Sunday, April 22, 2012

Apps We Love: “One. Two. Match-A-Roo” and “Match the Pairs – Junior Edition”

Two extremely well-designed apps—One. Two. Match-A-Roo by CMCD Visual Symbols and Match the Pairs by Fabrik 19—take the concept of the classic match game to the digital world. Both apps are perfect examples of the idea that kids learn by doing; and that important skills—like memory development and quick visual analysis—are best achieved if kids are having fun. You’ll want in on these apps, too. Like the best apps, they’re engaging for every user.

One. Two. Match-A-Roo was created by CMCD Visual Symbols, the same company that created the wonderful Critteroos and features the same beautiful animal photographs. This is a classic “Concentration” style game where users turn over animal photographs—two at a time—until they get a match. The customizable aspects of this program are easy to navigate. Users can choose the types of matches they want to seek: either a two-of-a-kind exact match, same animal/different view, or a full and close-up view of the same animal. Users also get to choose from sets of farm animals, pets, animals of the forest, and wild animals. And users get to choose whether they want to play with twelve, sixteen, or twenty cards, so even the youngest players can participate, but older kids won’t easily get bored.

With the sound turned on, the app will announce the name of the animal as each card is turned over and it’s available in English, Spanish, French, and Mandarin. This game is challenging without being frustrating, the perfect app for play among mixed ages of kids, even adults. Everyone can participate at every level. It’s a simple concept, but the app is so beautifully done, so well designed, and so easy to navigate, you won’t find a better match for your family.

Match the Pairs – Junior Edition is a truly challenging variation on classic match games. This app is very easy to navigate and easy to play, but truly challenging to master, which makes it an app with the potential to give you and your kids years of enjoyment. And I do mean enjoyment. At the top level, the puzzles are extremely challenging but always fun.

Match the Pairs is designed for three different age levels of play: four plus, six plus, and eight plus. At the four plus level, players can choose to match colors, animals, marbles, and letters of the alphabet. For example, if you choose animals, eight illustrations of animals are revealed above a line, with eight matching pictures placed randomly below the same line. Players tap the matches, matching the illustration of the horse above the line and tapping the horse below the line. Oh, did I mention that players have thirty seconds to match all the pictures?

Players can easily try again until they complete the task in the time allotted and can continue trying to beat their personal best time; and players can compete against friends and parents, too. Even at level four, the challenges are formidable. Matching the marbles reveals eight striped marbles with color variations that make the game a real challenge. In matching letters, the “W” above the line is a different color from the “W” below the line, so players must hone their skills of observation and must think quickly if they want to improve their scores. And let me tell you, the brain teasers at the eight plus level are challenging for grown-ups (me, precisely) with games such as the clever “Angler reflections” where players are asked to match various illustrations of a fisherman with his image as reflected in a pool of water. I’d love to tell you my best score, but I haven’t managed to finish this puzzle in the allotted forty-five seconds, which frankly tickles me.

Match the Pairs offers more than brain teasers; these are seemingly simple puzzles that challenge the user to hone their skills of visual analysis, and to do it quickly. You can download the “lite” version of this game for free, but at 99 cents for the “pro” version, I can’t imagine a better bargain. YOU will thoroughly enjoy this app. Just don’t forget to share it with your kids.

We are giving away five Match the Pairs – Junior Edition. Just be one of the first five to leave a comment to this story with a way to reach you (such as email address) or email me directly at

Review Summary:
App Name: One. Two. Match-A-Roo.
Category: Education
Age Level: 4+
Updated: July 29, 2011
Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, requires iOS 4.2 or later.
Price: $1.99
Bottom Line: Easy to use; beautiful animal photos; an instant classic.

App Name: Match the Pairs – Junior Edition
Category: Education
Age Level: 4+
Updated: April 12, 2012
Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Price: $.99
Bottom Line: With challenging puzzles at every level, you and your kids will not get to the bottom of this app any time soon.

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