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iWriteWords is a neat little application which teaches kids the alphabet as well as how to form letters. The iPhone's touch screen is perfect for this sort of game.
Educational titles combine the fun of play with the self improvement of education. As recent research and educational approach in schools shows, these two bedfellows work very well together. Titles usually consist of a series of mini-tasks around a particular subject. Some games in this genre simply use the topic as a theme for its games, whilst others are more obviously education or coaching based. They all track various stats from the player's performance each day. This enables the game to provide feedback and advice about their progress or lack thereof.
This is a great idea for an iPhone learning game, since it would be difficult to use the concept on any other platform other than one with a touch screen - using a mouse to form your letters just wouldn't be the same.
The sound is pleasant to listen to, and the pictures drawn by children are a cute feature; I imagine children who enjoy playing the game might also enjoy submitting pictures to the developers for future releases, as suggested on their web site.
However, there are a couple of things missing, in my opinion. Firstly I would have liked to hear each letter or sound spoken as it was completed - or at least the whole word! Secondly, the only letters in the game at the moment are upper case - it would be brilliant if the developers would consider adding lower case letters to the game. If they did, then it would be a much more useful tool for parents who are supporting their kids' education.
Once you've learnt how to play the game, it's really easy to get Mr Crab to collect numbers in a sequence to form each letter. You have to be quite precise with your finger though, he won't let you be sloppy about the way you write!
We discovered the ABC song by accident when one of the children nearly dropped my phone! One of the features of the application listed on the web site was to 'play the ABC song by drumming', and I wondered where it was, as I couldn't see a link to it, and for some reason assumed that it would be a tap-screen option. In fact you simply move the iPhone gently to hear the song played on gentle chimes.
This is a quick game to play, in short bursts. If kids are really enjoying forming their letters they can also take a break and watch the playback of their own writing, which is a nice extra feature.
Obviously this is not an application for serious gamers; it's for children who are learning to write.
If you have kids of this age then it comes recommended as a worthwhile addition to your App Library; it seems that the programmers are intending to expand on it so I look forward to seeing what they add to updates in the future.
Whatever your usual gaming abilities; if you are ever in the company of a small child, you will have instant entertainment value!
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