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Hidden Pictures Puzzle Play

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
Hidden Pictures Puzzle Play App Poster Image
Fun, digital version of the beloved find-it magazine game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

While kids are learning new information, they can also build underlying foundational skills such as visual memory, visual attention and scanning which can help with reading and writing. 

Ease of Play

It's easy to choose a puzzle and start searching for hidden pictures. Kids might need some guidance initially how to find the first few items, as well as how magnify the screen to look in more detail.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hidden Pictures Puzzle Play is a digital version of the popular search-and-find game that appeared in print in the iconic Highlights magazine. During the free trial there's immediate access to over 125 different themed picture puzzles, with new games unlocked after additional puzzles are completed. A second game, Hidden Pictures Puzzle Races, is also included as players quickly search to find 25 of the same item in the illustration as the screen scrolls from right to left before the timer runs out. This app is free to try for two weeks but then requires a $3.99 monthly subscription fee. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

HIDDEN PICTURES PUZZLE PLAY app includes access to at least 125 different search and find picture puzzle games. Game play is just like in the traditional game featured in the printed version of Highlights magazine. In the app, once a game is chosen, an illustration will appear on the screen along with a menu of items to find. Players visually search the picture to find the items in the menu, until all the items are found. Illustrations include scenes of diverse people and animals engaging in activities, from places and scenes that span from finding everyday objects in the backyard to a foreign country. Players can choose to get help, which will focus their attention to a smaller location in the illustration. The picture can also be magnified to look at smaller areas of the image with even more detail. There's a second game, Puzzle Races, where players can race against the clock to find 25 of the same item, as the screen moves quickly. Playing games unlocks additional games. The free trial includes access to the games for two weeks, but after that it is a $3.99 per month subscription free to continue using the app.

Is it any good?

For parents who enjoyed these iconic puzzle games as kids in their own printed Highlights magazine, this app is a great way to share a  former favorite activity of with kids! The illustrations are beautiful, just like in the magazines, and include a diverse range of themes. The puzzles aren't leveled by difficulty, and while some are easier it seems to complete than others, many are also a good challenge for adults, too.  Make sure the kids are relying on their visual skills to look for the match, because it's simple to rely on just randomly tap on the screen and get lucky in finding a match. This is a fun, quick activity for kids to play at home or when traveling, but you'll definitely need to be aware of the billing cycle and make a decision on whether this app, at $3.99 per month (about $50/year), will be worth the price each month.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Hidden Pictures Puzzle Play can help kids learn to solve problems by focusing and paying attention to small details. When do we need to pay attention to details? Why can that be important?

  • Discuss remembering details. Use the puzzles to improve a child's confidence but suggesting that they complete the puzzle again after they finish it. Did you beat your previous score? Were you able to remember where most of the pictures were located the second time? 

  • Talk about perseverance. While there are clues to help kids who get stuck figuring out the solution, suggest that they save using clues until after they feel like they have exhausted all their options, rather than relying on the clue to finish quickly. 

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