FishyPaint is a virtual aquarium with a creative twist: users can add their own fish. The main screen shows fish swimming around and offers limited interaction by touching the images. Users can use the device’s camera or existing photographs to add new fish to the scene.
Includes colorful, animated fish
Allows users to add their own unique fish
New fish can be created with drawings or other designs
Fish respond to screen touches
Simple and intuitive game play
FishyPaint is a high quality app that is very intuitive to use. Developers did include help screens for the main sections, which is very nice. If users allow access to camera and photo stream, they can create their own fish, and even decorate them. However, the custom fish do not transfer to the next play session, and photos taken from within the app do not get added to the iPad’s photo stream, so new creations are quite temporary. Developers should make this clear on the help screen so that children (and their parents) are not disappointed.
This app isn’t really intended to be educational, but there are some ways to incorporate early learning tasks. Simply coordinating movements to tap the fish as they swim is good practice for the very young or players with special needs. Since it is so easy to create custom fish, adults could make fish in specific colors, with patterns, or even add letters or numbers by drawing them on the fish, then having players find and tap the requested fish. Just remember that custom fish will not be saved when you exit the app, and you will need to create new ones for each session.
This app is quite soothing, as it not only provides the visual effects of fish swimming, it also includes the bubbly white noise that accompanies a real aquarium. Children will have a lot of fun creating custom fish and photographing them to get them into the scene. Photos of any sort can be used to make a fish, so a creative child could have a lot of fun making silly creations from pictures of people, pets, and other items. It’s also easy to draw a fish and photograph it, so the sky’s the limit for creativity. Once uploaded, an outline of a fish is superimposed on the picture, showing what design will be on the final creation. There is a paintbrush tool that can be used to “cancel out” portions of the drawing and make it transparent. The width of the tool can be increased or decreased using a slider, but even the smallest size is still fairly wide and would make it tough to create detailed designs. It will also be important to stress to young users that their creations are temporary, and won’t last beyond the current session in the app. If they want to be able to recreate a fish that they like, make sure to snap the photo outside of the app, because pictures taken within the app are not saved to the main photo stream.
FishyPaint is free to download from the App Store, making it a great value. Young children will enjoy the low-key, stress-free creative activity, and it could be quite interesting and motivational for many individuals with special needs, as well.
FishyPaint is mostly child friendly, but the main screen’s help section does include an unprotected link to the developers’ website on the open internet. Developers should consider protecting this link behind an effective parent gate.
FishyPaint allows users to view and interact with a virtual aquarium as they touch the responsive fish, and use their own real-world artwork and pictures to create their own unique and colorful finned friends.