A Toddler’s Take is where (almost) 3-year old Emily plays an age-appropriate title and we share her unfiltered reactions and impressions.
Emily has been having quite a bit of fun playing two titles (Color Me !!! and ShowMe Stories) from Polish developer, SID On. Both titles take a less is more approach, offering the tools to let children use their own creativity and imaginations. We’ll look at each title individually.
Color Me !!!
Color Me !!! is basically a portable coloring book for your iDevice aimed toward children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. There are 30 different pictures to color, broken down three categories: aquatic creatures, numbers and animals/produce. On the bottom of the screen is a vast color palate with seemingly just about every color in the spectrum. To select a color, you can tap anywhere on the spectrum, or slide a ball to select the color you want or just tilt the device to move the selector. From there it’s just a matter of touching the screen on the part of the picture you’d like to color. If you want to start over, just shake the device. You can even save your child’s coloring to your iDevice’s photo library or post it on Facebook.
Emily spent a good deal of time playing with Color Me. She loved the big, cute pictures and the aquatic animals certainly captured her attention the most. At times she did have a bit of trouble properly selecting the smaller parts of the pictures and the accelerometer-based color picking caused a few issues. She kept accidentally tilting the device while playing, causing the color to either change from what she had selected, or get stuck all the way at one end or another. In many instances, it would end up sliding all the way to the left and get stuck on black until I had her hold it upright again. Unfortunately there is no way to toggle the accelerometer interaction on/off within the game. As anyone with a toddler can imagine, getting her to sit still is like asking the Earth to stop spinning, so we’d love to see this option added.
Overall, Emily found Color Me !!! fun, but her frustration with the color selector had her wanting to try another game before she normally probably would have. Color Me !!! could be a nice alternative to the real thing on a car trip or when you are out somewhere and you just don’t have room for all those crayons, or a surface to color on. It’d be really neat if the developers could find a way for you to import your own pictures to color as well.
The other SID On title that Emily played is called, ShowMe Stories. It is a “hidden picture” game where you must use your finger to rub the screen, revealing a picture/animation underneath. ShowMe Stories’ thirty beautifully illustrated images are divided into three categories: animals, fairy tales and professions. As you run your finger across the screen, there a meter appears which shows what percentage of the picture has been revealed. Once enough of the picture is visible, children will cheer, the remainder of th picture will be shown and a little animation will play. The game randomly cycles through the pictures in the selected category, so you never know which one will be revealed next.
In addition to the thirty included pictures, you can also pull in any photo from you iDevice’s photo library, but you need to select these one at a time. It’d be nice if you could select several pictures at once and it would randomly display these, like it does with the stock pictures.
ShowMe Stories really excited Emily’s imagination and inquisitive nature. She started asking all sorts of questions about the pictures and made up her own stories about what was happening. The first time she sat down with ShowMe Stories she spent at least 30-45 minutes straight asking questions about the pictures and making up stories that went something like this:
E: What’s that animal Daddy? Is that a cat?
D: It’s a fox.
E: Oh…he’s walking…in the snow…his feet must be cold! Are his feet cold Daddy? Where’s he walking to? Is he going home?
It is really fun and often humorous to see what will come out of Emily next. AhowMe Stories is a great interactive tool for making up stories together, or a means for your child entertain his/herself for a little while. I’m just hoping that this doesn’t lead to an addiction with scratch tickets. 😉
Both games (though probably better classified as ‘activities’) did a nice job of sparking Emily’s creativity and entertained her enough for her to have specifically requested them on several future occasions. Color Me !!! and ShowMe Stories are available in the app store for $0.99 each and free lite versions are also available.