Paint it Back by Casual Labs is a great app that can effectively develop flexible thinking, pattern analysis and problem-solving in the context of an enjoyable, artistic game. Students first select a portrait by its descriptive name such as "Face of Halloween" and "Pony Close-Up." Next, they are shown a blank grid with a number on each row and column. The numbers guide the player to figure out which squares to fill in to create the portrait. By using logic and planning students can efficiently fill the colored squares to create the named object. The puzzles grow increasingly complex, with directions to skip squares and larger grids to fill, but hints are always available. Up to six player profiles can be created, and students receive approximately 20 portraits each for free with the option to upgrade to remove the ads and unlock additional puzzles. There is no timer, but students are rewarded for more efficiently solving the puzzles. There is an in-depth, step-by-step tutorial for students who need it, or students can choose to dive right in. Overall, this is a fun game that uses art to make it fun but develops flexible thinking and reasoning abilities.
- App truly feels like an enjoyable game, and most students will enjoy creating the unusual pictures.
- The app has no timer, no negative feedback, and unlimited hints.
- The app does a good job developing planning, thinking and pattern skills.
- The free version has prominent prompts to upgrade.
- The tutorial and instructions make the game feel complicated at first, so parents may want to try it first and explain it to some children.
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