Review: Animals Spelling Game for Kids for Android features loud sounds and ads | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Animals Spelling Game for Kids for Android features loud sounds and ads

Help youngsters learn to spell with this free Android app's animal spelling game.

Your Android phone or tablet can be a great educational tool for your kids, with the right software. Softdiv's Animals Spelling Game For Kids is a super-easy game designed to help kids just learning how to spell with simple, familiar words. And what better source than animal names, which tend to be short and easy to spell but exotic enough to both challenge young learners and keep them interested.

Animals Spelling Game's main page has three buttons: Play Game, Top Score, and Exit. We started a game. Our first puzzle presented three letters; D, G, and O, above a cartoon picture of a pooch. We simply tapped the letters in the correct order, one by one, to make them appear in the blank spaces beneath the picture: D-O-G. The one downside for parents is that a fairly loud sound effect accompanied each press, even with our phone's sound off. Some words are very easy to spell, like BEE. Others are harder, like KOALA and PENGUIN. All the animals are cute and friendly; even potentially scary animals like bats and lions. A correct spelling produced a smiley face that we could tap to move on to the next puzzle; misspelling a word earned us a frowny face and another crack at spelling the word. When we finished a round, the app presented our score and even gave us a letter grade. We could also press Reset to start over or Home to return to the main page.

There are a couple of things about Animals Spelling Game For Kids that we're less enthusiastic about, starting with the obvious one, the ads, which are a questionable presence in any software targeted at kids, especially educational software. Of course, if it's your phone or in your name, the ads will reflect your preferences, but that might be just as problematic for some parents. We're also not crazy about the apparent inability to defeat the game's sound effects, even with the device sound off. We understand small children benefit from the auditory stimulus, but we still prefer the option to go completely sound-free. Nevertheless, Animals Spelling Game For Kids is a fun way to learn how to spell.

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