The Opposites Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on January 19th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The Opposites is a wonderfully educational universal app that I greatly enjoy and recommend to others.

I really enjoy this word game. Here, players tap word balloons, finding corresponding opposites as these balloons quickly fill up the page. If the board is not cleared before the page fills up with words, the game is over.

I must admit that by re-reading my own explanation of this game, this app does not sound all that interesting or unique. I do agree that other developers could have gone down a road making this app less dynamic that this application really is, but what really makes this app wonderful for me is the visual style and interesting back story that is offered here - much of which is open for interpretation.

This application is centered around two contrary children, presumably brother and sister. I love the choices made here, as the backdrop of this wordplay game is a wall behind these verbally sparring children that is filled with family photos, often including moments of their sibling rivalry. I think it is very clever how these siblings, although opposite sexes, look very much alike, not being as opposite as they may wish, and the styling of these siblings with green eyes and red hair simply makes me smile.

I am also happy to report that the ambient music found within this app is very easy and desirable to listen to over long period of time, a interesting and unique choice that I enjoy.

Other details include an overhead light that sways side to side with the movement of the device. The word bubbles are also affected by gravity and the movement of the device as well, something that players may use to their advantage, as the layering of these bubbles tightly allows more words to fit on a page before the game is over.

It is great to hear these words narrated by both these male and female characters, allowing players to hear the pronunciation of these words.

The word pairs themselves increase in difficulty from the simplest combinations, such as Stop and Go, or Left and Right, and increase in difficulty through the ten levels, ultimately including words more obscure and scholarly, such as words rooted in biology, medicine, economics or politics and even popular culture, such as a “Guys and Dolls” reference.

Players will learn to decipher the prefixes of words, including “ex” vs. “in,” “in” and “out,” as well as the inclusion of the prefixes “im”, “in,” and “un” to be the opposite of the corresponding word beginning used. I enjoy how these words may have different meanings and multiple possible opposites, with the context falling into place when the second word is revealed.

Although listed as an app for seven and up, I would not hesitate to buy this app for older children or even an adult who enjoys word games. It has been twenty years or so since I took my SATs, and to this day I still make metal notes of sources of material that may make studying for this test easier, and I think this is a great application for those studying for this most important exam.

Personally, I would start the use of the app younger, allowing these sometimes advanced words to be part of a student's common knowledge instead of words one tries to cram in so that one can do well on a specific test.

I really appreciate how this app includes a dictionary that includes each of the words used, broken down by level and comprised of an easy-to-scan list of opposites, also allowing one to tap on a word to read more about its definition.

Players can decide if they want to study the words for each level found in the included dictionary or have a go at the game, learning what works and what does not along the way.

Although apparent for many words used, it would be nice if the part of speech, be it noun, verb or adjective, was also included, and I would love to see this dictionary be narrated as well, possibly in a future update.

It would also be nice for a link to the dictionary to be available when one is choosing a level, as this is not provided as one rises through these levels, and it takes a couple of clicks to find this important, well-written resource.

It is impressive that the list of possible words for every level is a lot longer than the amount of words covered in each level before one moves on, allowing for a new experience when replaying this game or individual levels.

I think this would be an excellent app for educators to use within the classroom, as well as for home use. I know I would have enjoyed this game as a child or teen, as well as the adult I am today, and I appreciate how this word game is focused on one’s vocabulary and reasoning skill without focusing on spelling in any form - something I have always been lousy at.

Some level of strategy is also incorporated here as a word bubble may be highlighted yellow, letting players know that pairing this word will allow for a fruit break for these siblings, pausing their delivery of words - in effect also pausing the flow of words into this page to match or lose the game. Keeping this in mind, I do like to save this special grouping for when the board is getting full and I could use a little time to think.

I have had moments with bad luck where many words without pairs fill up the screen, making the level easy to lose, but for the most part I find this game to have a nice level of difficulty in terms of the amount of time given, both in the levels as well as in the bonus rounds

Typically, I do not comment on the reviews apps have received in iTunes, but I must say that I am surprised with the low score this app has received. It is worth noting that I have not had any issues with this app crashing, and I have completed every level. I do agree that this app takes some time to load - something that I hope can be looked at in the future, but this is not a big issue for me as this app is well-worth waiting for.

My son is too young to appreciate this app now, but I look forward to when he is old enough to enjoy this word game. I have routinely been impressed with the apps the developers at Mindshapes have come up with. A prolific bunch, their apps are each unique to themselves, but with the same overall very high quality. I look forward to more of their apps in the future.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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