Here is the fourth installment of 10 games reviewed.

Aqua Friends

Grades 2 & Up

Aqua Friends is much more complicated than it looks. This seemingly innocent-looking hides a complex pattern solving the puzzle behind its shiny clean graphics surface. Here, you have a hive like a screen and cute octopi that need to link up together using all their tentacles. The blocks have six sides, and there are blocks with stars to denote a preferred location, and blocks with stones that lock them. The octopi don’t need to link into one cohesive chain; they just need to be linked together without leaving any free tentacles. The stars are not mandatory, but they add star points, so you want to use them. There are also little red crabs that act like links, which can connect two octopi together with their claws.

This is a classic logic game of a very high order for young minds, and it will make them think.

Grade: 2 to 5 (adults too)

Conclusions: A definite winner in the logic puzzle and pattern recognition class of games, a fantastic concept which is conceptualized fantastically!

Aqua Thief

Grades 2 & Up

Aqua Thief is a game, its got logic built in, but it’s a game, not a puzzle or a quiz. In this game, you have to draw a line that connects the aqua thief to the gold coins and then once the line is complete the aqua thief will run along it stealing the coins. There is only one problem, an aqua cop that is placed along one of the lines routes. The aqua cop moves and crosses the line frequently. The player has to watch the movement of the aqua cop and only then complete the last coin link. Once the last coin is linked, the aqua thief starts to move.

This game is about eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills to draw an accurate line that goes through the coins and curves around to go through all the coins, and timing, where the player has to watch the cop before touching the final coin.

Grade: 2 to 5

Conclusions: This is a classic arcade style game, you need to outrun the aqua cop. The player will hone computer graphic skills when drawing a line on the screen. It also teaches the player patience, to not just draw and hope for the best, but to wait for the right moment.

Paint Ball: Ascending Number Order

Grades 3 & Up

Ascending Number Order is a paintball popping game for grade 3-5 according to the site. The concept is to click on balls of paint that have a number on them, and to click on them in their ascending correctly, descending or whatever order the game asks for. It might seem easy at first, but then the game gets harder as the levels increase. This is not so much a game teaching players to count, as it is a game teaching player to recognize numbers and react as fast as possible, honing their number recognition skills and helping them improve their mathematical thought process.

Grade: 3 to 5

Conclusions: At first it seems (first screen) it seems like it missed the mark, but when you advance up the levels this game becomes a memory recall (for numbers) and calculation primer for players, in other words, it ops the ball and is a winner.

Avian Alphabet

Grades 2 & Up

Avian Alphabet is a learning book teaching platform that gives you a list of birds set in alphabetical order. Each bird is described as well as shown in a drawing.

Grade: 2 to 5

Conclusions: This is a nice learning book, but misses on the GUI mark, where modern capabilities would demand a video of the bird in real life and some real-life pictures as well. Drawings are fine too, but not by themselves. The world has moved on from the 1950s.

Baby Chick Maze

Grades K & Up

Baby Chick Maze is a maze game with a difference. This is a memory maze with fine eye-hand motion control too. The game is about a small chick that wants to walk to its mother hen, eating worms along the way. The maze is set by the obstacles in the chicks path, now here is the kicker, the obstacles disappear the moment you click on the mouse to move it. Yup, you have to remember where the obstacles were and move the chick around the screen with the mouse, picking up the worms along the way to reach its mother hen. To move, you need to click on the chick with the mouse and keep the left mouse button down while you move the chick across the screen.

Grade: K to 5

Conclusions: This is a winner for three reasons, its graphics are cute and clean, the memory retention factor is key to success, and the movement of the chick requires accuracy. The game teaches you player problem solving from memory.

Ball Ornaments Puzzle

Grades 4 & Up

Ball Ornaments Puzzle is a pattern recognition game that is centered around Christmas decorations. In this puzzle you are given a screen with a grid of colors, at the top of the grid is a ball with a pattern. You have to find the matching pattern in the grid, select it and move onto the next pattern. The game is over once you complete all the pattern recognition requests.

Grade: 4 to 5

Conclusions: This is a clean pattern recognition game that trains the player to focus on finding specific color patterns in a grid. If your child is color blind (any level) consider not playing this game.

Balloon Pop Subtraction

Grades 1 - 2

Balloon Pop Subtraction has a major bug, do not play this game. The game is about popping balloons with the sting of a bee. You get a question such as 7-4, and you need to pop the correct answer which is 3. However the game programmers messed up the algorithm, and it only gives you a correct answer when you click on the subtracted amount, in this case, 4. It’s unfortunate since this could be a great game. What is really bad is that ABCYa hasn’t fixed this.

Grade: 1 to 2

Conclusions: Could be great, but is broken. The real sign of bad here is that the site has not picked up on this, which goes to question, what kind of quality control is there, or do they prefer quantity over quality?

Base Ten BINGO

Grades K - 3

Base Ten BINGO is quite a fascinating bingo counting game. This game presents you with 12 levels of difficulty that come from configuring the number levels of units, tens, hundreds and thousands, with grid sizes of 3×3, 4×4 and 5×5.

The game places a list of numbers in the grid on the left side of the screen, and on the right side, there are blocks. Dependent on the leave of complexity the player has chosen, the blocks can be one small block or a mixture of several different sized blocks that represent numbers such as 4529.

The player has to count the boxes of each type, and then find the matching number in the grid. The game is over when a line of correct answers has been formed, as on any bingo card.

Grade: K to 3

Conclusions: This is a great take on a classic game, and it delivers. This will test the player’s ability to count and to comprehend and understand how numbers are constructed in terms of units.

Base Ten Blocks

Grades K - 3

Base Ten Blocks is like a complementary accessory to the Base Ten BINGO game. This screen gives the player four number categories, single, tens, hundreds and thousands in block icon form. The player can then drag any number of each block to create a corresponding number. So, if you want the player to create 245, the player will drag 2 x hundred blocks, 4 x tens blocks and 5 x single blocks.

Grade: K to 3

Conclusions: This is a winning counting exercise that helps the player develop number comprehension and how numbers are constructed.

Base Ten Fun

Grades K & Up

Base Ten Fun is another great counting platform that provides the player with three options. Read and Make. This screen has a number on the top; the player has to drag the correct blocks that represent the number. Listen and Make, like read and Make but in this instance the player has to hear the number that has to be made. The final option is Count and Write. In this option, the player is given a number of blocks that need to be counted. The correct number is then punched into a calculator that is presented in the lower left of the game screen, and pressing enter checks the answer.

Grade: K to 5

Conclusions: This is definitely a winner with the options to choose from, this comprehensive counting and number construction application is great for practicing the early number skills using three different methods.