148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

Tag: BelZ »

Lola’s Fruit Shop Sudoku Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on August 17th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Lola’s Fruit Shop Sudoku is a very nice application simplifying the classic game Sudoku and adding a nice fruit theme which creates a version that kids and adults will enjoy. Both iPhone and iPad versions of this application are available, and there is an impressive choice of languages to choose from, specially English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Finnish, Japanese, Korean and simplified Chinese.

I really enjoy this app and the changes made from the traditional game of Sudoku to make it easier and more enjoyable for kids as early as four years, as well as beyond in the more difficult sections. This application is part of the “Lola” series of apps starring lovable panda Lola, who keeps a watchful eye on the users, adding bits of narration about her love of fruit as well as encouraging the players throughout these games.

Sudoku is a numbers and logic game consisting typically of a 9X9 grid full of both numbers as well as blank spaces. Fill these spaces with the remaining, unused numbers from 1 to 9 in each of the vertical or horizontal columns and rows, keeping in mind that these puzzles also consist of nine 3x3 sub boxes that also cannot share any numbers in common.

It is very nice that here the grid is greatly simplified to first a grid of 3X3 rows, made cute by using fruits instead of numbers. To begin, there is only one box to be filled in by the player with three fruit choices given. After three rounds, one is rewarded by helping Lola choose some fruit for her shop. This level progresses with the player filling in more empty boxes per game until the player is introduced to the concept of a 4X4 grid, also containing four smaller 2x2 boxes that need to have unique fruits in them as well, again adding more empty boxes to fill as these games progress. Ultimately numbers are substituted for fruits, developing a more classic Sudoku look.

Three levels of difficulty are offered here, the easy mode taking one through the different levels described above, whereas the medium section opens to the 4x4 grid and mini boxes to complete, and the difficult level begins with the use of numbers instead of fruits.

I really enjoy this application. The simplification used here hits all the right notes, and I appreciate the steps used to get players ultimately comfortable with the use of numbers in the more challenging grid containing the mini boxes as well. I also like how if one makes a mistake Lola gently corrects the error, re-enforcing the rules of this game, and how the fruit or number in use will also be highlighted with a wiggle from the other corresponding symbols possibly found in the specific columns and rows as well, aiding in seeing pitfalls as they develop. Fun music with a Hawaiian sound is included here as well, which can also be turned off easily if one chooses.

This is a great logic app for children as young as four, but honestly, I can see adults really enjoying this app as well. The more difficult boards took me a nice couple of minutes to complete, and I can see myself playing a quick game while waiting on line out and about, enjoying the fact that I can solve these puzzles in less time that I would need to dedicate to a
traditional lengthy classic Sudoku puzzle.

Logic games are great brain-builders for kids, and this app, with the cute esthetic of Lola and her fruit stand as well as the bright colors and nice animation used in these “Lola” apps, makes this a very appealing game for kids and adults alike. I think that this is my favorite “Lola” application to date. It is great how they modified Sudoku to make it more child-friendly, and I am sure that adults will enjoy this as well. I look forward to seeing what else this friendly panda Lola get involved in next.

Lola’s Magic Cube Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on June 15th, 2011

Lola’s Magic Cube is a very nice puzzle app starring Lola the panda, possibly best known from the app “Lola’s Alphabet Train.” Here, help Lola put her magic puzzle cube back together after her silly monkey friend used Lola's magic wand to mix up all the cubes which fit together to make up these puzzles. Each puzzle is made up of an image of Lola doing various fun things, and is bright and colorful and fun to look at. Versions of this app are available for both iPhone and iPad.

Much like the puzzle cube my son has, each puzzle in this series comes with cubes which must be arranged in correct order to make up these puzzles, sometime needing rotation so that they are correct side up as well. There are three difficulty levels, ranging from 2 x 2 to 4 x 4 pieces. It is nice that one can tap on a reference picture that can also be displayed over the puzzle that one is completing, thus simplifying the completion of these puzzles, a very helpful tool.

I like this puzzle app, as there are many puzzles to choose from, each starring Lola herself. The addition of rotation adds a new element not always seen in puzzle apps, and I really appreciate the option to look at the reference picture for help. Kids from three years and up will enjoy this activity; even I as an adult took my time on the harder section, but not in a way that was frustrating. Kids who love puzzle apps or pandas will enjoy this puzzle app.