ABCya Educational Computer Games and Apps for Kids
ABCya Educational Computer Games and Apps for Kids

Here is the third installment of 10 games reviewed.

Alphabet Bingo

Grades Pre-K - K

Alphabet Bingo is a letter learning game where the player is given three levels of complexity with two game types. The phonetic sounding game and the letter name game. Both game levels come with three grid sizes; 3 x 3, 4 x 4, and 5 x 5. There are letters in each grid, and the choices are upper case letters and lower case letters. The player chooses the level game and grid, and then the game pronounces either a sound or a letter name. The player must click on the correct letter to move onto the next one. There are no strikeouts, the player is given a warning rasping bell sound and told they are wrong, and to try again. Once the correct letter has been selected, a star like an icon appears.

The GUI is great, clean and clear and the sounds require a good speaker on at a volume the player can hear and understand.

Grade: Pre-K to K

Conclusions: A winner for children starting out to recognize letters, the use of phonetics as well as the letter name, in combination with upper and lower case letters are great.

Alphabet Bubble

Grades Pre-K - 1

Alphabet Bubble is a letter recognition game with a twist.

This game is about understanding letters and which letters are in certain words, the letter you pop must appear in the word above the chest, it can be any one of the letters in the word. There are a few levels, each one is different, there is a straightforward bubble pop, and then there is the letter to chest pop.

This game is all about mixing hand-eye coordination with recognizing letters, so it requires that the player understand letters and can recognize them as they float in a bubble above treasure chests. Each chest has a word displayed above it and floats across the screen over the chest, pop it, and the letter falls into the chest. There is a shark to eat letters on the way down, so be careful

The good: this is a letter recognition game sounds the letter as you pop it and pairs it with a letter in the word above the chest. This way, the player learns how to speed up letter recognition which is one of the basics for fast and concise reading. The pairing of a letter to a word that is moving and must be burst directly over the chest creates an eye-hand coordination distraction that helps provide a more versatile learning experience than just a boring old letter word pairing game. However, it can be frustrating when you burst the bubble a fraction off target. This is the only disadvantage of the game, and the concept of matching motor skill coordination while teaching comprehension is great, but also somewhat annoying to users that just want to learn how to recognize letters and read faster.

Grade: Pre K to 1

Conclusions: Silver for second place, the accuracy required to assure the letter reaches the chest is too precise and is self-defeating.

Alphabet Slider Puzzle

Grades Pre-K - 1

Alphabet Slider Puzzle is a basic 6 piece slider puzzle for young players. It has a picture and a word that when arranged correctly is spoken out, teaching the player the first letter connection with the name and the pictures. For instance, A is for Apple with a picture of an apple.

Grade: Pre K to 1

Conclusions: This is a nice and neat game, young players scream out the word before it appears, they try to recognize it from the scrambled arrangement.

Alphabet Order

Grades Pre-K - 1

Alphabetical Order is a nice block puzzle game where the alphabet is painted on blocks that must be placed in the correct order. Once the full alphabet is in place, the game plays the ABC song, and the player can start again. You have this in both uppercase and lower case letters, and can be voiced as letter names or sounds.

Grade: Pre K to 1

Conclusions:

This is a little short game-winner for players starting to learn the alphabet.

Letter Bubble

Grades Pre-K - K

Alphabetical Order Bubble is another underwater bubble popping game. In this version, a beginner version where the player is asked to identify the letter in the correct alphabetical order that needs to be popped and fall into an appropriate chest. The chests that are closed have a letter on them, and this acts as a guide to which letters are missing from open chests that have no markings.

Grade: Pre K to K

Conclusions: This is very basic letter recognition and order game, it’s nice and clean and also has that hand-eye coordination issue, but here it’s not felt as much as it is in the Alphabet Bubble game.

Alphabetize

Grades 1 - 2

Alphabetize is a very nice game for learning word order and understanding Pareto charts! Yup, this one asks you to write out some random words, even a short sentence about anything. It then takes s10 of the words, randomly and re-arranges them into individual words in boxes on the right side column of the screen. On the left side is an empty list of 10 boxes, and the player must arrange the words in exact alphabetical order. For instance, Beast followed by Best.

Grade: 1 to 2

Conclusions:

This is an interesting, unconventional game that provides excellent word ordering comprehension, and also asks the player to use their own imagination to create a list of words.

Andy’s Golf

Grades K & Up

Andy’s Golf is a basic trigonometry game where you have to calculate the shot angle and power of the drive to send a golf ball into a hole. Now, in all honesty, it’s not as scientific as it sounds, what you get is a very clear 2D screen rendering of a ball, grass, and hole with the flag. You move the mouse around the ball; there is a white arrow, you set the arrow angle and length for the shot angle and power, and let go.

This should be fun, but they have one initial problem at the start. The screen limits you’re first shot, and as such, there is no way you can score a hole in one, ever. In fact, this bug is so annoying, that it makes you leave the game after two holes.

Grade: Pre K to 5

Conclusions:

This could have been a great game and winner, but it loses from its first limited shot, that takes away all the fun from the possible levels of excitement that this game should deliver.

Andy’s Golf 2

Grades Pre-K & Up

Andy’s Golf 2 is identical to Andy’s Golf, I tried to find the differences but couldn’t. It has the same first stroke issue, where the screen limits the player’s ability to make a good strong first shot.

Grade: Pre K to 5

Conclusions: Why there are two identical games is beyond me, so just pick either one, they will both frustrate you at the first shot, but provide a respite after that.

Animalines

Grades 2 & Up

Animalines is a classic block puzzle game where you match identical animals by drawing a line across the blocks between each animal. The hard part is that you must fill all the blocks with lines. The even harder part is that there are constantly more animals and more blocks, so the game demands some planning.

Animalines is all about the logical planning of a mapping system. How to create a line between two locations without crossing another line. This game teaches the player to recognize patterns, understanding planning and rules of navigation.

Grade: 2 to 5

Conclusions: What a great game, a real winner and it’s addictive too. In fact, this is a classic example of many other smartphone apps that provide an identical performance with complex maps to navigate.

Antonyms, Synonyms & Homonyms: Word Frog

Grades 4 & Up

Word Frog is all about understanding Antonyms, Synonyms & Homonyms. The first miss on this great game is that it doesn’t explain what each one is before the game. So, for my readers here we go:

  • Antonym: Words that are opposite to each other, such as Hot and Cold, Up and Down.
  • Synonym: Words that have the same meaning, such as Up and Above, or Hot and Scorching.
  • Homonym: Words that are spelled and pronounced the same but have different meanings, such as Die, which can be a six-sided cube, a mold for casting and entering a state of death.

The game is played using the keyboard, or mouse. In the center of the screen sits a hungry frog, and around the frog appear flies. On the frog appears a word, on each of the fly’s is a word too. The player is asked to eat the antonym, synonym or homonym.

Grade: 4 to 5

Conclusions: This is a definite winner incomprehension, once they add the meaning of the three states, the game will be much easier to understand initially. However, maybe the game is designed to make the player ask, what is are Antonyms, Synonyms & Homonyms.