1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Itsy Bitsy Spider, by Duck Duck Moose
    $0.99, ****


    Simple singing fun for young kids
    Easy interface for kids to learn

    Song gets repetitive with only a few changes to gameplay

    [Comment: Before the start of this past semester, I received a few promo codes to review apps. I am working my way through the backlog. This app may have given me a promo code, I am sure. Normally I have a disclaimer stating if a promo code has been received, but due to the reasons mentioned, I am not including this disclaimer]

    Itsy Bitsy Spider is a app focused on young kids really young kids. Pre-toddler, most likely, kids that are still giggling with delight when songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider are played. Given the general age of the audience, I dont know howrealistic it is for them to have an interactive song on the iPhone, as a two or three year old might not be adept at using the interactive features.

    Itsy Bitsy Spider is a simple app. You follow the story of the spider traveling up the side of a house in a water spout. But alas, the weather has changed, and rain causes the spider to take a fall from the top of the house. Never fear! The sun is coming out, which luckily dries out the spider, so he can start the trip back up again.

    As the song is playing in the background, you can tap the screen for various effects. Tap various objects on the screen (a slug, the sun, a flying bird, a squirrel) for entertaining responses (the bird, for example, will drop the hat it is carrying). When you tap the spider, you get the next round of the song. The app is broken down into three scenes in front of the house (used for the start of the song, and when the rain washes the spider out), the roof (used when the spider climbs to the top), and the yard (when the spider is drying out).

    Unfortunately, that is the limit of the song. I would have loved to see some more features to engage the child for example, a demonstration of the hand motions for the song, or having the words to the song appear so more advanced children can start the process of reading. As it is, young children may very well love the app the song is something they know, they can sing along, and seeing the interactive environment may be lots of fun. However, the simplicity of the app limits the range of the audience. My daughter looked at it twice, and that was it. I would suggest an age range from about two years old to four years old.

    The app does do something I like a lot. Many of these childrens apps may stress the educational nature You can talk about where rain comes from with your child!. I hate that. This app, however, takes it one step farther. There is a fly in each scene, and if you tap the fly, it will mention 15 interesting facts about nature, animals, weather. This is a great way for very young kids to start to think about the world around them. Too many times the app could include this kind of information, but simply doesnt. So kudos to Duck Duck Moose for including it!

    All in all, this is an app aimed at young children, and most of them will probably enjoy it. You will probably know if you kid would like the app or not. I warn you, if they start playing with it, be ready to hear the song over and over and over and over. The app includes a nice educational feature, but I feel they could have done more with the song itself. At $0.99, it wont break the bank, so if you have a young child who might enjoy it, I recommend giving it a try. Four out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. 
    05-04-2010 02:17 PM