, over and over again as they explore the paths that can be read. My son has opened and explored the app new fewer than six times to look at each of the islands and adventures. The narration and pen and ink drawings as well as the adventure portion draw kids in – even younger emerging readers and encourage them to engage and understand the story. With the beautiful illustrations, children can imagine what is said on the pages and tap on the interactive elements to move forward. It is best for children who are reading in some form and those who enjoy exploring on each page. There are no external links or in-app purchases.
Aladdin & Sinbad - The voyages
by BelMontis Publishers Pte. Ltd.
Price: $3.99 USD
*** Teachers with Apps: "Belmontis has a knack for continuing the tradition of a GREAT storytelling! Not to mention that the art alone is spectacular..." *** The iMums: "This app provides engagement.
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.
bright, colorful engaging illustrations, fun interactive elements, games
What we’d love to see…
Tweaking of difficulty levels in toy matching game.
A high quality, fun, engaging and different Christmas app that combines a story, interactive elements and fun games, recommended for kids from 4-10.
The Witch With No Name is busy preparing for her favorite holiday……. Halloween. But wait! I thought this was a Christmas story ? Well the Witch is interrupted in her preparations by a call for help from her friend Peepo the Elf who has been training as a present wrapper in Santa’s workshop. Peepo is desperate for help, a strange illness has affected Santa and his elves leaving them all sound asleep, and Christmas preparations have ground to a halt.
The Witch is torn as to what to do, she knows nothing about Christmas and really wants to stay to complete her Halloween preparations, but decides she must go as her friend needs her. The Witch and Peepo explore Lapland and with her magic try to put everything to rights. As they work to save Christmas the reader helps them through a series of fun, interactive games.
Readers practice their maths skills when building a snowman, sort letters alphabetically and use their memory skills to put toys together correctly. My favorite game is helping Santa’s reindeer slim down by running them on an obstacle course after they over-indulge, be sure to avoid the potato chips! There are lots of other fun interactions and games too – and your child even gets to wake up Santa!
There are 3 different difficulty levels so that the games can be enjoyed by children of different ages from pre-school to late elementary school age. However, even on easy setting the toy matching game may be a little hard for the younger players as the toy disappears from view as soon as they start working to match it. It would be nice to see an option to leave the toy visible on the screen if they are having remembering how to assemble it.
As the Witch works to save Christmas she wants to learn what Christmas is really about sets out to discover what Christmas Spirit really is. Santa thanks her for all her help and sends her home with a letter- will she finally find out what the Christmas Spirit is? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
As in all the books in the Witch with No Name series this story has bright, colorful engaging illustrations with lots of fun interactive elements hidden on each page. The app can be enjoyed in English, French or German, and there are read by myself or read to me options. A page navigation guide makes it easy for readers to return to their favorite pages. My twin 3rd graders love The Witch with No Name and enjoyed this seasonal addition to the serie.
The Witch and the Christmas Spirit by Slim Cricket is a high quality, fun, engaging and different Christmas app that combines story, interactive elements and fun games. Recommended for ages 4-10, the app is free to download with a single in-app purchase to unlock the full app, the IAP is $3.99
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