We see a lot of educational apps here at the iPhone App Review, and we have pretty much established a formula for the gold-studded winners: Have loads of cute animals, an engaging game mechanic to keep the little ones active, and quality educational material to back it up. Thankfully, Farm Jigsaw Puzzles 123, an iPad app by developer GiggleUp Pty, delivers in spades on every count. In fact, they raise the bar with elements such as encouraging feedback with adorable animations to help encourage your child in solving their puzzles.
Like most quality educational iPad apps, Farm Jigsaw Puzzles 123 puts the emphasis on the game mechanic itself, with the learning slid underneath and out view—though still ever-present. The game presents your child with a scene (illustrations range from a night on the farm to a day in the pumpkin patch) filled with blank animal silhouettes. This iPad app is highly engaging, as all elements, such as the objects and animals, are interactive.
To get started, your child simply clicks the absent individual, and works a jigsaw puzzle featuring that animal. Once finished, the animal’s name is spelled out and said, complete with cute animations. The completed image is then added to the scene, and its on to the next puzzle. When the whole illustration is done, your child will be rewarded with a warm congratulations.
This is a great concept that accurately teaches while keeping your child entertained. Puzzles are a favorite with small children, and having the ability to change the puzzle-piece count widens Farm Jigsaw Puzzles 123’s audience to even older children. All-in-all, it’s a fantastic way to learn, and one that will keep your kid engaged.
Warp Jam by Out of the Gun is unique in the AppStore, as its the only iPhone app I know of that makes a traffic jam even remotely fun. This game for the iPhone features loads of geeky homages, fun gameplay, and enough campiness to found a state park—and at a smooth price to match.
M iPhone app review found that the basic gameplay behind Warp Jam is simple to understand, but very difficult to master. You’re in charge of a single block of space, and within your chunk of the Void various objects (including Winnebagos, meteors, and superheroes) will float by. It is your task to ensure there are no collisions within your designated area. To do this, you will either need to hurry an object along by shooting it in the direction its going, or stop it dead with a tap until the coast is clear. If any two objects collide—be it an asteroid explosion or an interstellar fender-bender—the game hands you a big, fat fail, and you’re forced to take your ball and go home.
The gameplay offered in Warp Jam is very smooth, and I had a great deal of fun playing around with the app. It reminded me most of other traffic controlling apps, like City Traffic HD. However, unlike some of its more famous cousins, Warp Jam does get a bit tiresome very quickly. The app features only one level, and unlockables are few and far between. Not to say the app isn’t fun: It certainly is! However, a bit more of a carrot-on-a-stick would have been appreciated.
If you’re looking for a new and interesting iPhone puzzler app, BrickColor, by developer Philippe Auriach & Timothée Alby, is head-and-shoulders above a lot of other free-floating iPhone apps—especially in the difficulty factor. The iPhone app features a unique game concept that offers endlessly engaging gameplay at a super-low price: Zero dollars and zero cents.
After performing this iPhone app review, I found BrickColor’s gameplay a bit hard to peg: If anything, I’d label it a digital board game. The game presents you with a large, square grid covered in different colored tiles. The game starts you off with the top-left tile. Along the bottom of the app are six color blocks—clicking any of which will change the aforementioned tile. Change it to a different color, and any matching (and touching) tiles will change together. You’re supposed to keep up in this way until, eventually, the entire board is one uniform hue, like a Rubix cube. However, the game caps you with a maximum number of moves, or even a move-limit and a timer in Time Attack. This means you’ll have to think hard about each move to maximize your land-grab.
The game is very fluid, and I found the play concept particularly challenging. It’s a real pickle to solve the puzzle in either the time allotted or the moves given, especially on some of the larger puzzles where its easy to accidentally waste a few moves. At times, the game even felt too hard, as I had barely cleared half a level when the timer kept running out. Thankfully, you’re given multiple grid sizes and two game modes to work through. This creates a lot of gameplay, even if often times the gameplay is hair-tearing hard.
Do you feel like your day could stand a bit more puzzling action? How about some puzzle fun with a science-themed twist and a wealth of strategically placed walls? If you answered yes, then the iPhone app Atomania, by developer Stanislav Ustykmenko, is exactly what the doctor called for.
Those of you familiar with the age-old classic Atmoix will feel right at home with Atomania. The game features the same molecule-bound gameplay that served to perplex and amuse in the original, only refashioned for the iPhone’s modern screen.
Atomania has you arranging atoms to match a molecule displayed in the lower left-hand corner. To do this, you will need to slide the various atoms around the playing field, which is filled with walls and other atoms. If you slide a particle, it will keep going (in a certainly Newtonian fashion) until it either hits another wall, or another particle. This means you’ll have to spend a great deal of your time strategizing before you start slinging: Arranging the atoms in just the proper way to produce the atom can be quite challenging, especially when larger molecules are concerned.
On the whole, Atomania’s gameplay is rock solid. However, I did experience a glitch where atoms refused to move away from corners, which was severely irritating when my timer was almost up. Thankfully, it was the lone Glitch Pirate onboard—Atomania is one solid puzzle offering.
Have you ever found yourself lamenting leaving your Texas Instruments scientific calculator at home, or hankering after an easy bisector equation on the go? I can’t say I’ve been there, however my more math-centric friends might be nodding their heads excitedly. Put the power of eight calculators, a fully stocked mathematics glossary and so much more right in your hands with iMathematics iPhone app from developer Antonio Giarrusso, a comprehensive math app that has it all.
Ok, so maybe you aren’t lusting after Heron’s formula. That’s ok! While reviewing iMathematics for my iPhone app review I found an app intended to be a complete math resource. Information is organized in three major categories, the form tab where topics are organized by branch, the utilities tab where the hard business of math can be met and the search tab which lists every item in the app alphabetically.
A large part of iMathematics for iPhone is definition and theory, although most of the definition pages are full of helpful formulas. These pages link off to additional resources, both internal and external, for a more thorough explanation. My only complaint is the lack of plainly worded assistance.
Meditations of Awakening Complete, set of 4 Guided Meditations iPhone Video App Review
Meditations of Awakening
Meditations of Awakening Complete, set of 4 Guided Meditations is a lovely collection of four guided meditations from developer and meditation teacher Ahnalira. Let each of these meditations guide you into a deeper sense of self with gentle music, light sounds and the soothing voices. High quality recordings and thoughtful guidance make Meditations of Awakening a true gem of enlightenment.