Twit or Miss
Roald Dahl’s Twit or Miss is compatible with Android, iOS, and there’s even a flash version of the game on Roald Dahl’s website. The game is free to download and play. Apple rates it for ages 9 – 11, School Library Journal for grades 3 – 7, and Children’s Tech for grades 2 – 8.
The premise of the game is quite simple: stop flying food from hitting Mrs. Twit by flicking it out of the way. The amount of rounds you play before the game is over is determined by how many times food hits Mrs. Twit – you can keep playing until she wakes up. Player’s familiar with Dahl’s The Twits will be amused by the game, as it really is based off the book – you get bonus points for flicking food back at Mr. Twit, and having it land in his beard. Worms will also periodically appear that you must destroy with bits of food to keep them from crawling on Mrs. Twit.
I enjoyed this app more than I probably should have. The first few plays through were difficult, but once I figured out the proper angle with which to flick the food, it became entertaining and I enjoyed the (gross) simplicity of it. There are also missions, like popping the pie a certain amount of times, or getting food to land in Mr. Twit’s beard a certain amount of times. Completing a mission gives you bonus points.
The game seems age-appropriate, even if the age-ranges differ some in the reviews. The worst, non-gross part of the game is when Mrs.Twit wakes up and whacks Mr. Twit with her cane. This happens every time you lose the game, and could be seen as a mild concern to some. The game delivers what it advertises – keep food away from Mrs. Twit, or she’ll wake up. The game has no third party advertising, and there’s no worry of in-app purchases. Both School Library Journal and Horn Book rate the app favorably overall.
Grabarek, D. (2016). A “Completely and Utterly Disgusting” Game, Among Others. School Library Journal. Retrieved from web.
–, (2016). Roald Dahl’s Twit or Miss. Children’s Technology Exchange Review. Retrieved from web.
Saunders, M. (2016). Roald Dahl’s Twit or Miss App Review. Horn Book. Retrieved from web.
Sago Mini Babies Dress Up
Sago Mini Babies Dress Up is an app designed for both iPad and iPhone intended for preschoolers. It’s not yet been released on any other devices. It’s free – one of the few free apps that Sago Mini maintains. Upon opening the app for the first time, you’re greeted by four baby animals. By tapping on of the animals, you learn their name (Jack, Jinja, Harvey and Robin) and are moved to a different screen to dress the baby animal.
There are three types of items, and roughly a dozen options in each type. Discarding or placing an article of clothing onto an animal will garner a response – anything from indifference to crying. They will also on occasion reach for an item if they desire to wear it. I (unintentionally) ended up dressing the cat in something it didn’t enjoy at all and it was annoyed with me until I changed its outfit later.
Once you’ve clothed all the animals, you can take their photo out on the front step. I did this, and you can see the cat (Jinja) is still annoyed by my clothing choices for them.
The game is advertised as teaching dressing skills based on pretend play, and I can see this – you can only put the items in one place for them to be added to the animal, otherwise they fall off the screen. Horn Book’s review of the app also notes that paying attention to the emotional responses of the animals could also help with practicing identifying emotional cause and effect. There is also a “For Parents” section on the start screen, which explains how the game is played, and a bit about why the game was created.
Overall, the app is age-appropriate, it does what it says it will – allows you to dress up animals without needing wi-fi or internet, and there is no advertising or in-app purchases. Horn Book, as mentioned above, reviews it favorably. It’s a relatively new app (released in August 2016), and is not yet on Common Sense Media, though the site does review almost all of the other apps the company creates quite highly.
Bircher, K. (2016). Sago Mini Babies Dress Up. Horn Book. Retrieved from web.
–, (2016). Sago Mini Babies Dress Up. Children’s Technology Exchange Review. Retrieved from web.