Picky Kid Rating: 4.0
We have a few other games by Duck Duck Moose (yet to be reviewed) and Fish School is by far our favorite. Fish School is a collection of activities perfect for toddlers acted out by cute and friendly fish. It’s easy on parents’ eyes and ears and can easily be played independently by a touchscreen-savvy two-year-old.
The included activities are: Flashcards for the alphabet, numbers up to 20 and shapes (tap or swipe to advance); Playtime, where kids interact with the fish in various ways; the Alphabet song (essentially an autoplay version of the alphabet flashcards); a color choosing game; “spot the different one” (color or size); and a memory/matching game. Instead of the typical “home” screen, games can be changed sequentially by tapping an icon in the lower left corner. Though different than most other kids apps, it’s very intuitive.
Nice touches include: “Eggs” that can be opened to reveal baby fish on the home screen and the number screen (where they count out loud as they swim away); Fish blink their eyes in games where children are expected to tap them; a starfish that blows bubbles (though I’m not sure why it only appears in certain games).
A few minor complaints: I would prefer a spoken voiceover for the letters on the alphabet flashcards. The letter names are currently sung (like the ABC song). In the “Differences” activity, the payoff for choosing wrong (a “bounce” noise) is almost as compelling as the payoff for choosing correctly… And very picky kids may notice that, on the number screens, the number of fish it takes to “draw” a number is different than the actual number. But younger children probably won’t notice, and how would you show 2 with two fish anyway (unless they’re eels)?
There are no settings options, but you really don’t need them since the game is straightforward. Consequently, there’s no way to turn off the background music, but it’s really quite pleasant (string arrangements of Twinkle-Twinkle/The ABC Song). There is also not a way to get back to the home screen without closing and reopening the app. Again, this isn’t really necessary (though B enjoys popping the eggs on the home screen and will sometimes close and re-open the app just to do this).Review: Fish School iPad app,
Fish School HD
Played on: iPad 2, iOS4
- Duck Duck Moose