- For ages 2 to 5
- For 1 player
- Variable game length
- Required: Universal iOS 5.0 application (iPhone/iPod Touch version reviewed)
- Memorization & Pattern/Color Matching
- Active Listening & Communication
- Child – Easy
- Adult – Easy
Theme & Narrative:
- Children, along with some help from their parents, play memory and imagination-based games using the illustrated characters and sounds
- Gamer Geek not applicable
- Parent Geek approved, but conditional
- Child Geek approved!
Based on “The Noisy Book” children’s book by Soledad Bravi, The Noisy Book Games is targeted at children aged two to fives years. The four games included in this application are: “Discover the Sounds”, “1, 2, 3 Sounds”, “Memory Game” and “Noisy Rap”. The game text and sounds are presented in both English and French.
“Discover the Sounds” is a basic introduction to the overall theme of the game. A parent has the option to create the sound themselves instead of having the application provide them. While interaction with your little geek is always a good thing, if your child wants to do well with the other games, it is best to let the game provide the sounds to demonstrate the proper pairing to the presented picture.
“1, 2, 3 Sounds” is a Simon type game where a sound is played and then your little geek needs to touch the picture that pairs with the sound in the proper sequence. In the first stage, one sound is made; in the second, two sounds; in the third, three sounds and so on.
“Memory Game” is a basic game that strengthens your little geek’s memory skills. There are two modes: “Easy”, which provides eight tiles (four pairs to match) and “Hard”, which provides twelve tiles (six pairs to match). The game plays like other Memory games. Your little geek needs to touch two tiles to reveal them. If they match, a funny sound is played and the player gets to select two more. If they do not match, the tiles are flipped back over and the player gets another chance to select two more tiles. The game ends when all the tiles are matched.
“Noisy Rap” is another way to get acquainted with the sounds in the game. Your little geek will first select a rhythm to play along with before playing the game itself. After that, twelve pictures are shown of which the player can select to make different sounds. They can either make the sounds with or without the music. In the bottom left-hand corner of the game, your little geek can touch an icon to play an example track.
Neither I nor my daughter ever heard of the story “The Noisy Book”, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. With some trepidation, I agreed to try it out with my daughter. But not being familiar with the book, I cannot say that I would take much more of a glance at this application in the Apple App Store. That said, I am glad we got a chance to review it because it looks to be good enough for a few good laughs.
Our five-year old daughter enjoyed this application. Liking memory-type exercises, “Memory Game” was the game she played the most. Her second favorite was “Discover the Sounds”. Sounds were not always what she expected, something that I attribute to a cultural difference, or just not being familiar with the book. It is highly recommended to have your child play “Discover the Sounds” multiple times to get used to what sound is paired with a particular picture, as it is not always intuitive. Jumping into the game full-force had my daughter looking back to me at times asking “What sound does that go with?”
Based on our experience, we have a few suggestions to improve the game’s interaction with the user.
First, the volume control for the game on the iPhone was a problem, but OK on the iPod Touch. In version 1.1. of the application, the volume control only works when the application is making sounds on the iPhone/iPod Touch. When no sound is made, the ringer control is active.
Second, sometimes the game comes up with the language set to French instead of remembering we selected English. It would be even better if the game knew what the default language was on the iOS device. This would not have been a problem if language was only used for navigation; however, the voice-over was also in the selected language.
Third, in the “1, 2, 3 Sounds” game, It would be nice to have some feedback after each round to know how well your little geek succeeded in their task. It would also be nice to provide some indication of the next round beginning. Having the game provide the score without having to enter your name would also be convenient.
Fourth, the “Noisy Rap” was entertaining for my little geek, but a suggested improvement is to first play along while the game records it. That way, your little geek could play it back; multiple times if necessary.
The age rating of 2 to 5 is correct in that geeks at the younger end will enjoy it, but with a lot of assistance. Little geeks at the older end will have some enjoyment, but at age 5, time is running out for the game to keep their attention. My five-year old daughter had fun with it, and chose the application occasionally to play the memory game, or get some chuckles out of the sounds.
Overall, the theme of this game is what will likely be its main selling point as I think that fans of the Soledad Bravi book are likely to appreciate this game more than someone unfamiliar with the book the game is based on. To them, it will just be another memory game. That said, the overall theme of the game gave my daughter enjoyment, which I think is a testament to the author and the designers of the application. So, if silliness and the theme are something you think your kids will enjoy, consider purchasing this application.
This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.