Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens by AVOKIDDO – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

beautiful graphics, multiplayer option, a “redo” button in case you get stuck with a challenge and multiple different types of science taught

What we’d love to see…

a demo on the first level of each “new” castle in the easy mode

Summary

I love that the app teaches #stem and #commoncore and encourages kids to play and learn at the same time.  I never thought teaching a child physics could be so fun!

Our Rating

Thinkrolls: Kings & QueensThinkrolls: Kings & Queens by AVOKIDDO is a universal app for iOS that uses creative thinking, problem solving and logic skills to move to the next level.  This action packed multiplayer app contains 228 levels of play and works well for both younger and older children (and adults!)   The premise of the app is fairly straighforward, create a character and roll them through the obstacles to capture the magic key.  Each level gets harder with slightly harder obstacles and more difficult challenges.  There are six different castles to complete which I will describe below.

Castles
● Gear & Rack: combine gears with racks to create ladders & conveyor belts
● Chest & Bridge: fill gaps and collapse swaying bridges to clear the way
● Crocodile & Harp: use the harp to lull the crocodile to sleep
● Ghost & Mirror: shift the mirror to eliminate the ghost with reflected light
● Hatch & Lever: switch the lever to open and close hatches
● Flying Potion: unleash the magic potion to defy gravity and fly to the finish

Each of the castles has a “redo” button in case you get stuck within the level and can’t progress on.  The castles have beautiful artwork with amazing detail down to the strings on the harp which is used to lull the crocodile to sleep.  In each of the castles, as you complete each challenge you unlock the next level which also unlocks additional items that you can dress your character with.  Within the app when you tap the “gear” at the top of the screen you can choose the player, type of levels which are “easy” for kids aged 5-8 and “hard” for kids aged 8+.  For purposes of the review, we tested the app on “easy” mode with my 8 year old.  You can also toggle on/off the in-game music and select the language.

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I loved how the app encouraged my son to problem solve to master each level – there were a few times when he brought me the iPad because he couldn’t figure out the challenge the first time like using the harp to put the crocodile to sleep.  As the levels got harder, he got better at problem solving and I loved how he realized that if he didn’t “solve” it the first time he could try different things until he was able to do so.  I love the life skill here too because it showed him that even if we have regular challenges in life maybe the traditional way we approached the problem, might not always be the solution.  The animations within the app ranging from the crocodile mouth to the use of reflection with the ghost & mirror were amazing and I could really tell that AVOKIDDO spent a lot of time testing and perfecting the app to ensure things worked well and as planned.  I definitely also noticed that my son used a lot of great words to describe all the things he was learning to explain the science concepts – which we also discussed.  I never imagined physics could be so fun for an 8 year old and that he would understand the concepts after just playing with the app to master each of the levels!  Each of the levels targets a specific type of skill like gravity, force, joints or even simple machines and gets progressively harder as you progress within the app.  As a mom, I loved that I could play with the app using my own player to play with castles that were more suited to my level compared to my son’s.

In terms of future enhancements, there were a few times my son got stuck and since I wasn’t “playing along” the entire time I had to play through the level a few times to figure it out.  Perhaps a tutorial the first time you are presented with a new type of castle or object might be helpful for younger players on the “easy” mode.

 

Overall, this is a fantastic app that AVOKIDDO has made, every time I test one of their apps I think they can’t possibly top it, but each time I am surprised with the new ways them come up with to play.  I love that the app teaches #stem and #commoncore and encourages kids to play and learn at the same time.    The app has a parental protected area with a parental gate, no banner ads, no 3rd party ads and is COPPA compliant.  There are no-in app purchases. This would be a great app to use over the upcoming holidays because it’s not a “play once and done” especially for those that have a long trip!

Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens
Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens
by AVOKIDDO

Category: Education, Puzzle, Games, Adventure
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: 56.76 MB

$3.99USD

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

Also available on Google Play and Amazon.

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. The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Giveaway

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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.


Pigsty – Animals on the loose by Ravensburger Digital – Review



screen pigsty

What we love…

Interesting puzzles that help develop problem-solving skills.

What we’d love to see…

Leaderboard.

Summary

An original thinking game that is fun for both children and adults.

Our Rating

Need a thinking game that the whole family can enjoy playing during this holiday break from school? Then you have to download Pigsty by Ravensberg onto your device and start giving your brain a great workout!

