Best Kids Apps

Want to play a game?

 

Shopping for fun iPhone, iPad, and Android games for kids is dizzying.  There are sim games, action games, sports games, role playing games, physics games, card games, word games, and puzzle games… and that’s just the tip of the app iceberg.

 

Overwhelmed?  Not to worry — we’ve got your back.

  • The Moron Test

    Terrible name. Great app.

  • Slice It!

    If at first you don't succeed, slice, slice again.

  • Fruit Ninja

    If fighting kiwis is wrong, we don't want to be right.



Amazing Ants

Help the cute ants collect all the fruit
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 6+ |

  • free


Amazing Ants is a basic platform game where you guide your ants through a puzzle landscape collecting fruit.

Kids will like the cute sound effects and innocent comic book-style graphics, and parents will like the low-stress problem solving dynamic.

Why we like it:
This is a very scalable app that adds skills one at a time.  First the ants just walk, then they jump, climb, fly, and float…once your child has mastered the previous skill.  Levels can be replayed to practice skills, and this also helps you rack up more coins (which can be spent on “unlockable extras”, like stylized ants and hints).

Watch out for:
In-app purchases are just a fact of life with these freemium games.  Level packs…  Ants in costume… there are a lot of temptations for players old and young.  Turn off in-app purchases if this bothers you.

Also, ads spring up more often than we’d like.  Often — but not always — in-between levels, you’ll see a “And now a word from our sponsor!” message.



Whale Trail

Flying whales. What else is there to say, really?
  • * * * * *
  • $0.99/2.49


Whale Trail is difficult enough and weird enough to appeal to teen audiences.  Which is to say, my 12-year-old daughter has mastered it, but I haven’t.

Willow the Whale must leap into the sky to evade the Baron Von Barry.  Your kids have to steer him through what is frankly a pretty psychedelic landscape, smashing clouds and collecting bubbles.

Also, your kids will inexplicably meet up with characters who look a lot like the Beatles in Sgt. Pepper.  Of course.

Why we like it:
This app really stands out because it is unique, colorful, and positive.  The whimsical soundtrack is great too.  It’s mostly acoustic, but every once in awhile someone croons, “Whale Trail!” or “I can see my house from here!”.

Told you it was weird.

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Animatch: Animal Pairs and Sounds

A perfect memory matching game for young kids
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 2+ |

  • $0.99


Animatch: Animal Pairs and Sounds is a digital version of one of the most enduring family games of all time: memory match.

It’s a great first app for young children, and it’s from the makers of Doodle Jump, so you know it’s going to be good.

Why we like it:
Adding animal sounds is an inspired touch!  This app gets everything else right too.  It’s very mellow and pleasing on the eye with good graphics.   And when kids make a match?  The cards wiggle and glow yellow.  Fun!

As far as navigation goes, it’s seamless.  There’s no reading required and no way to get lost in unnecessary options while launching it.  The app does keeps score (which we don’t love), but that’s easy enough to ignore.

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We tested version 1.6.1, which is compatible with the iPhone and iPad.  Android version available too.  Developer: Lima Sky.  Read our disclosure policy.