Oh yes indeedy, they are back! Those cute little balls of attitude are back in Thinkrolls 3 – Kings and Queens by Avokiddo. It is a must have…especially if your kids have grown up with Thinkrolls 1 & 2. As with all the Thinkrolls episodes, it is filled with puzzlers challenging your abilities to think logically using your super powers and knowledge of physics, mechanics, and most all – how to have fun. This game is a little bit harder in terms of problem solving than the first two games, but it is well worth the effort to THINK and ROLL with a plan of action and learn from the outcomes. This episode begins with classic Thinkroll play set in a castle with a friendly giant pet dragon. Gameplay is driven by the basic goal to move your Thinkroll through a series of mazes and overcome obstacles in the path to grab a key and unlock a gate to the next level. In Kings and Queens, the absolute best feature is the ability to design your own Thinkroll. By solving the puzzlers in the castles, you can earn features for adorning your little critter, and guarantee investment in return play value. Surprises line the halls of the mazes, tasty treats, and gems to trade the dragon for accessories as well as ridding the place of bats and spiders are a plenty. The magic of these items is that they serve as an alerting tool to keep kids focused and on task. Parents, teachers, or clinicians can determine the level of difficulty and set the app on easy or hard mode of play AND track multiple kids in play. There are 115 easy puzzlers and 113 hard ones. Within each of the six modules are levels containing an irresistible play invitation. So irresistible, in fact, that it is hard for adults to let children play without meddling “just to help”. The focus is on building executive functioning skills of memory, persistence, inhibition and patience to learn from your mistakes and adapt accordingly. All levels are built with lessons learned from previous levels and introduce the ability to generalize knowledge. Here are some of the tools to employ within each module and the lessons that are reinforced therein:
• The Gear and Rack – Learn how simple machines work by combining gears and racks to make elevators and conveyor belts to move about the maze. Tip: Some of the mazes have a lever where you can move the gears and rack several times for additional movements of tools to clear pathways.
• The Chest and Bridge – By moving the chests around in the maze, they can cover traps or holes. The concept to play is learning about gravity, force, compression, and tension. Tip: Build stacks from the chests to make access easier for your little Thinkroll, or slide them across a wooden bridge. The chests are great for breaking the bridges if tossed from above to clear a pathway to a lower level. Many times, the bridges won’t break if you do not have the correct amount of momentum and force.
• Crocodile and Harp – Alas the only thing that lulls that snapping croc asleep so you can tippy toe over him is the harp. Getting the harp to the croc is a feat. This section challenges spatial relationships and planning. Tip: And that requires lots and lots of trial and error. (This is one of the favorites of kids everywhere.)
• Ghost and Mirror – Yes, even after battling bats, spiders, and sneaking by a sleeping crocodile pit; there are castles ghosts to contend with and shoo out of the way. How do you do it? Why of course using their reflections in a mirror! Tip: The challenge is to wheel your mirror into a light beam, and to do it, the angle of the light reflection must be precise. The Mirrors are also great to break up a bridge if needed.
• Hatch and Lever – Doors and traps can be switched open and closed using a lever. It’s all about the mechanics of using simple machines and moving objects about to clear a pathway. Tip: These levers can be opened and closed as many times as you need to move objects, but you’ll need to synchronize and time the opening and closing or it’s back to the drawing board!
• Flying Potion – Crack the vial open, and you can fly! The potion teaches about gravity and reverse gravity. Tip: Be sure to plan where the vial is going to crack open, or you’ll end up at a dead end and need to start over.
Avokiddo clearly puts their all into every product they produce for kids. The experience of discovery is an amazing incentive to keep trying to overcome the next challenges that arise. The graphics are absolutely delightful, and the sound effects tickle the funny bones in every language around the globe. This outstanding app, or in fact any of the Avokiddo apps are a sound investment in the future for kids everywhere. This is why TWA, awards them our Highest Recommendation Award and is a Top Pick. Check out their website for more info. Available on iOS, Google Play, and Amazon.
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing in Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps has been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.