Even Up Kids!

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Even Up Kids! App Poster Image
Absorbing number puzzler just the right level of challenge.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to think strategically and plan ahead by practicing the skills used in Even Up Kids! They'll develop self-confidence as they see their mistakes, then go back and correct them to complete the puzzles. They'll learn to look at each move they make critically to decide if it's the best move or not (and they get unlimited do-overs, which encourages them to experiment and make risky choices). Once kids have completed 50 puzzles, they get the chance to create their own games, which is a nice payoff for sticking with the game. Solving puzzles is a great way to keep brains active and learning, making Even Up Kids! a fun number game with an edge. 

Ease of Play

Challenging puzzler requires focus and thoughtful planning but is pretty simple in concept. Dragging numbers together is not adding them together but is rather adding one to the number, which takes some getting used to.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Even Up Kids! (the Android version is just called Even Up) is a sudoku-like puzzler that's fun and challenging but not so hard that older elementary school-age kids won't be able to master it. The first five levels are guided, and then kids are on their own to complete the increasingly challenging levels with no hints. They can undo steps as often as necessary to replay the level or just go back and fix a bad move. Kids do have the option to log in to Game Center to share scores, and they can create and share their own puzzles once they've completed 50 levels. 

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What's it about?

Starting with a four-by-four grid, kids match like numbers, dragging one to the other to combine them. Each time two equal numbers are combined, they increase by one, and that new number must then be combined with another equal number until the board is cleared of all but one number. Puzzles get increasingly more challenging as you advance through 125 levels. There's no help or hints available, but kids can undo a move one step at a time or restart an entire puzzle with no penalty. Once they've completed at least 50 levels, they can create and share their own puzzles.

Is it any good?

EVEN UP KIDS! offers just the right level of challenge -- not so hard as to be discouraging but challenging enough for kids to get a thrill from completing a level. The concept is unique and forces kids to focus and plan ahead to strategically match numbers in a way that will clear the board. Since kids can undo steps, they can fix their mistakes and learn from them -- a great life lesson in improving and learning. The 125 available levels could challenge kids for hours of play, and the opportunity to create their own puzzles is just icing on the addictive cake.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about about the importance of planning ahead as a strategy. Talk about other times in life and games when they may have think a few steps ahead to succeed.

  • Have a friendly family competition: Create your own Even Up puzzles and share them with each other. 

App details

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