Bottom Line: Extremely cute and clever app where children, literally, play with words (and bugs acting out words). I wish it had phonics though.
Here's the basic idea of Noodle Words: The app presents 18 different action words (verbs) that, when pressed, display the action. So, the word "jump" jumps when pressed. The two Noodle Bug hosts, Stretch and Squish, also jump when pressed while that word is displayed. The words can also be moved around the screen for additional interaction and animations. Really good stuff.
Lily's favorite word was "drop" which makes Stretch and Squish fall over. All of the animations are well thought-out, creatively done, and adhere to one of the key Smart Apps Rules for Making A Good Kids App (I totally just made that up), which is "apps for younger kids need to have a sense of humor."
The app does a great job of explaining itself to its target audience with visual and audio instructions, including a tutorial at the start of each play. It does all the little things you like to see an app do, such as one of the bugs saying "menu!" when that button is pressed.
The app is simple to use as, basically, all the child has to do is tap the word box, the word, or either bug, which makes it accessible to toddlers through early readers. There is also an "all" button which displays all 18 words, which can then be pressed individually.
There is also a page for parents with info about the app and what the developers wanted to accomplish with it.
The only real problem I have with Noodle Words is that I think the overall feel of the app works better with younger kids (my four-year old had a lot more interest than my seven-year old) but there is no phonics in the app.
So, Lily might like it, but it's not going to provide much help in her learning to read the words. On the other hand, E can read all the words so it's just amusing to him without much staying power beyond one go, meaning that although a lot of kids might like to play around with it, the real educational power is for early readers of full words.
At $1.99 for the iPad and $0.99 for the iPhone, though, the price is terrific and it's a really quite a well-developed app. Recommended!
If you would like to purchase Noodle Words - Active Word Game Set 1 please use the links provided. The cost is the same, but Smart Apps receives a small percentage. Thanks for your support!
This review was written by Ron Engel, who likes noodles but prefers anitpasto. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.