Picky Kid Rating: 4.4
Memollow is an adorable concentration-style memory game. Conceptually, it’s super-simple (flip pillows in ten different memory games to find matches), but what you’re giving up in features, you’re gaining in execution, because this app is extremely well done! It’s also FREE (that’s a limited-time offer though).
Did I say adorable already? Well, it’s worth repeating! The illustrations and animations in Memollow are super-cute and have a “soft” style that’s in keeping with the pillows that you flip to find matches in the memory games. The style is consistently applied across all aspects of the game, starting with the splash screen animation and loading screens. You’ll soon arrive at the home screen, where you’ll see ten pillows lying on the “floor.” You may find yourself hanging out on this screen for a while, listening to soft music and watching the letters in the word “Memollow” as they wiggle charismatically.
From the home screen, you can tap any pillow to start a memory game, or the small purple icon in the upper right for the “parents” area. We love the “roll-down” effect when you tap this, but would prefer that the parents area were a little harder to access. Luckily, all links in the parents area require double-taps to proceed. There are no game options here, mainly just credits, links to freebies and social media.
OK, back to the home screen! There are ten different themed memory games to choose from. You can get a sense of the objects you’ll be trying to match by what’s shown on the pillow on the home screen. For example, if you tap the pillow with the cow on it, your memory game will be farm-themed; tap the carrot for fruits and vegetables; tap the pony for ponies, etc. The other choices are numbers, fairies, cars and trucks, “exotic” animals, transportation, letters and dinosaurs… so most kids will find something they like in the set!
All the games work the same; you’ll be presented with twenty pillows, and greeted with a voiceover instruction. Perfect english, this is not… It’s completely understandable, but accented, “Fleep the peelowss to match the pairss.” You’ll get to flip two pillows at a time by tapping them (we love how the pillows compress when you tap!). If they match, they’ll disappear with some satisfying fanfare and encouraging words; if they don’t, they’ll flip back to their blank sides. As you play, voiceovers encourage you with the likes of “Maybe next time” and “Have another go…” The one that throws B off is “You’ve almost got it!” She thinks this means that a match is nearby, and it doesn’t (yes, we tested!). If you make enough wrong selections, you’ll start to see some hints — subtle bounces by certain pillows to help you along.
The thing we can’t figure out though, is that when there are just six pillows left, they ALL start wiggling. We thought maybe this meant we could tap two at a time or something, but no… I suppose the pillows are just excited that we’re almost finished?
When you finish a game, you’ll be rewarded with a cute little animated video (and I mean really little, like five seconds), related to the puzzle you just completed. So for example, after the transportation puzzle, you’ll see a video featuring a rocket. You can replay it as many times as you like, and tap the purple X to get back to the home screen. There are some blocks on the video screen that also look tappable, but they aren’t. This is a super-minor detail, but it stands out since the rest of the user experience in this game is almost flawless!
We love how each puzzle is completely themed. Each one has a different, and equally adorable, loading screen, background graphic and video. They also each have different background music. If you selected a puzzle you don’t want, no worries, just click the purple X in the top right to get back to the home screen. Dang, that’s a about the cutest “Uh-oh” voiceover we’ve ever heard!
In terms of design, illustration, and animation, Memollow is among the best we’ve seen. (A minor complaint is that some of the blue cars are very similar looking, which makes matching them a bit tricky.) We also like the sound effects and music. They’re completely appropriate, and not too annoying. The overall volume is a bit high though, and we often turn the iPad down to volume level 3 or so when we play this game. The voiceovers are available in English only. See our note above if you’re sensitive to accents.
Memollow is an excellent kids memory game for iPad. It does only one thing, but it does it extremely well, with fabulous illustrations and animations. We would LOVE to see a setting added to this game to limit the number of pillows so that younger children could more easily play it. But with its current price tag — free — we consider this a must-download for kids ages 3 – 5.
[The developer of this app requested a Picky Kid review. No fees were paid.]
Review: Memollow iPad App,
Played on: iPad2, iOS6
Price: Free (limited time offer)