Some apps just have star quality. These are usually multi-level, big budget games that make kids want to kill kiwis or persecute pigs into the wee hours.
The good news is that they’re usually affordably priced. The bad news is that you’re going to like them too.
There goes your productivity.
Angry Birds will appeal to lovers of Spikey’s Bounce Around and Doodle Jump. It’s the same kind of physics meets cute characters sort of fun. If you have an iPad, definitely spring for the HD version.
It’s also the number one paid app around the world, so it’s not exactly a secret. I’m not sure what took us so long to try it.
Why we like it:
First of all, we love the silly story line. Evil green pigs have stolen the birds’ eggs and are now hiding out in their castles. It’s up to your kids to wreak revenge on them using (of course!) little red and blue birds and a giant sling shot. Huh?
There are almost 200 levels of gameplay, so it’s unlikely your kids will ever run out of fortresses to assault. Once they conquer a level, they can re-play it to improve their score. In the (very likely) event they don’t conquer a level on their first try, they can just try again!
After each shot, a dotted line showing their trajectory stays on the screen so they can make adjustments to their next shot. Also, there are leaderboards for the truly obsessive.
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We tested version 1.44, which is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOs 3.0 or later. Developer Clickgamer. Read our disclosure policy.
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox lets you introduce your toddlers to colors and letters from home well before preschool. Young children will think this is a game – but moms and dads will feel good in knowing it’s completely educational too. Tricky, eh?
In each individual game a monkey asks you to complete short tasks like counting fruit, touching the corresponding word that the monkey asks for and matching cards with fruit on them. The goal is to finish these and fill the monkey’s lunch box. When you complete a game the monkey flips and squeals, then sends you on to the next game.
Why we like it:
The sounds and music on Monkey Preschool Lunchbox are terrific. My 11-month old came crawling across the room to see what it was when I turned it on. Although she was too young to actually play with it, she was fine to hold it, listen to the sounds, touch the colors and loved it when the monkey did back flips.
The game is very interactive, but you are asked to do enough different tasks that it doesn’t seem as repetitive as other apps. Making the monkey happy is the best part of this app but if you make a mistake the monkey will say “oooh, oooh, oooh.” Don’t worry moms, it’s not so harsh that a kid would feel bad, it’s more of a note to keep trying. As far as I know you get endless attempts to finish a game.
This is one of the first apps I’d get for a toddler. It teaches them counting, colors and works with a few letters too. The way the monkey flips and squeals “eee, eee, eee!”, tells the user “great job,” and gives them a sticker after completing a game will keep the kids engaged.
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Requires iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later. We tested version 1.0, which is compatible with the iPhone (OS 2.2.1 or later) and the iPod touch. Developer Thup Games. Read our disclosure policy.