Peg and Pog by Kenikeni Ltd – Review


What we love…

8 interesting scenes with a variety of immersive play activities.

What we’d love to see…

Add even more interactive elements to enrich the free-play sessions.

Summary

A fun and engaging app that helps build rich vocabulary while encouraging curiosity, active exploration and imaginative play.

Our Rating

Peg and Pog is an interactive app that teaches over 170 vocabulary words in 5 languages as players explore 8 different animated scenes – ocean, polar regions, space, Savannah, store, bedroom, birthday party, and dressing room.

The app turns every play session into an adventure for young children by letting them build each of the 8 scenes with items (animals and objects) associated with the setting, and interact with them. The characters and items of vocabulary are introduced one at a time and children can activate the item and hear the vocabulary word whenever they tap or move it. In addition to these items, players can also explore around the scene to animate more items and learn their names.

For older kids who are ready to learn the written words, the vocabulary words are presented separately on vocabulary cards, with only the picture and the written word on each card. The learning is focused and targeted to build a strong association between the item, its name, the spelling, and pronunciation. Grouping these words in context also helps learners make the connection between the items.

Children become more familiar with each vocabulary word as they play with them repeatedly, and this app offers great replay value. Each of the 8 play scenes is designed for free play where kids can move items around and activate them. This encourages imaginative play where kids can make up their own stories and explore possibilities. There is a lot of activities to keep kids entertained and engaged. They can have a go at the toy capsule vending machine in the store and label the toys that they get. They can pretend to be a DJ, dance to different genres of music or enjoy the food at a birthday party. They can style the characters from the head to toe with superhero costumes or other outrageous outfits for a photo shoot. They can also learn more about the planets, sea creatures and animals. They even get to try new experiences like controlling a husky ride, making the cloud rain, flying in a hot-air balloon, and walking in space!

What I like about this app is that it helps open the window to the world for our children. It makes them curious about the wider world, beyond what they have been exposed to and want to discover more. It presents lots of opportunities for you to help expand their general knowledge. It is also a great conversation starter as you can relate each scene to yours and your child’s real-life experiences. Credit goes to the developer as well for building an awareness and appreciation for cultural diversity, and social inclusion into the app. Everyone can participate equally regardless of their background and abilities.

There is a parents’ guide (in the parents’ section) on the learning points and what you can talk about with your child during the in-app play. It would be great to also include a list of all the vocabulary words introduced in the app for easy reference. In the settings, you can also change the language (UK/US English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Mandarin) and audio (music, sound effects, and spoken words) preferences.

Above all, the app is just pure fun for the kids. The cute characters, movable interactive play items, variety of activities and engaging free-play settings will keep them coming back for more play and learning

 

 

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Peg and Pog – Kenikeni Ltd

Peg and Pog Peg and Pog by Kenikeni Ltd

Price: $2.99 USD

Plenty of fun and giggles in this "highly recommended" language learning game for kids. Designed especially to introduce your child to learning everyday vocabulary, and with no in-app purchases or third.

 

 

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.

We ARGH Pirates by Avokiddo Review & Giveaway


What we love…

beautiful illustrations, motley crew of characters in a fun pirate themed app with eight levels of adventure.

What we’d love to see…

removal of the pop up asking you to rate the app, an “easy mode” for younger kids who may get frustrated in some levels having to multi-task like the Bridge of Screams and Octopus and Battle Ship

Summary

Perfect for Pirate Day or any day – this app from Avokiddo delivers.  My son had hours of fun solving the adventures and pretending to be a pirate.  Argh Matey!

Our Rating

We ARGH Pirates by Avokiddo is an app for iOS and Android featuring Captain Rose and his crew.  The app features a cast of four who are searching for a adventure on the sea.  The app involves problem solving via puzzles, battle with sea monsters and digging for burred treasure.  Each of the eight levels has a different challenge to solve and a gem to find in order to advance to the next level.  Skills practiced within the app include fine motor, problem solving including planning ahead and solving each of the puzzles as well as being prepared for the unexpected.  The crew includes: Captain Rose, Claire ‘Long Hair’, Ruprecht ‘The Shovel’ and Zany Granny.  During each of the levels a specific task is required in order to advance to the next level.

Level 1: Catch the fish and magical sea bottle to move to the next level

Level 2: Run with Captain Rose and Ruprecht ‘The Shovel’ to solve puzzles along the way.  There are a variety of X marks the spot as well as challenges to solve including getting a slingshot and a sword within this level.

