Top Ten Children Apps
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Top Ten Children Apps
A review of the top ten kids games for the iPhone
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Purpose of this page

This is a review of the top ten games for kids on the iPhone. The games are as follows:

Angry Birds

Tiny Wings

Cut the Rope: Experiments

Fruit Ninja

Jetpack Joyride

Ski Safari

Doodle Jump

Flick Home Run

Tiny Tower

Where's My Water

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Fruit Ninja

Fruit Ninja

 

Creativity

Pros: great illustration, can taste the fruit juice, good use of finger as sword, original, simple idea.

Cons: maybe create imaginary fruits to add to originality.

 

Interactivity

Pros: fun use of swipe at the main menu, easy for casual gamer, anyone can play.

Cons: difficult to maintain interest for a serious gamer.

 

Sales/downloads

25,000,000+ downloads.

 

Marketability

Fruit Ninja has expanded beyond the app store and that’s crucial in marketing your product. It’s hard to market Fruit Ninja because there’s no poster image for the game. The only thing to market is the fruit. That said, they are on Xbox http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzsmDfKzk7M

 

Notes: You can’t help but feel like Zorro when playing this game. You slash the fruits in half and all that remains is perfectly sliced fruit and the trail of your ‘blade’. Arcade mode is an easy way to pass as a minute and classic mode can pass much more time than that. Fruit Ninja may also be the only game that’s truly playable for all ages. So long as you don’t swipe the black round things on the screen, you can play. Great for anyone.

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Tiny Wings

Tiny Wings

 

Creativity

Pros: great graphics, island-to-island variation, day to day board change.

Cons: hitting the hills can be difficult to master.

 

Interactivity

Pros: one-touch gameplay is simple, good achievements, hours of gameplay opportunity.

Cons: there’s only so much Tiny Wings one can play.

 

Sales/downloads

6,000,000+ downloads.

 

Marketability

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6582627/best-of-dorkly-angry-birds-vs-tiny-wings

Great game but not much to do in terms of expansion beyond the app. Unlike Angry Birds, there’s no opportunity for merchandising aside from the one tiny winged bird.

 

Notes: This game is an attention nightmare. Every time the sun sets on your bird, you can’t help but reflexively hit the ‘Play Again’ button. Get as far as you can and if you mess up play again. Tiny Wings uses one-touch gameplay beautifully and it’s a game anyone who understands the slopes can play. Great for 5+

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Ski Safari

Ski Safari

 

Creativity

Pros: great use of different animals, fun animation

Cons: somewhat repetitive

 

Interactivity

Pros: function of the different animals provides something new, fun to discover the ins and outs of the app

Cons: accomplishments are difficult to complete intentionally, you advance through chance more than skill, loses appeal if played as a ‘sit down and play’ gamer.

 

Sales/downloads

Similar to Flick Home Run, there doesn’t seem to be any reported information on the number of downloads.

 

Marketability

Seeing as it is also a relatively young app, less notoriety isn’t surprising yet that might be all it needs.

 

Notes: The game is rough combination between Jetpack Joyride and Tiny Wings. The accomplishment aspect of Jetpack Joyride coupled with the play style of Tiny Wings produced a great game in Ski Safari. This game is great, however, because it appeals to the casual gamer. You can play for bits at a time and it won’t lose its appeal. Of course, if you love the game, redundancy won’t affect you and you can play endlessly. Great game for 5+. 

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Where's My Water?

Where’s My Water?

 

Creativity

Pros: Storyline provides another element, you’re not just filling a meter, you’re filling a bathtub with an alligator in it, good illustration, has a fun, kid, feel.

Cons: Lacks concept originality as Enigmo is remarkably similar to this game.

 

Interactivity

Pros: numerous elements, inconsistent water stream is fun, though levels are similar there’s still a challenge to each one.

Cons: Limited precision in controls, difficult for little ones to play, same look from level to level with mild variations in route the water takes.

 

Sales/downloads

#1 on app store for 3 weeks, one month to 1,000,000 downloads.

 

Marketability

The success of the app has resulted in Disney creating a 12-episode web series based on the app. Pending the success of the web series, Swampy, the main character, may earn appearances on television and in advertisements.

 

Notes: Where’s My Water? is another great puzzle app. Unlike Cut the Rope, so long as 100% completion isn’t the goal on every level, this game is playable for all ages. Swipe away the sand so the water can get to Swampy. The ‘guess and check’ strategy is applicable for any level of gamer and Where’s My Water? ensures the casual gamer can enjoy as much as anyone.

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Doodle Jump

Doodle Jump

 

Creativity

Pros: illustration matches the name, fun use of monsters, the different themes, illustration sets game apart from similar play style.

Cons: can only be so original with this type of game.

 

Interactivity

Pros: very simple, perfect for passing 5-10 min, the occasional monster and power-ups give the game a little something extra.

Cons: gyroscope dependence makes it difficult to play on the move (or in a car seat).

