In Learn Your Way, children are presented with an item and then find the matching item from among a large group of items. So, the app shows a really big ladybug and then shows a group of 20 items and the child has to find and touch the ladybug.The first level is image to image matching; the second level is matching the image to the correct word and the third is matching the word to the image.
* The instructions are virtually nonexistent. It's not that hard to figure out but some sort of visual, verbal or written instructions beyond a single sentence should be included. For instance, the app presents three level boxes in the beginning, but the child can't select anything but the first level. The player must answer 20 questions in order to reach the next level. I got so frustrated I had to email fellow smart-apper for kids Jill to figure it out. Having to answer all 20 questions each time means that a child can't bypass a certain level if they have mastered it.
* The app is iPhone only and when I x2'd to play on my iPad third generation it didn't fit. The display was far too wide.
* There is no repeat button if the child wants to see the item they are trying to match a second time.
* The art work is very clip-artish and not bright or engaging. The banana looks like it's no longer ripe, for example, and the elephant's tusks are the same color as the elephant, gray rather than white.
* There is some decent background music, but there is some sort of added sound (like a party noisemaker) that ruins it.
* If the child misses an answer the game just goes on to the next word with no hint or indication of what the correct answer was.
* On the second and third levels, the words are just presented (in all caps). They are not spoken or sounded out in any way, meaning that the game can't be used by a child who can't read unless they are working with an adult.
* The background image is a maze in a meadow, which means that there is no context for words like fish, cheese or ribbon.
* There is no replay value. Once through the three levels, there is no reason to revisit the app.
I'm sure the intentions of the developers of Learn Your Way (w3masters) were sincere and the app costs just 99 cents, but there is nothing in the app I can recommend.
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This review was written by Ron Engel. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee via Review Roster to complete this review in an expedited manner.