Gappy’s First Words Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on April 25th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Gappy’s First Words is a new interactive universal app that re-enforces early spelling and reading comprehension from the developers at Spinlight Studio, a favorite developer of mine these apps are consistently rich with details and nuances at a level of quality making these application stands out from others.

Meet Gappy, an interesting bunny-like character with large ears and big teeth, and help Gappy hop her way home, filling in the gaps of word puzzles along the way - stylized as a bridge of sorts where pieces of this crossing are missing and need to be completed with correct letter tiles. Success will earn users new details that can be added to Gappy’s house such as new windows, fence or chimney.

Four sections are included for Gappy to explore on her way home, each containing a varied degree of difficulty as well as an interesting landscape that Gappy needs to work her way through, such as a forest, mountain or even space section as each landscape is lovingly stylized with music and muted colors - interesting choices for this early childhood literacy game.

I like that the difficulty of these games starts out simple as children are asked to drag and drop a specific letter from a selection of letter tiles as asked by included narration to fill the gap of a given three-letter word. Later, children are asked to identify the correct letter that begins a three-letter word, there is also a section completing words with two and ultimately three missing letters as children will spell three-letter words by choosing from each letter correctly, as friendly and clear narration prompts children.

Also included is an alphabet section where one can tap to hear either the letter or phonic names of each letter, but I do wish that the letter blocks one can choose from during these levels were also tappable, allowing children new to these sounds to try to work out these words for themselves. Without being able to tap each letter to hear the phonics sounds during these games, these sections may be difficult for children who may understand the concept of phonics, yet who have not committed each sound to memory.

Adults will appreciate being able to choose the lists of words being practiced from both beginner or advanced and even sight words - all good choices for new readers who will find the chance to add new objects to Gappy’s house engaging and fun as there is a vastness of house combinations - over 720 in all to choose from.

Children and adults alike will enjoy this simple and intuitive children’s app with a nice reward of building Gappy a fun house in which to live - a lovely metaphor in terms of building a child’s foundation for reading. I do hope in the future that the letter choices can be tapped to be heard, allowing children to work out these problems before they may have committed phonics to memory - just a thought.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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