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GazziliShapes Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on July 18th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

GazziliShapes is a creative and thoughtful universal interactive application which re-enforces shape recognition as well as listening skills and cognitive abilities.

GazziliShapes consists of six sections, each bright and colorful, that focus on a theme such as Pizza, Cookie or Spaceship and are excellent scripted exercises for getting toddlers and preschoolers to strengthen their shapes knowledge as well as listening skills. For this reason, GazziliShapes would make a lovely app for special needs children as well who may need help with their cognitive abilities and simple motor skills that the interactivities lend themselves nicely to.

I really appreciate how narration is used to lead children through exercises which emulate children’s favorite activities as they are asked to tap on specific shapes, be it on a window shaped like a square or the square pizza box, tapping their way through the eating of pizza or in baking cookies, focusing on shapes as kids learn the steps to baking these treats and making this a very dynamic way to teach shapes.

The sections of this app are nicely varied as children also are asked to design necklaces by stringing specifically shaped beads as well as a circus-themed section which rotates shapes for an animal to jump through - also creating an interesting 3D effect.

Other sections including a charming scuba diving area as well as a rocket ship section with included puzzle elements.

Parents will recognize the level of difficulty advanced throughout these sections, and it is also nice to know that one can switch up some options for a different experience - especially the ability to turn off the instructions which I really enjoy, and instead have the narration thoughtfully explain the definition of these different shapes - great for beginners. One can also choose to include text at the bottom of the screen - good for hearing-impaired children as well as simply giving kids the chance to follow along with the narration. One is also able to turn on or off the music and sound effects separately - always a nice touch.

When each of these mini-games is completed, an element to the “GazziliFunPage” is included, much like adding chunky pieces to a puzzle background - here simply animated for a cute effect.

I would love to see more sections included in a future update as well as more lengthy exercises such as the cookie baking which has multiple steps to complete. I have thoughtfully enjoyed this application and would love to seem more of this style of instructions within other applications as the delivery here is dynamic and fun.

GazziliPuzzles Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on May 16th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

GazziliPuzzles is a very nice universal jigsaw puzzle app that includes a simple and sweet animated scene after each puzzle is completed, really bringing these jigsaws to life in a way that kids will very much enjoy.

This bright and colorful app includes six puzzles that range in the number of pieces from six to twenty, also including the rotation of pieces in the upper levels.

Children will enjoy the topics covered within this app such as a cowboy scene as well as train, skateboard, sledding, water ski and sea park motifs.

Intuitive to use, after a theme is chosen and players are brought to an individual puzzle to be worked on. Arrange the included pieces found at the bottom of the page into their correct places by dragging and dropping these pieces over the correlating area of the faint image used as a reference drawing in the background of these puzzles.

Although a subtle feeling of “grab” is included - slightly pulling the pieces into their correct location as if by magnetism - an interesting feature of this app is the ability to move pieces around the page without making a specific correct placement or mistake. This inclusion of being able to move the pieces around the puzzle board creates an experience much akin to putting together a real jigsaw puzzle - an aspect that I appreciate as oftentimes puzzles leave little room for mistakes to be made as often puzzles reject the wrong placement of pieces - unfortunate because these mistakes are great opportunities to learn from.

The most difficult three puzzles include a heavy use of rotated pieces that one must identify and rotate with a tap until the correct piece is right side up and ready to be added to the puzzle with the drag of a finger. I like the inclusion of the rotated pieces, making these puzzles a little more challenging than without.

When a puzzle is complete and the animated scene has stopped, players are brought to a bonus puzzle that when complete, becomes an object found within the Gazzili Fun Page - a reward that children add to each time a puzzle is solved. This Fun Page provides a nice level of motivation to complete each puzzle, adding the missing shapes until complete.

The elements found throughout such as the illustrations used, the included puzzle play and the added interactive hotspots one can find when tapping the included characters really make this app a high quality one that I enjoy and can easily recommend to families.

It would be nice, however, if more puzzles can be added in the future as these six puzzles, nicely done as they are, may be of limited replay value over a long period of time. I hope more puzzles can be included in a free download in the future.

GazziliPuzzles is actually a series of apps from GazziliWorld I have enjoyed as well, as I especially appreciate the use of these colorful characters appearing in these apps - a real treat for children and adults alike. I am interested to see what apps GazziliWorld comes up with next.