A super-fun app that will make it hard to get your phone back from your kids
After you’ve downloaded a certain number of apps, it’s easy to become jaded. Many of the apps begin to blend together and it’s rare for your children to play an app for more than a couple of days before wanting to move on to the next hot thing. Alien Buddies is an app that stands out from the crowd and will make learning fun for your kids.
The first thing I noticed as soon as the app launched was the amazing background music. A funky beat with silly alien noises will grab your child’s attention. Besides the audio, the graphics are phenomenal. A very bright color palette and friendly non-threatening aliens are great visuals. Navigation was simple and menus and games were easily accessed with finger swipes and taps.
It’s difficult for developers to find just the right mix of fun and education for their applications. With Alien Buddies, you can tell the developer has experience with educational software. Games are interesting enough to hold the attention of the preschool set, but work on important skills such as counting, fine motor skills and shape recognition.
The suggested age range is preschool to kindergarten. However, I had a two-year-old tester on hand that also got a kick out of the Stickers mode and even completed a couple of the puzzles. The app was very encouraging and provided plenty of positive reinforcement after the completion of each task.
Easy learning curve
One of the challenges of children’s software is teaching the child how to operate each game and navigate through the different menus. This is not the case with Alien Buddies. Directions were easy to follow and a mix of audio and graphics prompts the child through each phase of the game.
The Stickers section of the app involves free play and is a great introduction to the world of Alien Buddies. With the use of different stickers and landscapes, your child can create his own unique world. Besides using his imagination, he’ll grow accustomed to manipulating the objects found in the app.
Once the child gets the hang of the app, you can change the settings or have them try one of the more structured activities. For instance, the puzzle game can be played with the use of four, six or eight pieces.
Good mix of games
Another positive point of Alien Buddies is that the mix of activities allows you to use the app for multiple children. Although the Puzzle activities may be easy for preschoolers, older children will likely benefit more from the Dot to Dot and Matching games.
The Matching section of the app has audio and visual modes. Aliens appear in a line-up and the child must respond to the audio or visual prompt to match the correct letter, shape, number or color. During the Dot to Dot activity, your child must be able to recognize the numbers in sequence in order to complete the puzzle.
For $1.99, this app is well worth it. There are enough games and levels to keep your child interested during long road trips.
|Good Point||An easy-to-use interface allows children to use the app independently.|
|Bad Point||Although the app is not ad-supported, there is a button on the home screen that launches your web browser and brings you to the developer’s website.|
|Comment & Tip||The more games your child completes in the app, the more stickers that will appear in the free play section.|
|App Name||Alien Buddies||Developer||ArtGig Studio|
|Price||$1.99||Latest Update||March 22, 2012|
|Size||31.2MB||OS||iOS 3.2 or later|
All images from Alien Buddies