Picky Kid Rating: 4.7
Pi’ikea Street’s Interactive Alphabet teaches kids letters and their sounds this fun, well-designed, and highly explorable app. This game is one of our favorites. When we first got it (July 2011), we had a few minor complaints… Most of these have been solved in subsequent releases (and we didn’t even say anything!)
When the app opens, the player is presented with a screen of letters that look like refrigerator magnets. Tapping on any letter takes you to that letter’s screen, where an appropriate scene (e.g. “A is for apple”) is displayed. Each letter’s scene has at least one interactive element to discover. Navigation is well-placed at the top of the screen, where children can deliberately go one letter forward or backward in the alphabet, or back to the first screen with all the letters. Additional modes include an auto-advancing “baby mode”, and an “ABC song” and video featuring a dancing robot. There are three choices for background music, all relatively un-annoying. It is possible to turn off background music and still hear the voiceover for each letter.
This app’s strengths are its design — which is both cute and sophisticated — and its clever interactivity and explore-ability. It’s even fun for adults the first time through as you try to find all of the interactive surprises in each scene. Many of its weaknesses have been addressed with updates. For example, in the old “L” screen, the interactivity was prompted by touching a lightbulb — it has since improved… but I still don’t want my kid reaching toward spinning fans, which is what they do on the “F” screen.
One other slight issue is that portions of the game are rendered as videos (the whale tail splash and ABC Song and dance), which are lower-resolution than the native screen. I imagine this is even more obvious on an iPad 3. And I preferred the voiceover from the previous version; it was slightly less cartoonish.Review: Interactive Alphabet iPad app,
Played on: iPad 2, iOS4
- Pi’ikea Street