Puzzle Time (by Christopher Spence) is a kids’ iPad and iPhone Games app that features 200 overall jigsaw puzzles, currently in 4 different puzzle packs (plus hand drawn reward images), and all focused on helping to improve your child’s cognitive thinking, fine motor skills, and spatial awareness.
Kids these days are extremely fortunate to have super cool technology like the iPad and iPhone to explore traditional learning games on — especially puzzles. Puzzle Time! is a fine example of a simplistic and laser focused kids-in-mind-kind-of-design iPhone and iPad app. Since the app is designed for 2-7 year olds, the app has little to no navigation to get lost in, which works well for young kids (and parents). The opening screen has 5 overall navigation buttons, 4 puzzle packs and 1 button to restore purchases. Three of the 4 puzzle packs are locked and require in app purchase ($0.99) to get 40 more themed puzzels like Space, Pirates, and Train themes currently.
The Base puzzle pack features 80 puzzles and is accessed by tapping into this icon. Once inside the puzzle, the exploring begins for young users and kids will discover vibrantly colored puzzle pieces in a variety of specific geometric shapes and sizes just waiting for them to tap on and drag each of the pieces to its correct location, in order to fill in the solid gray shadow form hinting to what the overall image’s true identity is.
Part of the fun is having kids guess what image they think all the puzzle pieces together will eventually make. The user controls are extremely smooth and easy to use, and I found no difficulty whatsoever in touching and dragging each puzzle piece. There are sounds that go along with the puzzle pieces being placed correctly, and once a puzzle is completed a Reward Image (hand drawn) is provided along with an audibly-clear spoken narration for each image.
The only navigation from the puzzle packs is a blue button in the upper left that returns the user to the homescreen. There are no social media links, links to websites, nor links to rate this app in iTunes. The in app purchases for the additional puzzle packs will require an iTunes ID, as well as a password, and this and the related restore options as mentioned before are the only navigation paths that lead out of the application.
I played through 10 to 20 puzzles in the Base puzzle pack and found the game to be very responsive and fun — I imagine as a kid it would even be more fun. There are no menus to access specific puzzles, options to change settings, etc, which bothered me as an adult at first, but after immersing myself in the app and thinking from the perspective of a 5 year old, which is not actually that hard for me, I got it!
The “it” being the simplicity of design to keep kids focused on putting puzzles together and to provide fun learning experience without interruptions, while they unknowingly improve their cognitive thinking, spatial awareness, and fine motor skills. The only thing I would like to add to this app is more time viewing the reward image, and maybe the option to view all reward images in an achievement center, but this may destroy the whole intent of the puzzle difficulty for replay and/or limited navigation.
Not sure, but would welcome opinions. Thoughts? One other thing important to mention is that the developer is working on more free content for the Base puzzle pack, which shows continued support for your original purchase — which is awesome. Be sure to watch the Puzzle Time! iPad App Video Demo for a complete look at this iPad and iPhone Kids Games application.
Puzzle Time! iPad App Download Link
*Disclosure* The developer Christopher Spence and the iPad app “Puzzle Time!” are paid advertisers on http://www.crazymikesapps.com. However, we at CrazyMikesapps.com pride ourselves on finding, you, the consumer the most valuable applications (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android) to be presented on our website. CrazyMikesapps.com will not review or demonstrate any application if it does not hit a benchmark of at least 3 CrazyMikesapps’ Heads, based on our head-rating system, unless the application is being featured as a “Crap App,” in which said case, the application will clearly be disclosed as such.