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Miner Birds - Mental Math Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Amy Solomon on February 6th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ENGAGING MATH GAME
Miner Birds - Mental Math includes some unique gameplay that makes this app stand out from the rest.
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Snowball Shootout Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Amy Solomon on January 24th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GAME FULL OF DELIGHT
Snowball Shootout is a quirky game with arcade elements children and their parents will enjoy.
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Busy bundle 1 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Amy Solomon on September 9th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: LOGIC FUN AND MORE
Busy bundle 1 includes a free logic game as well as other fun and cartoony activities to be unlocked.
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Line Up Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on March 13th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Line Up is a wonderful interactive educational app that teaches about patterns in ways children and their adults will be smitten by.

I really enjoy this app - a great application to be aware of because parents have their choice of apps dedicated to pattern awareness within iTunes. I have enjoyed a few of these apps with my son, but a favorite of mine is definitely Line Up, from the developers at Busythings, a company that should not be overlooked.

Here, players need to first focus their attention on the line of men at the bottom of what appears to be a cross between a fire station and some sort of assembly line, consisting of ultimately two platforms dedicated to changing the color and size of a cartoony man-like creature to be added to the end of the sequence. Options will include adding color to these characters that start out as basic white, ultimately giving size options as well.

To style this character with a specific color or size, first tap the correct paint canister, leading the man to a paint shower where he is painted. Medium and hard levels will include the need to transform the height or girth of this man as well. To do so, choose the appropriate squashing or stretching machine that will re-reshape the man to the desired size and shape.

There are so many whimsical details that make me smile, such as the use of the painting machine, where the man closes a shower curtain for modesty, raising one arm up and then another to bathe himself in the correct color, as well as the fireman’s pole that the character slides down to the next platform to be sized, traveling this way to find his place on line and in sequence.

I also appreciate the details included in the sizing machines, with devices included that will connect and stretch the man larger, squash him shorter, or include side panels that will squish from the sides, making this character slimmer as well. Fun, irreverent sound effects are heard when these size changes are being made.

When the line is complete, if correct, the men will dance together with music in ways most endearing, really compelling players to keep working with this app to see the next little dance that could be performed - almost as a piece of mini performance art.

It is also fun to watch what happens if a mistake is made, with the other men covering their eyes in disappointment, the character leaving the sequence with his head hanging in a way that is full of whimsy without making the player feel bad about mistakes made.

I love the language-neutral aspect of this app, as these characters mumble in ways players will find amusing without speaking in a specific language, making this app understandable for children of all backgrounds. There is also an impressive list of languages that are supported as well, presumably for this app's instructions.

This app does a great job of teaching patterns and sequencing in ways that will be quite unique for the players. There are many quirky animations and details, keeping kids' attention as they play one of three levels of difficulty individually or play through each level from the easiest situations of only changing the man’s color to the additional size element added, with more than one man to be added in the sequence and three size machines to navigate in the most difficult level.

I have quickly become a huge fan of Busythings apps in general as their library is quite diverse with an impressive visual style and high quality seen throughout. I encourage readers to look into these educational applications as they tend to be universal and very affordable. Busythings is a developer that I will be keeping a close eye on, and I look forward to reviewing more of these wonderful, creative applications.