App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Drive About: Number Neighborhood is a fun new math app for preschool and kindergarten-aged children from eclectic developer Artgig Studio. Here, children get to select one of nine mini-games - each bright and colorful. To select, simple choose an area from the menu page that is styled to look like a map, allowing children to possibly have a hint at the location the game may take place in - be it the ocean, mountains, city, or desert.
These sections include a few sea-related games, one with a wack-a-mole style where one taps sea pickles for number recognition as well as a simple counting section involving feeding a whale via a slingshot. Other areas that include arcade-styled actions ask kids to help a yak downhill ski, counting the flags along the way. Shape recognition is touched upon here in some areas as well. Kids can also decorate a cookie for a horse in the puzzle-themed activity or use a vacuum to collect different shapes such as sneakers or buttons in the space-centric section.
A color-by-number area is included, as is a station that allows children to practice number tracing. My personal favorite areas include a park scene that asks players to add numbers to even-out a seesaw, as well as having to stack building blocks in order starting from a number other than zero as well as keeping these pieces balanced to partake in the charming conclusion of windows popping open from the erect building with animals coming into view.
I admire a few things about Drive About: Number Neighborhood as this app does not include any stickers that clutter up so many educational apps these days. Simply being able to play fun, engaging games is enough of a reward, and I am happy to see how much time within this app children will spend on game play rather than on creating avatars or selecting badges. I am also very fond of the fact that there are no incipient bells, whistles, or the grating, unnecessary sounds of children cheering when a game is complete - although these areas may include a simple, charming conclusion of some sort to let players know they have been successful. They then have a chance to work on the activity again or choose a different scene from the map.
Readers should be aware that although Drive About: Number Neighborhood is an app for young children, Artgig Studio has an application for all age groups, including Shake-a-Phrase, Marble Math Junior, and Mystery Math Town for older kids and even adults, making this a developer worth keeping an eye on.