Awesome Shape Puzzles 123 is a lovely universal puzzle app by the developers at GiggleUp, a company that has produced a library of apps of very high quality.
In the past, I have quite enjoyed their other puzzle apps consisting of different themes, such as the farm or transportation. Here, instead of different scenes each revolving around a specific subject, 12 puzzles are included that each focuses on subjects children will enjoy, such as dinosaurs, musical instruments, a collection of toys, ocean and farm situations, as well as covering fruits and vegetables, numbers and letters.
Tap one of these puzzles found within the main menu and the next page will transform the puzzle in question to that of a traditional chunky puzzle layout with empty spaces where the objects in question will fit into these areas. A tap on one of these empty puzzle spaces will bring players to a new close-up page of this missing piece where one then drags and drops the pieces into their correct places.
Easy and difficult levels are available which change the number of pieces these objects have been broken up into - a great feature giving toddlers as well as older children a chance to enjoy this app at their own pace. Single pieces are also available, allowing the youngest app users to drag and drop chunky single pieces directly into these main puzzle sections.
I really enjoy the inclusion of “grab” within these puzzles, giving pieces just enough pull into the correct spots as well as a”clicking” sound when the correct pieces fall into place to create a very satisfying, almost tactile experience.
Another very nice inclusion is a Demo Button one can tap to fill in these individual puzzles piece by piece - a nice aid for children using the more difficult section, as well as just some simple fun for babies, this button showing cause and effect.
When these individual puzzles are complete, a flag being dragged by a chipmunk driving a variety of vehicles will reveal the name of the puzzle piece in question, also with included narration. I think this chipmunk is cute, but he lacks the detail found among the nicely illustrated puzzle landscapes found within, and although I like the idea of added narration, I did not care for the chipmunk presumably being the narrator because movements of his mouth are in no way synchronized to the voiceover, creating odd-looking moments that to me were distracting although maybe not for children, who may not notice. An easy fix is to have this animal simply be the driver pulling the word flag - animation that already exists as one can turn off the narration in general if one chooses to do so.
It is nice that sounds effects are included as well, allowing children to hear with a tap the noises these objects make when applicable, with simple sound effects also included when necessary for elements such as the letter, number or shape puzzle pieces. I was not a huge fan, however, of the bouncing and quivering these pieces display with each tap - simply a little distracting and unnecessary for an app that is otherwise very relaxing and nice for unwinding in general.
For this reason, it would be nice if the sound effects could be turned off, as can the easy-to-listen-to music, transforming this app into a perfect quiet activity.
This app makes a lovely first puzzle app for toddlers who will grow into the different levels of difficulty, learning lots of new words along the way, as well as for families with older children who can enjoy the more difficult puzzle mode, also appreciating the 150 separate puzzles included among the 12 topics.
I appreciate how intuitive these puzzles are for children, but it is also worth noting that this app is equally intuitive for adults, as the setting page is easy to find and navigate, with a nice choice of options such as many language choices, both European and Asian, whether to include the music or narration, use of the Demo Button, and upper case or lower case usage for some of the included languages. Changing the difficulty is also possible from within the app during play - a nice choice children can experiment with themselves.
GiggleUp is a developer that parents should become acquainted with as I have enjoyed their other puzzle apps as well as their Interactive Telling Time app, available on iTunes. If interested, please search for my other GiggleUp reviews here on GiggleApps.