Picky Kid Rating: 2.8
Counting Bees is a super-cute counting game, but unfortunately, it’s just not that fun. We had high hopes, considering Pi’ikea Street’s Interactive Alphabet topped the charts in our most recent review roundup. But the Counting Bees app is too slow and limited (you can only count to 20) to score high marks with us.
The game is easy to start — there is a large green button on the home screen. Kids will go for it almost immediately! Once started, the point of the game is to guide adorable little bees to flowers on the screen. Notice I said “guide” them, not “drag” them. What you need to do is to show the bee the way to a flower by drawing a path with your finger. This action is different than most children’s games, where kids drag objects to move them, so to the first time player, it’s a little confusing. (If enough time elapses, a hint appears. It’s a little hand tracing a path from a bee to a flower, but unless you know how the game works, this looks like exactly the same motion as dragging the bee, so it’s not that helpful.)
At first, you need to guide five bees to flowers, then ten, then fifteen, then twenty. Each time you succeed in getting said number of bees to flowers, you’re rewarded with a scene showing your bees and a nice, full honey bear. It takes a bit too long for the reward scene to appear; we often find ourselves trying to work with the next bees when the scene suddenly changes.
On the plus side, this app has great attention to graphics — and the bees are really loveable. In particular, I like the way their eyes give them different personalities, and their infectious giggles. This app also supports eight languages: American English, British English (I count those as one), Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Italian, German, and French. These are accessible from a settings menu on the home screen, where you can select which languages you want to allow. Once that’s done, you can tap the flag the bee is holding to change the language.
Our main suggestion to the developer is to speed up the game. We’d like to see the bees move faster once we’ve drawn a path for them. We’d like to see the reward screen more quickly (or add an additional cue that we’re done). We’d like to see more flowers on the screens where we need to help more bees. Maybe up to four flowers, even!
Also, adjust the volume or the timing of the voiceover to improve the clarity of the numbers over the sound effects and music. The problem is that sound effect for getting to a flower happens at exactly the same time as the counting voice… not so noticeable when you’re counting in your native language, but if you’re learning a new one it would be nice to hear the number more distinctly.
Counting Bees is best suited for younger players, who will enjoy watching the bees and don’t care to count over twenty. It lack long-term appeal for picky kids. Bottom line? There’s a reason it’s only $0.99.Review: Counting Bees iPad App,
Played on: iPad 2, iOS4
- Pi’ikea Street