Sembl is the new offering from the creative folks at Artgig Studio for kids that are a little bit older and adults. Players are presented with multi-colored designs that differ in shape, orientation of design, and coloring; and the task is to replicate it from the model. It sounds easy, but you’ll need to be fully aware and cognizant of how each feature is layered to be successful. It facilitates spatial awareness by challenging the visual motor system as well as critical thinking and problem solving. Both are necessary and work in tandem to learn the sequence of how things work. Through gameplay older children and adults learn to better navigate their environment, complete fine motor tasks, but most of all learn to wait to gather information before acting. Impulsivity just returns the player to the starting point of that particular challenge for a redo. And we all know what a drag that is! There are 2 levels of play, the challenge level, and the journey level. The Journey level is the place to start as each player begins to learn the inherent logic and sequences of recreating certain patterns that are presented within 32 levels of play without constraints of time. In total, there are over 190 puzzlers to figure out. Gameplay begins with viewing a model; then creating a form, coloring it in, stenciling or punching it with a design, and you may also need to change its orientation or tilt. Any one of these steps may be first, and that is where the fun begins. Tip: The orientation sequence can be a killer when there are cut outs within the design. The Challenge mode sets the player up against the clock. Easier challenges are interspaced with more complex designs to copy, giving one time to catch their breath. Time runs out when one fails to sequence a puzzler correctly. Stats for play can be found on the homepage, as well as standing against other players. I love the clean graphics and lack of verbal input. The design lends itself as a play invention just waiting to happen. Settings also allow for turning the music off if it is distractible. Good to know: There are ads in this freemium app. There is a one-time minimal charge to remove them to buy the whole game. I chose this option because of wanting to present it for clinical use. The gameplay isn’t affected by the ads, but I prefer to have them off if using with kids on caseload. One clinical caveat for play is that the simple act of motor planning on a 2D field helps transfer the skills to practical life. We often use iPad apps to give someone confidence and some competencies when learning a new skill or task. In summary, I would highly recommend Sembl. Gameplay is just pure addictive fun, and A TWA Top Pick. Let's also give a round of applause for Artgig Studio for creating something outside the box and for older kids - and even a game adults will love. Check out their website at artgigapps.com to learn more about this wildly creative company.
Written by Jo Booth
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.
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