Memory Train is a delightful universal app that helps sharpen children's memory skills as they help Spacey, a charming yet forgetful elephant, remember the various details he sees outside the window of the the train he is riding to the circus.
Game play is simple to understand but difficult to master as this app opens up to a map of train tracks Spacey will follow to get to the circus. Along the way, peanuts can be found that mark different points within this game when the difficulty increases.
After tapping these peanuts in sequence, one by one, the train ride begins, with Spacey looking out the window and becoming perplexed at remembering the details he sees while on his trip to the circus. At first, simple shapes can be seen, and a moment later without fail, this lovely elephant with a poor short-term memory will ask, at first simply what was the color of the shape just seen.
Things progress, and more is asked of the player in terms of focus, as multiple elements need to be focused on, such as remembering both the shape as well as color. Sometimes quirky characters are introduced, mixing things up as one may need to remember the hat, shirt or shoe color worn, and a player never knows what he will be quizzed on, making this game require the player's complete attention to these small details.
Ultimately, a player needs to remember a row of three colored shapes, letters, numbers or the like in their correct order..
I really appreciate how this game self-adjusts the level of difficulty, as this train gains momentum with correct answers and slows down with mistakes made, giving players more time to remember details and select answers. Because of this, this app which can become difficult, even for adults, never becomes too hard or frustrating.
It is also nice that if a mistake is made, the answers to choose from dwindle from three, to two and even to a single choice, allowing players to keep playing and not feel frustrated and stuck.
Motivation is also provided as Spacey becomes happy, grateful and energetic with correct answers while also letting players know when he is mildly disappointed, expressing emotion in a way that is language-neutral as true words are never spoken, making this app great for children who speak different languages.
Players are able to earn stars, badges and trophy peanuts for working hard as well, and there is a cute celebration within the circus when one completes this game. Spacey the elephant is simply adorable throughout this game, and it is nice to see him so happy.
Families will appreciate that the game in progress can be kept separate for up to four players, and it is fun that players get to choose from nine avatars, some being familiar from Pi'ikea St’s popular app Interactive Alphabet as well.
I do think it would be nice, however, if one could add a name to each avatar, making it easier for children to remember which avatar represents their account.
My son really enjoys this app, and I really like how much attention it commands of its players to be able to answer these questions correctly.
We have a few go-to apps that my son gravitates towards when we are out and about, but I find this an especially effective tool to keep my son calm and out of trouble when he is bored in public and on the verge of being most difficult.
I was surprised with how focused this game makes my son, and for the first time, I truly had a hard time getting my phone back, as typically my son is very gracious about returning the iPhone when I need it, or allowing me to help or simply watch him play. Here not so much, but I do not consider this a flaw or an issue with this app as much as a mark for how engaging this memory game really is. This is also the first time my boy has shown any interest in earning stars for his accomplishments, saying proudly, “I did it all myself, and I get all the stars” as he finished the first couple of rounds.
Pleasant music is included that combine both a train and circus themes while maintaining a quiet game vibe that adults will not mind being in ear shot of, but sounds can also be muted if this is necessary.
My sole issue is that I noticed that the background of these train rides to the circus maintains the same landscapes for each of the ten levels of difficulty. It may be nice to change the scenery, but this game becomes challenging enough so that most players won’t have much time to simply gaze at these backdrops, making this issue a minor one.
I am sure many parents have noticed the abundance of memory game apps within iTunes, commonly in the form of flipping over cards in the interest of making pairs. It is especially nice that focus and concentration can be explored in such a charming unique game such as this, as children will have a lot of fun helping Spacey the elephant along his trip to the circus.