July 22, 2011

Vic Mahfood

NxtApp 4 Kids

Developer Quote: "Come play at the farm and have lots of fun completing number sequences. NxtApp 4 Kids is an exciting, interactive game that helps kids practice basic math in a smart and fun-filled atmosphere." 

- COST: 99 cents (App Launch Special 50% off)

- Categories: Animals, Education, Elementary School, Entertainment, Games, Math, Native, Preschool, Universal

Are you keeping your kids' minds busy this summer, or have they been watching TV and playing electronic games 24/7? Seeing them loll around all day is enough to drive a concerned parent crazy! Sure they should have fun, but why lose that mental acuity they've worked so hard for all year just because it's vacation time? Parents, don't stress, because NxtApp 4 Kids ensures that your kids can both have fun and keep up on their logic and math skills at the same time! This educational app can now be universally played on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad!

Everyone knows how much young ones enjoy animals. Especially because we can't all live on a farm, it's a great experience to discover the good old country life through this app. Your child will delight in the lovely graphics, smiling animals and adorable animations. As an interactive surprise, when you touch the animals, you hear the natural sounds of each.

This app which is geared for preschool and elementary school kids is comprised of activities that start off easily so kids can get their feet wet. Don't be fooled though because as the levels increase, the math problems include more logic processes as well! NxtApp 4 Kids is comprised of 5 stages with increasing difficulty so it is designed to keep kids sharp and on their toes! What came as a surprise to me was that this app is integrated with Game Center so the children can compete with friends on the global leaderboards. I think a little bit of academic competition is good at any age!

Some of the engrossing features of this educational mental math kids' app are as follows:

- Easy, colorful and fun gameplay with cool sound effects
- Different set of questions every time so game never gets boring
- Earn a “dancing” gold star for providing correct solutions to sequences.
- Interactive gold star system measures the child intermediate progress.
- Interactive feedback with correct answer is provided.
- Listen to your iPod music while playing.
- Receive a surprise reward when you complete any stage.
- Game Center-enabled

NxtApp 4 Kids is played in landscape orientation, and is accompanied by jolly and upbeat music. When you open the app, you will be given the opportunity to sign in to the Game Center, if you wish. Next you will see 4 adorable farm animals holding the parchment on which the 5 stages of the game are listed. Tap the I icon in upper left of screen to get instructions on how to play, although I must say the app through its illustrations is pretty self explanatory. Toggle Music and Sound Effects On/Off from the Settings icon in the upper right. Now you are ready to play! Tap the horse, cow, goat or pig to hear their special voice and see them move around. Stage 1 instructs that in this activity you must Add 1 to each number shown. There are 10 problems in each Stage.

Tap Solve to begin. The timer is ticking away in the bottom left of the screen, and the Best Time slot will be filled in on completion based on your skills. Tap Go after guessing to get to the next problem or C to clear, if wanting to change the answer. If you guessed incorrectly, you are encouraged to Try Again. You may return to the Menu from this screen. Stage 2 hints that you must Subtract 1 to solve. Level 3 is all about Adding numbers in a sequence to make a pattern. So, for example, you will see 4, 8, 12 and must guess 16. Stage 4 is where you must Subtract numbers in a sequence to make a pattern. Lastly, Stage 5 encourages you to Add or Subtract randomly, again in sequence to form a pattern.

I feel the first 2 levels are perfect for Preschoolers, however, the other stages are more appropriate for Elementary School kids. Still, it all depends on the knowledge of your child at that point. Without a doubt, your child's IQ will improve on playing this game. Since Math and Logic skills are crucial to all areas of learning, NxtApp 4 Kids is a wonderful blend designed to educate, instill confidence and a love of learning.
COOL CONCLUSION: "NxtApp 4 Kids harmoniously mixes mental math education and fun at the same time with a sprinkle of logic thrown in for good measure!"
--Date/Version: Updated 8/9/11 - Version 1.1
--iOS/Age Rating:  This app requires iOS 4.2 or later. Rated 4+.
--Special Award: NxtApp 4 Kids first spot as "New and Noteworthy" game on iTunes in Kids and Educational Game categories.
--Device: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
--Developer Link: ICON LLC
--Twitter: NxtApp
--Facebook: NxtApp

Visit the iTunes App Store for more details, and to download:

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