The Opposites

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
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Fast-paced word game teaches wide range of vocabulary.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn vocabulary words and develop a deeper understanding of their meanings by studying them with their antonyms. The word list starts with elementary level vocabulary, words like "fast" and "slow" and "always" and "never." Mid-level words include "novice" and "veteran" and "wax" and "wane." Highest level words, definitely SAT-caliber, include "compulsory" and "voluntary," "fission" and "fusion," and "odious" and "delectable." The dictionary definitions are concise and written for kids. The Opposites is great vocabulary practice, especially for preparing kids for testing that includes identifying antonyms.

Ease of Play

There are no instructions, but after a bit of trial and error, kids will figure it out easily.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The first page of the app includes an invitation to purchase another game, and the "More Stuff" icon on the main page links to more apps.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Opposites is a word game that makes learning antonyms fun. Players match opposite words as a girl and boy hurl words at each other that float above their heads. Their body language and facial expressions convey major attitude. Sensitive kids may notice and question their demeanor, but their snarky attitude is what makes the game fun. The vocabulary words and definitions are all appropriate for a wide range of ages, from upper elementary kids grasping the concept of word connotations to high schoolers prepping for the SAT or ACT.

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What's it about?

A girl and a boy appear in the bottom of the screen and fling words at each other. They take turns saying a word which then floats in a word bubble to the ceiling. Players tap a word and its opposite, which do not usually appear consecutively, to make them disappear and create room for more words bubbles. As the words fill the room, the girl and boy duck to avoid them, but when the room is filled with word bubbles, they all pop and the level ends. Players master the word level by matching twelve word pairs.

Is it any good?

The Opposites includes ten levels of vocabulary words, from level one words like "left" and "right" to level ten words like "efficacious" and "inefficacious." Understanding the opposite of a word is helpful in understanding its meaning. Since there are no instructions for game play, kids may need to fiddle around a bit to realize they need to tap a word and then its opposite and that once the room fills up, the bubbles pop, and the game ends. The first level is easy enough that kids can figure out the mechanics of play with the easier word set so they'll be prepared for the more advanced words in higher levels.

There is no penalty for guessing (the pair just turns red and then fades back to white) so that kids can learn the meaning of the words by experimenting. The app also has a dictionary to study before playing each of the 10 levels if kids want to prep before playing. The competitive attitude and body language of the two kids playing is part of what makes this app fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Play a game about using opposites by trying to have a conversation where you speak in opposites. Just be sure to explain that it is all in fun and keep it brief.

  • Talk to kids about how it feels when someone argues or says the opposite of what they say. Brainstorm ways to handle those heated situations.

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For kids who love words and learning

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