Smash Party Cat Review (iPad)
Smash Party Cat (SP Cat) is a set of 4 mini-games for 4 players. Teaching rhyming words, spelling, number patterns and sums: this app is perfect for the collaborative classroom or family fun at home! Available in two editions, either Cat (5-6 years) or Mole (6-7 years).
SP Cat opens with a choice of four local multi-player games. Either fate or group collaboration determines the choice of Missing Numbers, Rhyme Time, Smash Sums or Missing Letters. Within those four games are four levels – easy, medium, hard and insane. Once the level is chosen the screen, which eerily looks like the retro Milton Bradley game Simon, gives you a beginning count down and the round begins. Initially you need 6 correct answers, with a running tab kept in the center. With each successfully completed round you move on to the next round with a higher number of required correct answers, all within the selected level.
Each problem presents itself on a different colored section, to give each player a chance at testing their knowledge. For a correct answer, the player can either select the color that *might* have the correct answer or they can directly tap correct answer itself. A cheering crowd responds with confetti tossed in celebration.
In the event you’re a sensitive soul, especially when it comes to incorrect answers and math, should the player select an in correct answer (e.g: choosing the insane level on the math despite a mental incapacity that translates math into alphabet soup), rather than a loud fail horn and red flashing lights alerting everyone in a 50 mile radius to your obvious MENSA failure, your chosen answer is put on lock down, eliminating all options on that color and gives you two other chances to get the correct answer.
SP Cat is meant for children ages 5-6. The easy level on Missing Numbers involves sequential problems such as “14, 15, ?, 17″ and the player has to choose the correct number that is missing. The easy level in Missing Letters has words with only three letters where a word on the hard level was “P?IN” and they had several letters in each color to choose from. And example from The insane level on Missing Letter is “C?oud”. In Rhyme Time the easy level words to rhyme are three letters and have simple, solid rhymes such as the “it” and “up” sounds. It graduates difficulty so the insane levels has a more complex rhyming skill set, with a more questionable vowel sound – sight-wise it’s not as easy. Smash Sum has an easy level of simple math with problems similar to “2 + 0″, going to “11-9″ on medium, hard “9-7″ and insane is “6+27″.
Once the player is confident in their skills and is looking for a challenge, the time-attack is the perfect timed-test simulator.
Found under the options menu, it changes the background of the main menu from blue to red so you visually know you’re in the zone. Once a game begins, the players have a set amount of time to answer all the questions – they could answer them all quickly, hesitate on one and answer the rest swiftly – it doesn’t matter. The timer goes until the end of the round and the object is to answer in a timely manner to finish the level before the timer finishes. The timer is restarted with each new round.
Tigerface Games is a new venture and only has three games under their belt: Smash Party, Equator (Brutal Gamer review here) and Cosmic Reactor, all of which are educational-based games. They have a strong background in education, both the PBS Kids and the Smartboard Technologies, both of which I am extremely familiar and find them both to be spectacular in advancing education. Visually I had some difficulty with the constantly spinning choices (motion sickness, anyone?) – even during the option menu while in-game. But the very friendly and visually appealing graphics as well as responsive game play makes this a perfect option for brain-training the offspring in a little bit of local multiplayer action. It’s got a higher price tag, $5.99 (£3.99) but worth the investment.