Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
On The Road - Transport Puzzle For Kids is an iPad app that I would like to make parents of young children aware of. As the name may describe, On The Road is a puzzle app with a transportation theme that does a great job of bringing toddlers' first chunky puzzles to the iPad. Although the idea of this app is not a highly unique one as there are many puzzles like this in iTunes, one does not need to re-invent the wheel to develop an application that will entertain young children.
What makes On The Road stand out among other puzzle apps like this are the wonderfully detailed drawings of the cars, trucks, boats, hot air balloons, blimps, and more seen within - each colorful and with shading and highlights that give these vehicles a wonderful sense of realism that adults will appreciate, as oftentimes simple puzzles like these contain less that compelling artwork. Even more impressive are the beautiful landscapes found in each of these eighteen puzzles that contain rolling mountains, distant scenery, and a most vivid use of color within the sunrise, sunset, and twilight moments. One will visit cityscapes, the countryside, and a forest setting as well as scenes that include water, land and air - creating scenes young children will find dynamic as the included vehicles come alive with motion when the puzzles have been completed.
Vehicle sounds are included that can also be triggered with a tap, as well as classical music that some families may appreciate. I don’t, however, find that the music fits the theme of these puzzles directly. And although the pieces of music used are well known in their own right, selections at times can come across as shrill and stuffy, reminiscent of music played at a bank or dentist’s office. The muting of the music is easy enough to do, but this silences the app completely. Instead, I would rather be able to turn off the music and sound effects independently as well have a choice of ambient sounds for each scene such as winds blowing, distant sounds of birds, or other street sounds that would relate better to the images children are working on.
My son noted that although the streets seen in each of these puzzles include a dotted center line typically used to demonstrate two rows of cars moving in the same direction, but cars in these scenes are traveling in opposite directions instead - a situation where two solid yellow lines would be expected. There are also moments where four rows of cars or trucks are on the go, with two lanes within either side of the dotted grey line moving back and forth without regard for how vehicles would be traveling in the real world. Being precise notes of my seven year old, it is doubtful that the toddlers in the target age range of this app will bothered by the movements of these cars as they explore the scenery with their adults, who will enjoy gazing at the thoughtful use of colors and majestic scenery found within On The Road. Although the current price tag is a little high for a simple puzzle app, adults will appreciate the visual quality.