Level 3: It’s time to ride the high seas with a pirate ship.  You must jump over rocks and in some cases capture cannon balls to shoot through rocks which are too tall to jump over

Level  4: The lost totem, Claire and Ruprecht use the slingshot to shoot down coconuts and put the various characters to sleep and outwitting themwhile attempting to capture the jewel

Level 5: Bridge of Screams, move each of the characters across a bridge while evading the crows flying using only a red balloon!  Use your finger to move up or down to avoid the crows

Level 6: It’s the Volcano of 1,000 caves where you go through various volcano’s and move up within the volcano.  Those caves are tricky and if you go through the wrong cave you can go upwards or downwards.

Level 7:It’s time to battle the Octopus using the battle ship – what seems to start as a sedate level similar to level 3 requires jumping over rocks, capturing cannon balls then adds in a crazy Octopus which you get rid of by having Ruprecht throw buckets at.

Level 8: This level brings you to the Cave of Treasures where you dig up one last treasure chest before putting your gems to work.  This was the hardest level for my son who had trouble following the gem song which required patterning and paying attention to move forward

This is a beautifully illustrated app with top notch illustrations and a fun mystery pirate theme.  It kept my son entertained for hours as he sailed the ship and captured the required items to move on to the next level.  As a mom, I liked that it just wasn’t an app he could run through quickly but one that required thinking and problem solving to move on to the next level.  Language in the app was at a minimum which meant that if you wanted to you could mute the various sounds within the app.  I loved all the skills that were practiced in a fun way that didn’t make my kids think that they were learning.
In terms of improvements, I wish there was an “easy mode” option for younger players.  My son got frustrated a few times with various levels which required multiple interactions in the same level such as jumping the ship, catching the cannon ball and making sure you shot down the rock all in one fell swoop.  In addition, I wish you could turn off the pop up asking you to rate the app.  It is protected by the parental gate – but it was a but frustrating for my son who saw it and had to repeat the level.

Perfect for Pirate Day or any day – this app from Avokiddo delivers.  My son had hours of fun solving the adventures and pretending to be a pirate.  Argh Matey! There are no third party ads and the app is COPPA Compliant.  External content is parental gate protected. Be sure to check out the other great Avokiddo apps for kids of all ages!

We ARGH Pirates
We ARGH Pirates
by AVOKIDDO

Category: Entertainment, Family, Adventure, 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, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 195.9 MB

$3.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Google Play

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

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Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Games – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

fun train themed app with great sound effects that encourages role play, creative play, counting and more

What we’d love to see…

ability to back the train up, a ticket that displays the passengers destination visually, other methods to power the train or even a subway

Summary

Fun train themed app that includes sharing, following directions and more!

Our Rating

Dr. Panda Train All Aboard the latest app from Dr. Panda Games this time with a train theme!  In this fun themed train app your kids serve as conductor and they drive the train and tour one of three landscapes which includes jungle, desert and a beautiful countryside scene.

Within the app, your child can drive the train either from a first person perspective inside the cab or from a distance.  They also can stop and visit the passengers to give them food, snacks, reading material and more.  My son even found some great tech to give the passengers.  Shovel on some coal to stoke the fire and make the train go faster to it’s next destination or simply blow the horn as the countryside goes by.  I liked that my kids could take turns playing with the app or putting passengers on and handing out items to them.  As you complete more of the game you earn extra items to give to the passengers – my kids favorites were of course the tech!    My kids also loved loading the cargo and carrying it from station to station.  While we loaded it we practiced counting or even deciding which item to load first – should we load the jelly beans or the chicken?  What happens if we don’t load any cargo.  I loved their responses which ranged from – “the passengers will be sad” to “will the chicken lay an egg?”  My toddler loved speeding up the train within the app or making it slower which shows cause and effect – although that concept was a bit difficult to explain.  As you get to each station stop, a thought bubble pops up looking for a specific passenger or item to be loaded on the train.  There is a maximum of four passengers, so if you have more, someone extra must exit the train prior to it moving.  Safety first!

As a mom, I loved that there was great role playing – should we be the conductor, the passenger or the person loading the cargo.  Tell me about their job.  What happens if there are too many passengers, how do we decide who gets on?  It was great for storytelling and having my older son describe his actions within the app.  At the station, it was great to unload the cargo and then pass it along to the proper recipients like the pig who wanted the chicken.  Each time you complete a task, you earn additional items to play with in the game which made my kids want to play more and more to see what else they would earn.  There are twelve different train stations throughout.  My son also enjoyed dinging the bell

In terms of enhancements, it would be fun if each passenger had to submit a ticket prior to getting on the train which would get stamped with their destination, currently once they are on the train you can punch the ticket but it does not show the destination.  That way, kids could prepare for which station they are getting off at.  My son also wanted to “back up” the train a few times to go back and look at scenery or to pick up something he might have missed.  I would also love to see other methods for powering the train – perhaps it could be electric and run on above ground power like the T does in Boston or maybe it could run like the subway does with a third rail.  My kids also thought it would be fun if each of the train stops coincided with other Dr. Panda Games like Daycare, Firefighter, Home etc.