Pigsty is free to download with 20 levels of unique physics-based farm animal-theme puzzles that are perfect for your children and fun for adults. These puzzles are so fun and addictive that by the end of the 20 puzzles, you will want to unlock the rest of the 50 puzzles as well (via an in-app purchase of $1.99). So be warned!

The objective of the game is to fence in the different animals inside their respective fenced areas. Each puzzle starts with a goal that shows where the fences should be and what (and how many as well) animals should be in each of the goal areas. Players shrink the original fence area by cutting away unwanted fences and must avoid touching the constantly-moving animals when doing so. The game is easy for children as there are no complicated rules to remember and no penalty to frustrate players but it’s a race against time to get the best score!

My youngest had fun playing the easier levels. He found the animals cute and their reactions when they collided with each other, flipped in the air by the springboards, bounced off tires or being touched, very funny. He was tickled by the silly sound effects as well. The music and sound effects can be separately turned off if they are too exciting for your child.

As an adult, I enjoyed solving each of the puzzles and felt a sense of achievement when I finally completed all the 70 game levels. It took me hours as the puzzles got more and more challenging. What is left now for me is to achieve my personal goal of perfect 3-star ratings for all the 70 levels. Out of the 50 advanced game levels, I only managed to get two 3-star ratings! 🙁

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Each game level presents a different challenge and it’s given a name that hints at what the challenge is. Fencing in the animals got harder and harder as more and more animals are added, the different animals move at different speed and the original fenced areas change every time.

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I felt very excited when I was playing the Pigsty puzzles. I had to think of the most effective ways to make the best use of the bouncing tires, jumping springboards and homing big red barns. Through trial and error, I learnt how to modify the fences to get the animals to move in the directions that I wanted. I strategized the order of my fencing moves in order to separate and fence in the animals step-by-step. I found myself always multi-tasking as I kept an overview of all the animals’ movements and grab the opportune moments when the animals were in the right places for my next move.

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I simply love games that challenge my concentration, reaction time and ability to multi-task. For the children, these games are great for developing their analytical and problem solving skills as well as their fine motor skills as they have to be accurate and fast when drawing their new fences. It’s a fun thinking game that I highly recommend to all families. So wait no more, go download this free app and start playing right away!

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Pigsty – Animals on the loose

Pigsty - Animals on the loose Pigsty - Animals on the loose by Ravensburger Digital GmbH
Category: Games, Entertainment, Action, Puzzle
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: 459.77 MB

$FREE

 

 

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.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.


Bam Boomerang by Open Reading – Review



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We all know that active learning and intense practice are what makes the difference to our children’s learning but often we do not have the luxury of time to give them our full attention to ensure maximum engagement. We try to get them motivated by supplementing their formal lessons with gamified learning apps but we can’t be on hand to check their work and to give positive reinforcement. So, is there an app that can come close to being a personal tutor?

What we love…

Feedback on student’s reading efforts.

What we’d love to see…

Detailed student progress reports, a way to play offline and upload the progress later.

Summary

A personal reading tutor who listens to your child reading aloud and guides him/her to read better.

Our Rating

Bam Boomerang by Open Reading is an innovative phonics-based reading program (FREE now) that records students reading aloud and gives them feedback as they progress through the lessons and exercises in the app. It acts like a personal reading tutor who teaches, checks your child’s reading and guides him/her to read better.

It does this by mobilising a team of volunteer adult listeners (real people who also have the program like myself) to listen and rate the children’s recordings. The app’s parrot host will then share the feedback with the children and prompt them to repeat the correct sound or word if a recorded response was less than perfect.

There is, however, a lag between the recording and the feedback as this depends on how soon the recording can get evaluated. As a user, you will be automatically recruited into the community of volunteer listeners and get asked to evaluate a few recordings each time you log in. Listening and rating each student recording is fast and easy plus you can check the reference sounds when necessary.

There is actually no direct interaction between the adult and the students whose recordings they rated, and no identities or personal information are shared either. What can be shared is a student’s profile between the parents and teachers so that the student can build on his/her progress on different devices in the classroom and at home.

In Bam Boomerang, students play physics-based games while practicing reading skills and as they play, they earn honey money to buy virtual items for the game character’s home. The games get more challenging but players have unlimited tries to complete each game. Observing the positions of the obstacles, visualizing how the peas will bounce and planning the best moves encourage students to develop better problem solving skills.