 

Sales/downloads

15,000,000+ downloads across all platforms, 25,000 copies sold daily for 4 consecutive months (later taken over by Angry Birds).

 

Marketability

Kevin Durant (3x NBA scoring champion) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-4oDr_3IdQ

what more need be said?

 

Notes: This is the perfect game to pick up and play if you’re waiting in line, on a bathroom break, need a distraction for your kid, etc. It’s one of the more simple games on the market and it’s done very well. There’s limited replay value for a serious gamer but extensive replay value for a casual gamer. The reason being there’s nothing to accomplish (e.g. missions, levels, etc.) aside from a better high score. That said, how often is a little one trying to do anything other than jump as high as they can? Great game for anyone 3+.

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Check out my Tiny Tower!

Check out my Tiny Tower! | Top Ten Children Apps | Scoop.it
Check out my Tiny Tower!http://t.co/dPSixHd0 #tinytower...
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Tiny Tower

Tiny Tower

 

Creativity

Pros: very easy to look at, low res illustration positively contributes to the tone of the game, Super Mario Bros look with Sims gameplay, not too big to feel overwhelmed and not too small to feel claustrophobic.

Cons: a few of the icons are hard to recognize, not much to look at during “down” time.

 

Interactivity

Pros: brief and helpful tutorial, very easy to navigate the app, high replay value, low attention demand.

Cons: the game moves slowly if you’re a ‘sit down and play’ kind of iPhone gamer.

 

Sales/downloads

10,000,000+ downloads with 1,000,000 monthly users.

 

Marketability

Comparable to Sims (one of the most successful game franchises), not many games of this quality in its class.

 

Notes: You can’t lose in this game; you can only improve. This eliminates any sense of failure but sacrifices accomplishment.  The game forces its replay value a bit. When you’ve improved all you can and the city just needs to grow, you can do nothing more than leave the app. Despite the initial frustration of this experience, I found myself coming back. For those who loved playing the Sims as a kid, this is the best game resembling it. It’s hard to see any toddler playing this game but Tiny Tower is highly addicting for any age group 6+.

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Flick Home Run !

Flick Home Run

 

Creativity

Pros: no awkward floating bat, no clumsy pitcher, playful illustration with good landscape outside of the ballpark.

Cons: occasional ‘skip’ in the app forces you to guess pitch location.

 

Interactivity

Pros: simple baseball game, good level-up design, fun even for one at bat.

Cons: very slow start in terms of leveling up.

 

Sales/downloads

There aren’t any reported download records. This could be a result of the app’s limited exposure or relatively young age.

 

Marketability

This app has received limited publicity aside from internet attention. Flick Home Run is easily marketable to any baseball player and they’ve done a weak job of getting their product more on the map… relatively speaking of course.

 

Notes: I’ve had some of the most fun on my iPhone playing this game. I’m shocked Flick Home Run hasn’t received more notoriety for how good of a game it is. It’s one of the best parts of baseball (home runs) put into an interactive animation. Being a former Backyard Baseball player, I have a soft spot for baseball games and this is up there with the best. Even if the little ones don’t understand the leveling system, it’s an easy play for anyone. Definitely one of more fun games on the app store.

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Something to consider

The following is both the criteria I used to judge these apps as well as what I've learned from my experience.

 

Creativity, illustration quality, design, originality:

Make sure the images are exactly how you want them to look. Don’t shrug your shoulders and put a mediocre product on the market because everything these apps have in common is exceptional graphics. If the game isn’t original, make sure something is because otherwise you’re just another fish in the sea.

 

Interactivity, user-interface, playability, replay value:

If you’re designing a beautiful app, make sure you’re providing a reason for your customer to keep looking at it. Make the game challenging enough so the demographic of choice has fun but simple enough so the demographic of choice (and beyond) isn’t frustrated. Make them want something more from your app. And if you’re app is glitchy I’ll kill you.

 

Sales/downloads:

Get the app on the customer’s device before you do anything. This is easiest by either making the game low priced or free. Then, have a number of appealing in-game purchase opportunities to really make money.

 

Marketability, notoriety vs. success, can it survive beyond the iPhone:

If you want to make an app big, make sure it has a Wikipedia page. That’s often the first site Google shows in search results and you want your words being read instead of someone else’s. Also, go across platforms. My friend with an Android might want this app but the developers only made it iOS compatible. Everyone loses.

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Generating the list

As an avid iPhone gamer, I frequently check back to the App Store to see what new games have appeared. That said, there are apps that have come and gone without my notice. Regardless of the considerable amount of time both playing and growing bored of numerous games, there were a few I hadn't discovered. I turned to the internet to see what I missed and played through the apps I found. I boiled it down the the ten games you see above.

