Bottom Line: As far as exciting apps go, this is not going to top that list, but anyone looking for a highly customizable card-matching game for educational purposes need look no further than MyMemo.
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iPhone/ iPad ($1.99)
MyMemo is first and foremost an educational game of matching. The app comes with four decks that feature tools, food, vehicles and animals. These decks are useful to all kiddos learning to match objects, but the decks are also important for showcasing what the app is capable of doing when users start to make their own decks. Each existing deck has 12 photos which means six pairs of objects. For instance, matching the hammer picture with the other hammer picture. One of the decks also has a "split deck" meaning that pairs are different pictures, in the deck provided, it is adult animals and their babies so an adult horse has to be matched to a foal. Games are simple to choose from. Click a deck, then choose how many cards to show face-down (6,8,12,16 or 20). Once a match is made, the pair remains face up and the pair is narrated. Users can restart a game at any time or switch the number of cards in play.
Settings allow parents to turn sound effects on or off as well as turn on or off the ability to edit decks which will be a big deal to parents who spend a good chunk of time creating the perfect matching game only to have little Johnny erase them or rename all the cards or heck, make a bunch of cards of the ceiling. I love anything that blocks busy fingers from scribbling all over my hard work. The settings area also has a contact link and an external link to the developer website with a full tutorial for creating decks. The tutorial can be found here for anyone curious >>>>CLICK HERE<<<<. Although I think it's a very intuitive set-up, it's always nice to know you have a way to figure out how to make things work.
Now for the nitty-gritty of setting up those custom decks. As a parent to a kiddo with classic autism, there are a lot of areas of speach that need extra work and that need to be repeated over and over again. This kind of app is perfect for the repetition that can be fun. For instance, right now we are working on locations. So, I made two decks, one deck was simply matching the words for familiarity while the other deck was a split deck for matching antonyms for example "inside" matches "outside" and "on" matches "under". MyMemo makes this very simple to do. To add a deck, press the plus button. There is a choice between a regular deck or a split deck. Once that choice is made. 12 blank cards are shown and the work begins. Users can take a photo in-app (this will not go to your device's camera roll) or use a photo from the camera roll. Users can also choose to just use text. When adding a photo, parents can crop, rotate and zoom on the picture before saving. Once saved a voice recording can be made or left without narration. That's all it takes to get set-up so folks can spend as much or as little time creating decks as they feel is needed. While tinkering, I realized I could make several decks for working on locations with just text, antonyms and even with photos.
I found no bugs while rummaging around all of the apps special features. The one thing I do want to let users know is that photos taken within the app do not show up on the device's camera roll, so keep that in mind while trying to capture the perfect pose. If it's perfect, you'll have to take a screen shot if you want to show it to anyone else, but I loved that I wasn't filling up my camera roll with app pics. In future updates, I would really like to see an album of pictures that folks could pick and choose from as well as the ability to add text to cards within the app, since I found myself doing that elsewhere and then loading those pics into MyMemo.
Overall, I found the app useful and it delivers what it promises, a customizable matching game for educational use.