Version Reviewed: 1.2.5
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I've always been a believer that if you can make a game out of something, learning is almost guaranteed. If I can figure out the inventory system of all the crazy RPGs I play or figure out the insane puzzles in Myst, I think I can figure out the Spanish language.
MindSnacks divides the Spanish language into 50 different lessons, and gives you six games to play with each. According to the developers, each lesson was devised by Ivy League professors, and every lesson/game blends pictures, words, and recordings to really pound the word into your head. The games are all variations of speed games based on your ability to spell words correctly, identify them quickly, and translate them with precision.
Having no prior Spanish background (I took French in high school and Mandarin in college, and remember nothing from either), MindSnacks really did teach me some of the basics fairly quickly. I'm not all that far into the lessons, but I have pretty solid foundation in numbers, colors, and time. I'm not sure if I'll ever get down conversational Spanish with MindSnacks, but it'll definitely teach me some Spanish that I'll never forget.
Like any game though, mastery requires persistance, and if you don't stick to it you won't succeed. Unfortunately, the life of an app reviewer forces me to play with new apps every day, but I could really see myself using MindSnacks every day until I'm finished. With 1,400+ words and phrases to master, as well as 23 challenges to complete, I think MindSnacks could put me on the fast track to fluency. I can't think of a much better way to spend $5.