Picky Kid Rating: 2.7
If we gave an award for Most Improved (maybe we will someday), INKids Flashcards would be a contender. When we first got this app (fall 2011), it was riddled with problems: a cluttered home screen; a “home” button much too close to settings (and too small); a bug where kids could potentially hear the wrong audio cues; and a settings lock that just flat out didn’t work. All of these problems have been fixed with an update. It is now an app worth considering, with some caveats.
INKids Flashcards contains eight sets of flashcards, Animals, Transport, Bodies, Things, Alphabet, Shapes, Colors and Numbers. There is also a “shuffle” options that will mix up the categories. Flashcard play is straightforward as you’d imagine. An image appears on the screen with the written word beneath it. A voiceover says the word as well. Cards can be swiped to advance, or can auto-advance. One nice touch in the flashcards is that children can touch the letters in word to hear the name of each letter. But I’d prefer it if the “speaker” icon (which kids can touch to hear the word again) was moved away from the word. It’s current placement makes it look like it’s part of the word.
INKids Flashcards also has a spelling game where kids drag letters into the correct place to spell a word (with visual clues to help) and a word match game, where kids tap the word that corresponds to an image. The word match game is difficult for children who can’t read yet, but it is possible to figure out which word is which without reading because the voiceover says them in order.
The graphics, background music and voiceovers are ok, but not great, and there are a few actions I wish were not included in the game. For example on the “eyes” flashcard, you can poke the eyes to get an “Ouch!” reaction. I’d rather not allow my kids to poke eyes! Also the representative “girl” on the flashcard says “Hey!” with a bit too much ‘tude. But my biggest complaint is that this game tries to cover too broad an age range… and Picky kids are losing interest in the flashcards before they can play the word match.
There are a ton of options (thankfully much more user-friendly than they used to be). You can record your own voiceovers, turn background music on or off, set the flashcard auto-advance speed (or turn it off), and change how letters and words are presented. Language packs for Spanish, French, German and Italian are available as in-app purchases for $1.99 each.
If your child is learning a second language, or you really want to do your own voiceovers, consider INKids Flashcards, otherwise there are more engaging and better designed alternatives.
(Also, I have no idea why it says this app is “Free” on the INKids Web site — it currently costs
$4.49 $3.99 on the US app store.)
Played on: ipad 2, iOS4