A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that PUZZINGO isn't a jigsaw puzzle like the icon may suggest. It's a straightforward game for toddlers and preschoolers that has them drag and place an object, number, or letter on the matching black shape while it's identified aloud. There are six categories that are unlocked as kids go: toys, alphabet, jungle animals, farm animals, sea creatures, and numbers. Animal sounds are made for animal shapes, and the louder toys get the appropriate sound effects. The menu offers "little kid" and "big kid" levels of difficulty but other than a box of objects that seems slightly harder to shake open, there doesn't seem to be much difference. A box pops up on the main screen offering a secret bonus puzzle if you leave a review on iTunes and email the developer.
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Is it any good?
PUZZINGO is a well-designed app that tots and preschoolers will take to right away. There are animals to drag into farm, jungle, and ocean scenes; numbers to place as candles on a birthday cake; letters that a clown holds as balloons; and toys to place on a big shelf. Kids shake a present open to unlock a couple objects at a time that they can place in the scene. When the objects are all placed, oodles of balloons ascend that kids can pop; on some pages there are buzzing bugs to squash too. Kids will be having too much fun to notice that they're learning their animals, numbers, and letters -- each time an object is placed it's also named in a child's voice. A simple menu lets you turn off the music, reset the game so kids can only do one scene at a time, and choose a difficulty level -- though "little kid" and "big kid" levels seem pretty much the same.
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