I haven’t picked an app of the week this week, not because there hasn’t been an obvious candidate that we all are unable to stop playing, but because if I keep going on about how fantastic Where’s My Water? – Disney (69p – Universal) is you’re all going to get bored! (They released 20 additional levels in an update this week by the way…)
Anyway, I may not have an app of the week, but we have managed to have a play with a few other apps during the week, so here is my round-up of what’s new in the geek family household…
A few weeks ago Miffy’s Garden – Sanoma Media Netherlands B.V. (£2.99 – iPad only) was released, and I must say I like it very much. I loved Miffy books when I was a kid, and I love sharing them with my kids. The Miffy stories actually lend themselves very well to the digital format with bright colours and simple drawings. The app contains the whole “Miffy’s Garden” story, with a lovely British accent narration (which you can switch off if your child is old enough to read the book themselves. You can also record your own narration. Finally there are three games provided – a simple counting game, a matching game and a creative “make your own garden” game. Quite charming and beautifully made – a must for any Miffy fan.
Another app I was very excited to hear about was The Land of Me: Story Time – Penguin Books (Free – iPad2 only). We’re fans of the Land of Me computer application, so I was pleased to see it (or at least a small subset of it) coming to the iPad, as to be honest the kids rarely use the computer these days, always preferring the iPad. In the Land of Me: Story Time your child can create their own stories, by working through a series of choices – who should the hero be, what should the subject be, and how should it end. In all cases there are three options to choose between, and once all choices are made, the story is relayed. The artwork and animation is beautiful, and it has the feel of a really quality app. I have one little niggle and one big disappointment with this app. The niggle is that it locks the screen orientation, so if I rotate the screen it doesn’t rotate the display, and this means it’s upside down when I have my iPad2 propped up on my smart cover. My big disappointment with this one is that it is only available on the iPad 2, and in this house the kids don’t have access to an iPad 2 (it’s MINE and they don’t get their hands on it, OK? ;). So this won’t get played much in the geek family, but if you let your kids on your iPad 2 I would recommend you get this app – it’s a total bargain, being free!
The geekdaughter is currently studying minibeasts at nursery, so an opportunity to grab Miss Spider’s Bedtime Story for the iPad – Callaway Digital Arts, Inc. (£1.99 – iPad only) whilst it was free last week was very well timed. This is another nice storybook app, with a story that you can either read for yourself or have read to you (US accent narration), a pairs matching game, a selection of scenes to “paint” and a collection of jigsaw puzzles. There is also a fully animated video version of the story, with a running time of about 12 minutes. This is the part that the geekdaughter enjoys the most, and she’s been watching the video whilst she eats her breakfast every morning this week.
As far as apps for the “grown-ups” go, from what I can tell from my Twitter feed this week all the cool kids are playing Draw Something by OMGPOP – OMGPOP (69p – or free if you’re happy with an ad-supported version – Universal). This is an online drawing game, similar to Pictionary, where you have to draw something and your opponent has to guess what it is. It’s enabled for online play, so you can play against your friends any time. I try to avoid playing drawing games since having a very bad experience with Pictionary when I was much younger, so I won’t be picking this one up, but if you do like the sound of it I don’t think you’ll be short of opponents!
One last thing before I go – I have this week set up a new Facebook group called Apps for Parents – this is already a great community sharing app recommendations, reviews, and announcements of free apps to download. Please come on over and join in!
That’s it for this week. Check back next week for more app reviews.
Disclosure: An asterisk (*) denotes an app I for which I received a promo code and thus did not purchase myself. The links above incorporate my iTunes affiliate ID. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link it doesn’t cost you any more money, but you contribute a few pennies towards the upkeep of this site. All prices were correct at the time of writing.