The Flying Alphabetinis -- A Fingerprint Network App

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Flying Alphabetinis -- A Fingerprint Network App App Poster Image

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Social game blends easy, hard words for kid and parent fun.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn and practice spelling, word identification, and thinking skills. As they work to find letters near each other that spell words, kids identify letter pairs that make sound combinations and solving puzzles by looking at the word search board from different perspectives -- vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. Because this is a timed, turn-taking game, kids learn to work efficiently under pressure. Kids also get a safe, beginner's introduction to social gaming. Kids can practice a range of skills with The Flying Alphabetinis, and it's a great game for parents and kids to play together. 

Ease of Play

The word game is very easy to play. Some setup is required for the parent and kids' accounts. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchases are required to be able to use "power up" stunts that aren't earned during gameplay. There is the option to purchase all stunts with one in-app purchase, and they are usable forever after. Between rounds, the in-app purchases are promoted, and the app sometimes displays stunt icons as if they are an option but then tells kids if they don't have enough coins to use them. Other Fingerprint apps are also promoted on the Fingerprint page to which this app links. The $2.99 deluxe version of the app comes with a 5,000-coin bonus.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Flying Alphabetinis is a find-the-words game that kids can play with in-person family members or remotely with other players who are on the kid-friendly Fingerprint game network. Players trace a fingerline between letters that match up to earn points by making words within their two-minute turn. This circus-themed word search game gives kids hints of words they can spell by showing pictures of available words. Simple, three-letter words can be found on the game board right along with more adult-level vocabulary (such as "accost"), making it fun and challenging for parents to play with their kids. To use power-up plays that can provide hints and mix letters, players have to earn them during gameplay or make in-app purchases. The Flying Alphabetinis is a cute, beginner-style way for kids to start playing social word games like Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends

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What's it about?

Sign up for a Fingerprint account and create your kid's (or kids') user account. Kids can then play a practice round on their own or challenge someone in person or on the Fingerprint game network to play. To identify and spell words, kids simply swipe up, down, and across to connect letters that spell the words. Hints can be earned or purchased. Each player gets a two-minute turn to find as many words as possible. Kids get one point per word. Words are stacked for view after each round.

Is it any good?

There's a lot for both parents and kids to love about THE FLYING ALPHABETINIS. Parents can track kids' play, and kids can invite other kids they know who are also on the Fingerprint game network to play the word game against each other. Kids can find easy, three-letter words while older kids or parents can search out more difficult words to make the game more challenging for them. While in-app purchases are not ideal on games directed at kids in this age group, it is helpful that kids can earn stunts via gameplay as well as purchase them, or make a one-time in-app purchase for all stunts. Some of the hints make gameplay almost too easy, essentially telling kids the words. You can turn the (potentially annoying) circus music off in the settings. The Flying Alphabetinis is a great way to introduce kids to social word games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • If you're playing The Flying Alphabetinis with your kid and find a difficult word that he or she might not know, use it in a sentence or explain its meaning.

  • Ask your kid how they find words on the board, and reflect back what you're hearing about the methods they're using to encourage strategic thinking.

App details

For kids who love words

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