There are no in-app purchases and there is a parental gate which requires year of birth.  You can turn off a splash screen which advertises other Dr. Panda apps in the parent area as well as turn on and off music and sound.

Super fun train themed app that kept my toddler enthralled for hours.  He kept finding little secret items and enjoyed loading and off loading the cargo.  Bravo Dr. Panda – or should that be Toot Toot!  Can’t wait to see what else you have planned in the future.



Dr. Panda Train Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $1.99 USD

Dr. Panda Train has pulled into the station! Put on your conductor hat and take passengers on a journey full of fun and discovery!

DRIVE THE TRAIN! 
All aboard Dr. Panda Train! Show your passengers.

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.

 



Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival from Move On Pluto- Review



maxmeredith-2

What we love…

Ability to control the story, multiple stories in one, nostalgic feel to the app

What we’d love to see…

Text highlighting as it is read, page turn button, ability to change settings without returning to home page.

Summary

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is a fun “choose your own adventure” book with multiple story lines and endings. It encourages readers to think about different ways to solve problems and challenges stereotypes as the children discover that not everyone or everything is how they expect, and that first impressions can be deceiving.

Our Rating

maxmeredith-1Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is the first interactive book app from indie developer  Move On Pluto. It is a “choose your own adventure” book where the reader makes decisions throughout the book, which affect the characters actions and what happens next. Music, sound effects, narration and text can be switched on or off via settings. Parents can choose to have interactive hotspots unlocked throughout the app, just in final storyline scenes, or no distractions. There is no word highlighting as the story is read.

Max lives in the town of Everdale, where one morning he awakes to find his trusty dog Percival is missing. Max rushes next door to enlist the help of his friend Meredith to find Percival. The story follows Max and Meredith’s search for Percival, but the duo have different ideas on the best way to find him. Max is more logical and cautious, whilst Meredith has an active imagination and likes to follow her hunches. The reader gets involved in the story by deciding what the duo should do next when Max and Meredith disagree.

maxmeredith-3

Depending on what decisions the reader makes the story goes in different directions. In total there are 8 different possible endings. When the reader reaches the end of the story they are shown a map illustrating how the different decisions create different story lines and endings, and are encouraged to read it again for a different story experience.

maxmeredith-4

The story is an old-fashioned adventure- the dynamic duo aim to solve a mystery, and to do so they have to work together to decide what to do. Meredith believes that an ogre lives near by in Gloomy Gulch and thinks he is responsible for Percival’s disappearance, so the friends have to decide whether or not they will face up to their fears and search Gloomy Gulch. What happens in the story depends on the choices the reader makes, so it really is multiple stories in one. Making different choices introduces new characters and situations, and creates totally different endings, which gives it lots of replay value. All the different story lines work well together, and there are no “right” or “wrong” choices, just different choices. By reading the story multiple times and making different decisions, the reader can find out more about Everdale and the characters who live there.

maxmeredith-5

The book app has a nostalgic feel about it, the illustrations and story lines feel like they would be at home in a “Little Golden Book.” Although the app has some interactive elements (about one per page) the main interactivity is in choosing the where the storyline will go. The multiple story lines add a fun element and increase the replay value of the app. Depending on which storyline is chosen Max and Meredith may have to face some potentially scary situations, but they find out that first impressions are not always correct, and that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.

There are a few technical changes I would like to see in future updates. I would like to see the addition of word highlighting as it is read. Page turning currently via swiping, I’d like to have an option to use a page turn button instead. Swiping does give the feel of turning the pages of a book, but I find that some children, especially those with special needs, can find this difficult. The settings can only be accessed from the home page and although you can return to this at any time, doing so loses your place in the story, so I’d like to see setting accessible from every page.

Summary

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is a fun “choose your own adventure” book with multiple story lines and endings. It encourages readers to think about different ways to solve problems and challenges stereotypes as the children discover that not everyone or everything is how they expect, and that first impressions can be deceiving. The developer recommends Max & Meredith for ages 2-7, I think that slightly older children will also enjoy it and my 9 year-old gave it a thumbs up.

 

iTunes Link

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival by Move On Pluto LLC

Price: $3.99 USD

Winner of a Parents' Choice Approved Award

"A marvelous new storybook app ... backed by research of what is most effective in helping children comprehend, grow, and retain content while learning.

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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.