Part of what I love about writing reviews is actually playing the app I’m reviewing myself. I generally do this will all apps that I know my children will be playing, mostly to see if it’s appropriate content. (Helpful tip – that’s something all parents should do when downloading a new app.)
Often I play the game for 30 seconds to do a full sweep for IAPs for tricky directions and then hand the iPad off to the kids. Every once in a while, though, I’ll find the game really engaging and I play longer.
Emil & Pauline in the City is one of those games. Right out of the gate the auditory instructions were clear and easy to follow. The adorable hosts Emil the elephant and Pauline the penguin explained how to match shapes and then look for them again in a busy city scene.
Objects and characters in the game are animated and cute, but all recognizable from every day life. Young kiddos won’t be confused or frustrated looking for things they’ve never seen before when playing seek-and-find.
I made a deliberate mistake by picking out the wrong shape and Pauline gently reminded me that I was wrong and I should try again. When I was right, I was encouraged to keep playing.
Seek-and-find games like this boost hand-eye coordination and memory skills, as well as build vocab by introducing new objects and words. What’s not in the app actually makes it perfect for preschool ages and early learners without being too difficult or too easy.
The lack of time limits, points, and written instructions really limits potential frustration during game play. There’s no in-app purchases or third-party ads, and the app is $1.99 in the App Store.