Word Runners - Touch Press Games

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Word Runners - Touch Press Games App Poster Image
Words come alive, kids foil obstacles in fun story puzzles.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about strategy and problem-solving as they experiment with how to get past obstacles. They also must consider the meaning of each word they read to think about how it might be useful to them. It will take some logical planning and sequencing to get the order and combination of words right to meet each obstacle at the right time with the right tools. The stories also present topics that may pique kids' interest to learn more and might add to a kid's vocabulary.

Ease of Play

An easy-to-follow tutorial starts kids off on the right foot. But without any help option during gameplay, some kids might get stuck.

Violence

Some challenges involve extremely mild cartoon-like violence such as scaring away a thief with a sword.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

A free trial introduces kids to the game, but parents need to buy a monthly subscription to continue playing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Word Runners - Touch Press Games is available only as part of a series of games, each with its own learning theme. Every game has a brief free trial period, and then parents purchase a monthly or yearly subscription for an all-access pass that allows kids to play all the games in the series. Each game also is available to purchase individually. Word Runners - Touch Press Games focuses on reading comprehension and vocabulary. Kids lead Annie or Felipe on adventures and use words to overcome challenges along the way. The games rely on kids reading and making decisions based on what's in the text, so kids need to be comfortable readers to play. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Use words to overcome obstacles and finish the story in WORD RUNNERS - TOUCH PRESS GAMES. A quick tutorial shows kids how to literally pick up clues in the text that may prove useful further along. Tap the down arrow when your character is standing on top of a word -- such as "ax" -- to grab it and use it later to chop down a tree. Other words change environments, such as the sun melting a block of ice, or combine with other objects. Five adventures each have multiple levels and discuss a historical story, such as the origin of the Olympics or Charles Darwin's adventures.

Is it any good?

This clever puzzle game will get kids thinking about the meaning of words and how to take advantage of their meaning. As kids explore and experiment in Word Runners - Touch Press Games, they'll discover which words will help them overcome all the obstacles in their path. Kids also will consider the meanings of words and how they relate to each other. The writing is clearly designed to make the puzzle as interesting and challenging as possible rather than to be sophisticated literature or top-notch historical sources. Yet kids may still learn some tidbits about, say, the Civil War or space exploration. At the very least, the stories may pique their curiosity to learn more. Unfortunately, there's no hint or help system. When kids are stuck, the only options are to keep persisting or give up, both of which could cause some frustration. Kids may quickly run through all the adventures, but since Word Runner - Touch Press Games is part of an ever-growing series, parents can either stop paying the subscription when kids are done or use their subscription to check out other available games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the stories in Word Runners - Touch Press Games. Pick a topic that particularly interests your kids and help them research it to learn more. Read about Charles Darwin or find more stories about the origin of the Olympics and Greek gods.

  • Ask kids to share new vocabulary words they come across. Help them define the words and use them in context.

  • Play with your kids to figure out the puzzles together. What is the best way to get around that thorny bush? Put your heads together to figure it out!

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension, vocabulary
    Social Studies: historical figures, history
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy
  • Price: Free trial, then $4.99/month
  • Pricing structure: Free to Try (Seven-day free trial, then purchase a subscription for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.)
  • Subscription price: $4.99/month; $49.99/year
  • Release date: February 16, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Adventures, History
  • Size: 370.00 MB
  • Publisher: Touch Press
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love word games and reading

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