How great was the rain on the weekend? I was incredibly thankful for it for many reasons, the main one being that I'd woken up with a really bad back and could barely move (so naturally my husband decided it was the day to mount the television onto the wall)! This meant I couldn't really take Moo out anywhere. Since I've been on maternity leave she's gotten into the habit of doing something out every day and so the first thing she asks when she wakes up is 'where are we going today?'
With the rain so bad and my back feeling like I'd had a run in with a bull dozen, we stayed inside and what other excuse than to try the Trunki app for iPad and iPhone?
The app's free to download and based on their television commercial (that was made with Aardman, the people behind Wallace and Gromit) to promote their new 'Paddle Pak' range. The first thing that struck me was the fantastic colours, I don't pay a huge amount of attention to advertising campaigns if I'm honest because my mantra is always research when making a purchase. The colours on the app are bright, bold and whimsical featuring a variety of sea-life characters to play as (the characters correspond with the PaddlePaks that are currently available to buy). The game is recommended for children aged 3-6 years and the basic idea is you select a character and then must gobble up various items of beachwear to complete the level.
It downloaded quickly onto my iPad and away we went! I decided I would play first so that Moo (who is not quite three but competent on other popular pre-school apps) could watch me do it. The app didn't offer to show me how to play the first time, however and so as it started up I didn't quite know what it was I was supposed to be doing. I pressed my finger to the screen and moved it around thinking that it would follow my touch but it didn't. I managed to complete the first level (find 5 snorkels) but it took an embarrassing amount of time and left me feeling a bit frustrated and disappointed. Moo was delighted by the colours, sounds and movements by this stage and begging for a turn. I quickly went back to the home screen and checked in the settings and sure enough there was a tutorial telling me how to play; press the screen to make the character swim up, release for them to swim down.
So I went and tried again and yes, that made much more sense and it was working though I will admit, I'm twenty-six and it was a little on the tricky side. A wonderful thing about this game is that there are no penalties, so if you accidentally swallow a pair of swimming trunks as opposed to the sunglasses you're supposed to be chomping on, you are not then penalised for doing so which is great for the younger end of the age recommendation.
As Moo started to play, I could see that the touch and release aspect of the games control was a little 'beyond' her, but like I said, she's not three until early October so for her to have some basic issues with controls such as those, I wasn't concerned. The colours and sounds were enough to keep her playing and entertained, and even though it took her longer than perhaps it should to achieve her goal, she was happy and having fun.
All in all I found this to be a wonderful little app, here are my pros and cons:
- No penalties which keeps children engaged rather than frustrating them.
- Graphics are beautiful.
- Promotes counting in groups of five.
- Promotes memory and picture recognition.
- For an app based on a product, the advertising of said product is not in your face and I really like that! It's there, but it's subtle and won't have your children begging and pleading for you to buy the, the whole range.
- Promotes hand eye co-ordination.
- It's free!! I've paid for apps inferior in quality.
- It didn't volunteer to tell me how to play, I had to look for myself. Not sure if that's standard though or if perhaps mine just had a glitch? You never can tell with technology!
- The controls are a little tricky, but it comes with practise.
If you have an iPhone or an iPad, I would definitely recommend downloading this app for those odd moments when you really need to ring the gas company, or you want to keep them quiet for twenty minutes on public transport, or just for a rainy day game to play together like we did!
The app is available for download from the App Store by searching 'Trunki'.
Please note that I received no compensation for this post, all views and experiences are my own.
Labels: app, game, iPad, moo, product review, Trunki