Last week was a bit of a blur with the app launch and our Friday Moms With Apps promotion and I wanted to hold off on posting this to give the review some breathing room.
Diane was one of our Alien Buddies Beta testers and she was nice enough to also write a review of the app for the blog.
Alien Buddies - reviewed by Diane Darrow
The Aliens are coming, and they are cuter than ever! Alien Buddies is an adorable new app that helps young children identify colors, shapes, letters and numbers. The goal of the game is to load an alien into the correct spaceship so that they can happily fly away. In order for this to happen, children must first correctly match the symbol on the alien to that on the spaceship. Each time they run a successful mission, they earn a virtual sticker.
What is unique about this matching game is the wonderful way it offers various levels of challenge At the introductory level; the youngest child merely looks for a visual match. While busy making these matches, they hear the names of shapes, colors, letters and numbers called out. This subtle background experience is preparing the player for the next level, where the spaceship will only speak the name of the item the child must visually locate.
Alien Buddies moves beyond just basic letter and number recognition. A child can choose to practice matching either upper or lower case letters separately or together. Once they can identify numbers to 10, the player can move onto the learning numbers to 20 or even 50. Tiered challenges such as this within an app, is a valuable asset for any pre-school or kindergarten teacher looking for ways to differentiate learning in their classroom.
"Aliens Buddies is a charming app that offers a clever and engaging way for a young child to learn basic skills necessary for reading and math. "
If you ask a child why they are enjoy playing with Alien Buddies they will most likely comment on how much fun it is to interact with the characters. The opportunity to earn creatures and objects for a sticker book is very motivating. Children love playing with the reward stickers and if you listen closely, you may even get to hear the stories that their pictures are telling. All of my small friends have thoroughly enjoyed watching the humorous way the aliens shuffle along the loading platform, and often giggle at their silly exclamations. Aliens Buddies is a charming app that offers a clever and engaging way for a young child to learn basic skills necessary for reading and math.
Diane Darrow is an artist, Reading Recovery teacher, and library media specialist at Bel Aire Elementary in Tiburon, CA. You can follow her on Twitter at @dianedarrow.