 

Personal experience, word of mouth, and the opinions of numerous websites including but not limited to the following:

 

http://www.148apps.com/top-apps/top-paid-iphone-apps/

http://iphonegamers.net/iphone-games-chart/top50/

http://bestappever.com/awards/2011/

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/0,28757,2044480,00.html

 

 

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Jetpack Joyride

Jetpack Joyride

 

Creativity

Pros: simple concept, great animation, lots of variation between costumes and jetpacks, fun vehicles, original presentation of an unoriginal game.

Cons: not original in game style.

 

Interactivity

Pros: great level-up system, plenty of replay value even if leveling up isn’t the primary goal, one-touch gameplay is easy to play with.

Cons: keep adding, there’s a lot to the app but there can be more.

 

Sales/downloads

25,000,000+ downloads, 24,000,000 of which came after the game downloaded for free. Revenue is generated from in-game purchases.

 

Marketability

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzxi8nid9BQ

The reuse of this Barry Steakfries lets a gamer that is familiar with Halfbrick find comfort in knowing they’re receiving a good product. Halfbrick delivers and they’ve provided another medium to connect with the gamer more: Youtube.

 

Notes: Anyone can enjoy this game. The simple nature of the controls and the numerous obstacles make the game incredibly fun. If you care to level up, it isn’t difficult, you just need to play. If you don’t care to level up, it isn’t difficult, you just need to play. Avoid the zappers and the missiles and see how far you get is as simple as it sounds and if you have an iPhone this app needs to be on it. It is free after all.

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Cut the Rope

Cut the Rope

 

Creativity

Pros: very unique style of gameplay, good design, responds well to your touch (gravity change for instance), great variation from level to level.

Cons: elements are difficult to control precisely.

 

Interactivity

Pros: early levels are great for little ones, puzzles are easy and you get to watch a monster eat candy, gravity control, race againt time, numerous interactive elements as the game progresses.

Cons: levels get harder too quickly for little ones.

 

Sales/downloads

1,000,000 downloads in first nine days, 85,000,000 all-time downloads, 20,000,000+ paid version downloads.

 

Marketability

Shows up on numerous ‘top app’ lists but doesn’t merit much attention beyond the internet.

 

Notes: This is one of the best puzzle games produced by the App Store. You cut a rope in the hopes that it lands in the monster’s mouth. The imagery is kid friendly, the puzzles start as playable for anyone, and it’s challenging enough to require multiple attempts at each level. Unfortunately, the easy levels only last so long. For a 5-, this game is great for about the first 15 levels but patience may run out quick for a little one. 5+ gamers will find exceptional replay value and a fun puzzle to solve whenever they open the app.

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Angry Birds

Angry Birds

 

Creativity

Pros: flows nicely, different objects and birds makes the game constantly fresh.

Cons: the pigs always seems to get away with those damn eggs.

 

Interactivity

Pros: sling-shot style is easy, unlimited replay value, simple enough to be beatable for anyone yet difficult enough to pose a fun challenge.

Cons: shot can release prematurely if receiving a text or update but a very minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.

 

Sales/downloads

Combined 1 billion downloads across all platforms and including both regular and special editions, Rovio (game developer) receives approximately US$1 million per month in revenue from the advertising that appears in the free Android version, 200 million monthly active users.

 

Marketability

Angry Birds is featured in theme parks, mentioned on Conan and The Today Show, and Aaron Sorkin says everyone’s doing it: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/aaron-sorkin-tina-fey-compete-171537

 

Notes: This is the most successful app of all-time and there’s a reason for it. Like most of the other apps on this list, you can play it anytime you need to pass time. What sets Angry Birds apart is the puzzle/action combination. You strategically release a bird from a slingshot and watch the mayhem that ensues. Rovio has done an exceptional job at making the game playable for all ages. Lots of action to this game and anyone who can drag their finger from right to left can play. 

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Finland will soon have an Angry Birds theme park! - Technology - May 4, 2012 - OMG Facts

Finland will soon have an Angry Birds theme park! - Technology - May 4, 2012 - OMG Facts | Top Ten Children Apps | Scoop.it
Finland will soon have an Angry Birds theme park! - Technology - May 4, 2012 - Your Mind. Blown - OMG Facts (Mira @saligula Finland will soon have an Angry Birds theme park!
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David Cameron spends “scary amount of time” on Fruit Ninja iPad ...

David Cameron spends “scary amount of time” on Fruit Ninja iPad ... | Top Ten Children Apps | Scoop.it
“a crazy, scary amount of time playing Fruit Ninja on his iPad”. As the UK economy slips back in recession and the Eurozone stands on the brink, it's nice to know that the Prime Minister's first priority is eviscerating cartoon fruit ...
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Amazon.com: The Smart Gamer's Guide to: Angry Birds Space, Golden Eggsteroid Walkthrough with Pictures, Hints, Tips, and Instructions. eBook: Jeff Taylor: Kindle Store

In case you need a strategy guide...

 

Amazon.com: The Smart Gamer's Guide to: Angry Birds Space, Golden Eggsteroid Walkthrough with Pictures, Hints, Tips, and Instructions.

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