Friday, 30 November 2012

I Spy with Lola App HD - Review

I Spy with Lola HD is an iPad app by BeiZ bursting with fun filled interactive features. It comes in six different languages  - English, Dutch, German. French, Finnish and Swedish.  The app requires iOS 4.3 or later to operate. Help Lola and her friends discover hidden objects as she travels around the world in her very first I Spy adventure. 

If you would like to purchase the app now please do so via this link iTunes

I Spy with Lola is also available for the iPhone via this link iTunes

This fun filled game comes with three different difficulty levels of play. As you progress through the game you unlock the various levels of the game. Once unlocked they can be returned to at any stage during game play. 

The Easy Difficultly level looks at identifying objects through the means of naming the item and having an outlined image of the item on the left hand side of the page. This method provides the user with an easy introduction to the search and seek aspect of the game. It also teaches them word recognition and object recognition.  This level affords the user to  opportunity to learn the name of new items in a fun filled manner. 

The Medium level is a little more challenging. It replaces the whole word with just the first letter of the object that Lola is searching for. This helps with letter and sound recognition . A darkened outlined of the object still remains on the side as a guide to the user if needed. For this level we looked at Yellowstone . My kids loved this destination. I have one minor fault with this destination across all difficulty levels and that is that the 'boots' in the object list are identified as beginning with the letter 'S' and yet when found they are referred to as 'boots'. This can be quite confusing for a child, especially a child with learning difficulties who may already have trouble with word association and letter recognition. Other than that minor issue, which will hopefully be corrected in future updates,  this level is a great way of challenging the user and increases their level of concentration and listening skills as well. 

The Hard level we explored by visiting Hawaii. This level challenges everything the child has learned so far. It involves a much deeper thought process and requires the child to develop word association,  visualise the image, and to seek out the chosen object without the aid of a picture image on the left hand side. It tests the user's range of vocabulary as well as looking at their level of understanding in terms of shape recognition . 

One of the things I really liked about this app is its constant reinforcement of achievement . This is critical in terms of long term market value of a children's app in my opinion. Children like to receive praise when they complete a task and being able to see little achievements unlocked as they go is a great way of maintaining their concentration levels for longer periods of time. Lola collects a little souvenir at the end of each visit and the user gets to decide which one they would like to keep, which gives the app a truly personal touch.  

As we all know children love taking snap shots as often as possible. Lola builds on this and takes a quick snap shot of her visit at the end of each level. This brings a touch of humour to the game as you will find that the picture often catches Lola and her friends in a funny pose. 

The Parental controls in this app are extensive. The developer has added a nice a security feature to ensure that a young child won't be able to accidentally  access the iTunes links to other apps  in the main menu. 

Overall I throughly enjoyed this app . The simple game play makes it suitable for all learning ages. It teaches children in a fun manner, and the child becomes so engrossed in finding the objects that they don't even realise they are learning something at the same time. This app will be a hit within the special needs community as it is easy to operate and allows children to experience the fun and culture of other countries. The graphics and animations featured in the app are of a high standard and the lack of in- app purchases is a huge bonus in my book. I like an app that features everything in the original price. I Spy with Lola would be a nice addition to any child's iTunes collection. 

If you would like to find out more about Lola please visit their Facebook page or website

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