Mandarin Madness (by Native Tongue) is an impressive education app that introduces 240+ Chinese words throughout 41 levels and 3 stages of arcade gaming fun, providing a very memorable learning experience. Honestly, when I first opened this app I was not overly impressed with the 2D graphics, and I was a little confused overall on how I was going to learn Chinese while playing a game. However, my confusion quickly changed after diving into the first themed game pack, which was animals. Before going on, let me give you the premise behind this education app. Mandarin Madness is an application that helps you learn Mandarin Chinese through arcade-style gameplay. You may think to yourself this sounds rather odd, which is kind of what I thought. But, after getting into the animal-themed game pack, which features 3 game packs with 15 levels each, I discovered that the learning method in this app seems to be highly effective.
The learning process takes place like this: The first level in each pack is the introduction learning level and has a simple infograhic showing how to play the game. This level of gameplay is all about learning and comprehending content for the upcoming levels. In the beginning, a bubble falls from top to bottom containing a Chinese character(s) for the animal picture that is displayed in the bottom bar. This Chinese character (word) is also pronounced to you while the bubble falls, so you must take in not only the sound you hear, but also the visual written Chinese Character (word) for the animal. Why? Because the next level will have a falling bubble, but will place 2 animals in the bottom bar for you to choose from, hopefully you remembered the sound and/or the character, because you must select the correct animal before the bubble reaches the bottom bamboo bar. If you don’t correctly guess the animal, you will lose 1 of your 4 hearts (lives).
The next level (level 3) introduces 3 animals and the difficulty factor continues with more animals being added each time until the method changes. The next method after, which is still in the same game pack, has a bubble falling but with no pronunciation, and again you start with 2 animals and this again progresses in difficulty by adding more animals. The methods continue to change providing less information and requiring the student players to use their memory recall to correctly identify the animals in this case (as do the other game packs). I found that in a short time I was starting to learn Chinese words, think it was due to the repetition of the audio and visual components. I also found that it was engaging, pleasant, and mostly fun, except when I lost a heart.
It was after I played through 3 or 4 game packs that I got to the point where I began to struggle and knew the only way to really move on was to return to the first screen (the learning screen), to absorb and pay more attention to the Chinese characters and pronunciation as the bubbles fell. I would suggest using a note pad to reinforce yet another learning method; you are actually creating study guides for later use. Mandarin Madness is a gem of a learning application, with a great concept for combining education and gaming fun — I found myself learning Mandarin Chinese rather quickly, but realistically you’ll have to immerse yourself in more than just this app to learn Mandarin Chinese, but this app is a great entertaining introduction aid to anyone doing so, and for only $0.99 — that’s Crazy. For more iPhone app videos check out our iPhone video app demos. Crazy Mike
Mandarin Madness iPhone App Details
Title: Mandarin Madness
Size: 15.8 MB
Developer: Native Tongue Pty Ltd
Store: iTunes App Store
Mandarin Madness iPhone/Android App Download Links
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*Disclosure* The developer Native Tongue Pty Ltd and the iPhone app “Mandarin Madness” are paid advertisers on http://www.crazymikesapps.com.
Mandarin Madness iPhone App Developers Description