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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Chicktionary is a fun "edutainment" word game with a poultry theme. The goal of Chicktionary is to create as many words as possible from seven letters displayed on a row of cartoon hens. There are many levels, and play can be timed or untimed so the game can be shared between kids. If kids choose to see a definition of their word, they are taken to a web search that can contain unrelated results. There is a free HD version for iPad that has a few additional features and is supported by in-app banner ads. Players can share high scores by connecting the app to Facebook or via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
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What's it about?
CHICKTIONARY shows players seven letters (on the bellies of seven chickens), and they must try to create as many words as they can with those letters. Players tap a letter, and an egg with that letter drops below the chickens into the word-building window. When players have a word ready to submit, they tap "Enter." Valid words appear above the chickens in the egg crate. The egg crate holds groups of eggs, which represent all the words players must find to win. The "Beak Sneak" and "Free Bird" buttons provide hints to help struggling players.
Is it any good?
While the constant clucking in CHICKTIONARY might ruffle some parents' feathers, this cute app makes word challenges fun for kids. Tapped letters drop down as eggs, which are added to an egg crate when kids successfully spell a word. Wrong words receive scolding squawks, and tile shakeups make feathers fly. Older kids might tire of the pervasive chicken theme after a while, but kids practicing their reading skills will find this game a crackup.