AppStore User Rating:
The Great Inventors invites children from ages four and up to explore three broad periods of history and find out about the development of common inventions. The app includes three interactive games, over twenty inventions, and countless animations and interactions.
- Over twenty descriptions in three time periods
- Descriptions of inventors and inventions available in three languages
- Intuitive game play and controls
- Optional narration for each description
- Colorful animated graphics
The Great Inventors is a high quality app. It is easy to use and intuitive in nature. Even young children, who cannot yet read, will be able to play easily. The graphics are colorful and engaging, and the inventions chosen for description are familiar enough that the information will easily connect to users’ prior knowledge.
The Great Inventors is a fun app that will help young children learn a bit about the history of common inventions such as bicycles, airplanes, and trains. There are also descriptions about things that people may not think of as inventions, such as the theater and carrier pigeons. It is refreshing to see that the developers included many innovations that did not originate in the United States.
The app includes three screens representing history prior to about 1800, the 1800s, and the latter half of the twentieth century. It would be nicer if these were more clearly identified for users; it seems to allow a great teaching opportunity slide by to avoid giving the dates that the screens represent. This information would also help children to put the development of these innovations into historical perspective.
Children can touch question marks on the screens to access a pop-up about each invention. Narration begins automatically, but can be turned off if a child prefers to read on their own. It would be nice if a master control for this would be accessible in a protected parents’ area so that adults could have more control over who reads and who listens.
Each period also includes three learning games. A memory game and a matching game help children interact with the information presented in the period. These two activities give users a great opportunity to cement new learning into their brains. A third game offers simple sequencing and patterning challenges. This game, while useful for the very young, could just as easily have been done using colors or letters. Though it uses pictures related to the inventions and inventors of the time period, the game does not truly connect with the information taught in the rest of the app.
The Great Inventors is a fun app. Children can explore each historical scene and activate many animations and sound effects. This is almost always a favorite activity for the very young. The animations and characters are engaging, as well. The three games are quick to play, and are consistent across the three historical periods, though the details change, such as the content of the matching cards. The content always relates to the historical scene from which the player came. To move between the scenes, the developers have created a fun animated time machine. Using directional arrows, users can control their forward or backward movement through time. It’s also possible to trigger time movement by tapping the time machine’s clock face.
The Great Inventors is a good value at $1.99. Children will add to their historical knowledge about important parts of everyday life and will have fun as they learn about inventions and inventors. It would be nice if additional historical scenes were to be added to the app. As it is, it seems a bit short, and children may run out of things to do after a while.
This app is very child friendly. The one drawback is the lack of a parents’ area that could include global controls for the narration and language functions, suggestions about other non-digital activities to try, and so forth. The front page of the app also contains a effectively-protected link to the App store to another of the developer’s offerings. This link would be better off in a protected parents’ area, as well, so that children don’t attempt to access it.
- NO social media
- NO in-app purchase
- NO 3rd party ads
- YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)