It will come as no surprise to readers that I am often asked to recommend apps to family and friends, especially for those in grade school, as iTunes seems filled with apps for toddlers and those in preschool, but it can be harder to find apps for older children.
Parents looking for an interesting, thought-provoking app for this age set should take note of Escape From Tokeru, a puzzle game that includes an interesting back story, beautiful illustrations and moody, ambient background music.
Here, three Light Emitters have been kidnapped, and without their release, the world will be in darkness forever.
To play, one must lead the way for the light emitters to escape their captivity, opening and closing parts of a maze to create a channel for their light to flow, bypassing a dangerous sleeping dragon. When compete, tap the Light Emitters to see if the light flows only there if it is desired.
There are four sections to this application, each consisting of five boards. Each area will include new parameters of game play, such as choosing for light to flow horizontally or vertically and the use of light tunnels or directional switches one can rotate to direct the flow of light.
Each of these areas consists of a landscape seen behind the maze, beautifully illustrated in a raw, distressed fashion, including an ice and snow-covered mountains, earth tone rock formations, grey cavernous tunnels and a green forest scene with distant light seen from between trees as the Light Emitters make their way to freedom.
These images, combined with the interesting electronic background music, create a sense of fantasy and suspense bringing richness and to this experience.
I am very happy to report that this app also includes hints of these puzzles, showing players which of these locks should be opened and closed to guide the Light Emitters to safety - details I wish would be included in more puzzle apps.
I have really enjoyed the hand-made quality that is a part of this app as well as others from this developer, The Trustee for the Tokeru Trust, including Loopy Tunes and A Fine Musician, a music sampling and interactive storybook app, each crafted with a lot of love and craftsmanship.
I can easily recommend Escape From Tokeru for all ages from grade school and up, as these puzzles have a nice amount of challenge to them as well as the answers one may be looking for, which I am grateful for.