The Turtle, Hare, and Friends Learning Puzzle Race

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
The Turtle, Hare, and Friends Learning Puzzle Race is a free app that features three simple games suitable for toddlers and preschoolers. The app is pleasant, but somewhat limited in scope unless parents make some in-app purchases.
4

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating:

Download on the App Store

Overview

The Turtle, Hare, and Friends Learning Puzzle Race is a selection of preschool games and activities that build basic skills such as counting, following directions, coordination, and listening skills. Players need to follow oral directions to play each game and can play again and again.

Features include:

  • 12 Learning Games (3 in the free version)
  • Builds dexterity, observation, and many other important skills
  • Spoken directions- no need to be a reader
  • Colorful illustrations
  • Peppy background music

Quality

The Turtle, Hare, and Friends Learning Puzzle Race is a high quality app that will help young children build important skills for later academic success. The app is easy for nonreaders to use, and so quite suitable for its audience. There is a protected parents’ area that gives further information about the developers and tells what skills are developed by each game. One fairly large problem I had with some of the games was that the audio/animations did not always keep up with my game play, and sometimes sounds would overlap in a confusing fashion. For example, when “picking carrots,” I was able to dig carrots that did not get counted by the narrator. In the frog-catching game, I caught frogs quickly and the counting narration overlapped with the previous comment, making it quite difficult to hear.

Education

The games provided by The Turtle, Hare, and Friends Learning Puzzle Games are valuable early learning activities. The free version of the app provides access to three games that will help children develop skills such as dexterity, visual closure, observation, counting, and more. However, each game is quite limited in scope. They seem be nearly the same on replay, when more variety on the same task would benefit most children and serve to keep interest longer. For example, the lady bug hide and seek game uses the same mushrooms decorated with dots as hiding places. The mushrooms appear in different spots for each successive round, but they are always the same items. The carrot garden always has 12 carrots, where it could be varied to help children count to different numbers each time.

On the plus side, I do really like the subtle cluing that developers have embedded into some of the games. For example, the hide and seek game features a tricky lady bug that hides behind mushrooms with one to four colored dots. The dots glow and sound a musical tone one by one before the graphics rearrange themselves and challenge children to find the hidden insect behind the mushroom in a new position.

Entertainment

This app will be fun for your toddler or preschooler to play with for at least a little while, but it may not have much staying power in its free form. The three games seem like they could get quite repetitious since there is little variation from round to round. It’s also a bit disingenuous to list 12 games in the app’s description, and not clearly state that nine of these are available as in-app purchases.

Value

A limited version of this app is available for free on the App Store.  This version contains three of the games. Nine more games are available for purchase, costing $1.99 for three more or all nine for $2.99 at a savings of 50%. The in-app purchase options are visible to children, but protected by an effective parent gate for the age group.

Child Friendliness

This app has visible in-app purchases that to a toddler or preschool player may look like available games (they have a lock icon on them and say “preview,” but many young children will not understand those codes).  These should be less tempting for young children.

  • Protected parent area (contains external links & social media)
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES in-app purchase (protected, but visible)

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