AppStore User Rating:
Sushi Scramble offers cooperative or competitive practice at spelling words from random groups of letter tiles, in similar fashion to many commercial word games. Multiple players can use the same Ipad at the same time.
- 2 to 4 players on the same Ipad
- Cooperative mode allows players to work together
- Competitive mode for players to use
- Shared family account allows parents to track kids’ progress
- In-app message system
This app is a fast-paced, exciting game that will entertain spellers from early elementary school on up. It has colorful graphics and smooth animations that will hold players’ interest. The app is also very social, with options for in-app messaging, connecting with friends over the internet, and access to records for parents. It does require at least two players, which can be an advantage if students need to socialize more, or a disadvantage if a child is on their own. One large drawback, however, is a lack of clear directions for play. A graphic showing how to make words is provided, but the developers really need to consider a written set of directions in the Help section for users who are struggling. As it stands, users have to sort of jump in and try things out. This can be a bit intimidating, particularly for younger or less able players, and makes it challenging for an adult mentor to explain the game to students.
Sushi Scramble does a good job of helping players review basic phonics and word attribute skills in the cooperative mode. Challenges such as “make words that end with r” or “make words that have four letters” keep beginning players’ minds active, and the challenges get more complex as the game goes on. The cooperative level offers a low-key and relaxed way to practice the skills needed for the competitive mode.
The competitive mode offers a selection of letters on a rotating center. Each letter has a point value, and some tiles offer groups of letters, such as –ight or –ful. Players must race to make words that score the highest numbers of points within the time limit. It takes fast thinking and a sharp eye (as well as a sound knowledge of phonics rules) to make the best plays.
Players will appreciate Sushi Scramble’s fast-paced action in the competitive mode. Most youngsters will also enjoy the app’s social features, as well. The in-app messaging system will allow players to send notes to one another, and the friends feature will let kids find others on the internet to challenge. Players also can choose (and change) an avatar to represent themselves in the game. High scores open up additional levels of challenge and other perks.
At ninety-nine cents, this app is a great value. It will provide interested players with tons of spelling practice in a fun format. In addition, it’s refreshing to have a game where several users can engage with each other on the same device. That really adds a lot of value!
This app is social in nature, though it does not connect directly to the outside social media sites. Parents should be well aware that children can easily access other people who play the game through this app, and there does not appear to be any way to block this feature for younger children. There are also lots of opportunities to investigate other apps from this company-almost an intrusive amount of suggestive selling.
The Adults Only protection scheme asks users to enter digits in response to numbers presented in words (such as five zero one). The problem with this is that if a child is capable of spelling well enough to use the app, he or she is also capable of easily bypassing this protection system. In other words, the adults only sections are easily accessible by most young users. This could be a real draw-back for many families.