Picky Kid Rating: 3.9
Tiny Hands Sorting II is a wonderfully illustrated sorting game for toddlers that introduces relatively complex categorization concepts (it’s more than just color and size). The basic (free) version is limited to just a few levels, and you’ll definitely want to unlock them all, which you can do with an in-app purchase.
When you first open the app, you’ll see a start screen with a fairly obvious arrow to start the game. There are a few other interactive elements on the start screen as well. Try tapping the little animal (a mole?) to see what happens! You can also toggle music and sound effects, or access the “Parents Zone” where you can purchase all levels (if you haven’t yet), rate the app or contact the developer. The Parents Zone is protected by a two-second tap and hold, so it’s unlikely kids will get there by accident. Occasionally, when you start the game, you’ll get a message encouraging you to visit the Parents Zone. This is a little odd and distracting for a kid who just wants to play the game. Luckily, the message disappears in a few seconds.
After tapping the start button, you’ll arrive at a level selection screen. There are four different levels with three games each to choose. Each game has a written description plus illustrated icon, so it’s fairly easy to kids to select which one they want. Tap any game icon to start!
The basic concept behind all the games is the same. You’ll need to sort ten to twelve items into categories by dragging them into the appropriate area. Most of the games have just two categories, for example you might be presented with a bunch of animals in the middle of the screen, with sky above and grass below. Your job is to drag the birds into the sky and the land animals into the grass. When you get one right, it will “stick” in the correct category, with a pleasant little sound. Pick the wrong category, and the object will fall back to its original position.
When you complete a game, you’ll hear a cheer, and a creature will float by on some balloons, then you’ll be returned to the level selection screen. A small icon with balloons on it will appear on the levels you’ve completed already. These icons aren’t persistent if you close the app, but that’s a good thing. With only twelve games it doesn’t take long to get balloons for everything!
A few games have three categories. For example, you may need to sort items by their general shapes: square, circle or triangle. If you don’t like the game you’ve selected, you can tap the arrow in the top left of a game screen to go back to the level select screen. This is a nice “out” in case a level is too difficult.
Speaking of difficulty, the levels get conceptually harder. In the level one games, the sorting is fairly straightforward (by color, for example), where by level four, you may need to think a little harder.
There’s only one item in the entire game that we feel is ambiguous. There’s a soapy sponge in the “Kitchen or Bath” game that could just as easily go in either scene. We’ll leave it up to you to figure out where the game thinks it belongs!
Besides that very minor problem, the content in this game is great! We also really like the overall design and look and feel. The objects and the scenes are wonderfully illustrated with a slightly retro styles and color palette. Animation effects are subtle and relatively simple, but seem just right for the game. B particularly likes seeing which animal (or person) will be floating by on balloons at the end of the game. Sound effects and music are similarly well-done.
[The developer of this app requested a Picky Kid review. No fees were paid.]Review: Tiny Hands Sorting II iPad App,
Tiny Hands Sorting II
Played on: iPad 2, iOS6
- Tiny Hands Apps
Price: Free, with in-app purchase ($2.99 for full version)