AppStore User Rating:
MiniChess by Kasparov is designed to help introduce young children to the game of chess through an engaging, interactive story. The game is loaded with dozens of puzzles and activities that teach the prerequisite skills for the game, and also sharpen spatial skills, math skills and other important academics.
- Learn through play
- Engaging plot to hold children’s interest
- Build math and spatial skills
- Colorful animated characters
- Professional, child-friendly narration
MiniChess by Kasparov is a high-quality children’s app that is suitable for a wide range of age groups. The app is intuitive to use, with easy-to-follow verbal and graphic instructions at each step of the way. Developers have incorporated many helps for young users, including flashing attention grabbers to show where to tap or what to do next, verbal instructions, and highlighting.
MiniChess by Kasparov teaches children a host of important skills in the process of helping them learn to play chess. Chess is a complex game and requires a lot of foundational learning. Players must understand counting, shapes, orientation, and more. MiniChess takes players on a journey that teaches all of these skills, step by step, with Cheddar the Mouse. Each stop along the trip from Cheddar’s home to the castle, and later through the castle, incorporates an engaging game for kids to play that will help develop the needed skills and also improve academic development. There are games that help with shape recognition, counting, simple math operations like adding and subtracting, matching, finding similarities and differences, closure, and more. In addition, developers have managed to incorporate vocabulary development, letters and sounds and a host of other readiness and early academic skills. They really covered all their bases, and by the end of the app, most children will truly be ready to play the game and succeed in school.
Sometimes it is tough to tell that this app ultimately is intended to teach children about the game of chess. Each activity is so finely focused that it may seem unconnected. For example, there is one exercise that teaches children the words “horizontal,” “vertical” and “diagonal.” It’s a great vocabulary exercise, but you might have to think for a while to see that chess players need to understand these words. There’s something magical about learning in this way, and kids will quickly internalize the knowledge. They’ll be able to use it all for a host of different activities as they move through life.
This app is based on an engaging story as the main character makes his way to a chess challenge with the king. The animation, while simple, is effective. For many sequences, movement through the plot is accomplished by a series of still pictures instead of creating a cartoon, but the technique works well. After completing activities, players are rewarded with stars that accumulate as points. These can be “spent” at any time on adding decorations and accessories to a castle in the awards area. Each item costs a specific number of stars, and children can mix and match to their hearts’ content.
The app may seem a little pricy at $3.99, but there is a LOT of play value and educational bang for your buck. There are dozens of levels and activities, and children will be able to play for hours. This app would be worth the investment.
MiniChess by Kasparov is very child-friendly. Users can control volume and background music. There is an “About” area that gives information about the app and the development team, but there are no live links to social media, email, or the internet.
- Parent area (no live links)
- NO external links
- NO social media
- NO in-app purchase
- NO 3rd party ads
MiniChess by Kasparov is an excellent app that will not only help young children learn to play chess, but that will also provide a wide array of practice on prerequisite skills, which just happen to be foundational for learning other things, as well.