The app has a systematic approach to introducing the whole alphabet and builds from easy, two-letter Vowel-Consonant (VC) words to three-letter, CVC words and then four letter words. Students begin by learning a few easy-to-pronounce letter sounds and these are immediately followed by simple words that contain these sounds. This makes the learning of phonic sounds more meaningful to the students. Once the basic phonic skills are established, sight words that don’t follow the phonic rules will also be introduced. New vocabulary words are always taught with matching pictures to facilitate learning of the words’ meaning.

To use Bam Boomerang’s comprehensive approach to reading instruction and unique features, you need to register for an account and give your verbal consent for your children/students to use the app. Do also note that Bam Boomerang is like a virtual classroom which requires users to be online during play.

There is a lot of content included for a free app and I like that there is frequent recall of sounds/words taught as students have to record saying them aloud in order for the games to advance. You get fun problem-solving games, motivating rewards, active listening, frequent reading practice, friendly and constructive feedback all packed in one app for free! If you are not a user yet, get this downloaded already and try it right away!

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Bam Boomerang

Bam Boomerang Bam Boomerang by Open Reading
Category: Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, 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: 48.94 MB

$FREE

 

 

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.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.


Crazy Gears by Seven Academy – Review



screen crazy gears

Kids are naturally curious and want to explore the things around them. If we can provide them with fun activities that build on their interest in their environment, we can nurture an early interest in science as a means to understanding how the world works. One major topic that kids learn in school is simple machines like gears, pulleys and levers. Once they understand how these work, they will begin to see that the same physics can be found everywhere – in our bodies, in everyday objects and not just in complex machines.

What we love…

The cool mechanism where a new puzzle slides out as you solve a puzzle.

What we’d love to see…

Brief learning points for kids at appropriate points in the game.

Summary

Crazy Gears is a great physics puzzle app for exploring about gears, chains, rods and pulleys, and investigating how they work together. Challenging for children and fun for adults.

Our Rating

Crazy Gears by Seven Academy is a great app to jumpstart your kids’ interest and future success in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). With 61 levels of physics puzzles, it provides kids (from kindergarten to lower elementary levels) with lots of opportunities to explore how gears, chains, rods and pulleys work, and how to use them together to solve new puzzles.

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Each level of the game is a unique puzzle that challenges kids to manipulate the given mechanical parts to build a mechanism that will effectively pull the next level of puzzle out. The first level starts off very easily where you just need to secure the chain to the rotating wheel. This shows you the main objective of the whole game, that is to build a mechanism that will transfer the motion from the motorized wheel/gear to the hook that is attached to the next level of puzzle.

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More and more mechanical parts are added in subsequent levels but each time a new part is added, the game takes players through a few puzzles so that they can get to know how to use this new item effectively. Kids will learn from observation the basic properties of these items and how they work together, e.g. how gears rotate in opposite directions of each other when they are used together and how different sizes of gears have different rates of rotation.
 

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The puzzles get more interesting as they get more tricky. Some times, some of the mechanical parts are movable and you need to position them in order to get the best effect. At other times, you find that you have additional items that you don’t need at all, they are there only to confuse you.

 
 

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As players advance through the levels, they learn to formulate their own strategies to solve the puzzles e.g. for me, I would connect the chain to the hook first, then find the driver gear to see how it can be connected to the hook. Next, I would observe which of the parts are movable and finally construct a mechanism that have the gears, chains, rods and pulleys working together to pull out the next level. But now and then, players will encounter a new challenge that requires them to think out of the box and come up with a new strategy. This game is great for encouraging systematic and creative problem solving skills as well.

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Gears as a simple machine, play an important role in our daily lives but we often don’t realize their significance. This app has a wonderful reference section for parents and teachers on the different properties of the items featured in this app (gears, rods, chains, pulleys, hook and wheel) and where we can find them. I’m positive that kids will be fascinated by these information if presented to them in a kid-friendly way. Included in this reference section are some conversation starters about gravity, friction and tension, and how you can use the different components in Crazy Gears to explain these abstract science concepts. Signing up for a free acccount will also allow you to create up to 40 student profiles, each with real-time progress monitoring.

Overall, Crazy Gears is a refreshingly differrent app that gives younger children an early exposure to simple physics and with guidance from adults, I hope they will begin to enjoy science and continue to be curious about the world around them.

Crazy Gears Official Trailer from Seven Academy on Vimeo.

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Crazy Gears

Crazy Gears Crazy Gears by EDOKI ACADEMY
Category: Education, Games, Puzzle
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: 103.56 MB

$2.99USD

 

 

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.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.

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