Memory Train

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Memory Train App Poster Image
Fast app aimed at young kids, but older ones will enjoy too.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Memory Train can help kids recognize shapes, colors, and patterns, as well as exercise their working memory as they attempt to recall certain details about objects that pass across their mobile device's screen. Memory Train is language-neutral (meaning, in this case, there are no words spoken), so it makes gameplay accessible to kids of all languages or with language processing delays. The speed of the higher levels may be challenging for some kids, so this app could present an opportunity to practice handling stress, too. Memory Train is a terrific-looking app that presents some formidable memorization challenges.

Ease of Play

There are no instructions at the start of this game, but it only takes a moment or two of watching the objects move across the screen to get the gist of what you're supposed to do. Then it's very easy to play.

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Consumerism

An "also by Piikea" icon on the main page links to the app developer's promotional page with other apps.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Memory Train is an engaging, fast-moving memory game. It can be helpful for kids who have visual processing issues, as they need to decipher color and shape at a quick pace. It can also be helpful for kids who need help with their working memory, as they need to remember the color shape they saw and identify it with three different paint colors. Kids watch objects move by on the screen as if they're riding on a train with "Spacey" the elephant. Once the objects are out of sight, they need to help Spacey recall the colors, shapes, and patterns of those objects. This game is "language neutral," meaning no spoken words at all, which makes it a bit confusing at the start. But it's easy for kids to catch on with the on-screen prompts. Once they do, hang on! The game gets progressively faster.

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What's it about?

Kids tap "Play" and choose an avatar. As scenery on the screen appears to move (as though the app's player is riding on a train), and the player watches objects pass by and needs to memorize the shape, color, or pattern of that object. For example, after a blue circle appears, passes by, and exits the screen, a gray circle appears with three buckets of paint around it. Kids have to recall the passing circle was blue and tap the blue paint bucket to earn points and a star. There are 10 levels, and up to four players can have accounts.

Is it any good?

MEMORY TRAIN is a cute, rather brilliant, way to promote attention and memory -- far more engaging than the standard memory flip-card games. Even though the graphics are geared toward younger kids, even kids to age 10 or so can build memory recall skills using this app, so older siblings may enjoy playing against younger ones and still feel challenged because of the increasing difficulty and speedy pace on the higher levels. After each round, kids earn rewards along the train track and watch points rack up for their individual characters. Up to four players can keep running scores on this app. The 10 levels get progressively faster (really fast) and more difficult in memory challenges, such as remembering details within patterns.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Alert your kids to the fact that this game may start out slowly, but gets moving at a pace that may take some getting used to. It's OK, don't give up.

  • Play other memory games like matching flip-card games or verbal memory games like repetitive songs, funny rhymes, or poems.

App details

For kids who love educational apps

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