We were sent a download code for the Gruffalo: Games App to try out a few weeks ago. It’s an IOS app based on the Gruffalo books aimed at 3-7 year olds.
I’ll confess upfront, I rarely pay for apps, despite the boys playing games on my phone a good bit. Also, technically illiterate me didn’t use the download code properly so I ended up paying €4.49 for the app, so one of my friends got to benefit from the code instead.
We’re big Gruffalo and Julia Donaldson fans here, (remember Cathal’s Gruffalo Birthday Cake?) so the boys were curious to see the app icon with his face appear among my apps and asked immediately why it was there.
I was surprised at the appeal of the app to both the boys, usually what would appeal to the four year old would be dismissed by his older brother as being too babyish.
The app is illustrated with all our favourite characters from the Gruffalo books, the familiar Axel Scheffler drawn characters come to life in the app.
There are six games, Nut Catch, Snap, Marching Bugs, Three in a Row, Jigsaws and Match Me.
My six-year-old loves the Nut Catch game, where Mouse has to catch nuts that are falling overhead, and avoid other obstacles. He is delighted each time he beats his personal record which
I asked him to explain the game and this is how he put it “you have to move the Mouse to catch the nuts and if you get squirrels then you get lots of golden nuts. If your head gets bumped three times that’s the end of the game.” Simples.
Some of the games are against the clock, or where you can earn more time by winning points. Or in the voice of a six-year-old “The time on the puzzles is actually up going time, to get more seconds”.
I asked my four-year-old which was his favourite and he said “circle things”, which after some interrogation was revealed to mean “Match Me”, a matching game that’s against the clock.
I loved watching the boys play “snap” against The Gruffalo and trying to beat the Gruffalo to hitting the card to say “Snap!” first, check out the claws on the left hand side of this screen shot. The paw print is the player’s hand.
One thing I loved about the app was that it has a parents’ area and there are no opportunities for in app purchases outside this area. The parents’ area is accessed by completing a division sum, so children in the target age group did the app probably won’t know the answer to 4 divided by 7 and won’t get through.
If you are someone who buys apps for your young kids this is definitely one to look out for, it’s given my two boys hours of fun, and it’s educational too.
Disclosure: I was provided with a download code to acquire the app for the purposes of this review. I was not paid to do the review and the opinions are my own.