Review: Swipea Tangram Puzzles for Kids Buildings & Houses is more of the same

Complete tangram puzzles of buildings and houses in this fun-to-play app.

Swipea Tangram Puzzles for Kids Buildings & Houses is a well-designed app with a strong puzzle mechanic, but some questionable choices related to control and distribution. The result is an app that your children will enjoy playing if they like puzzles, but that will almost certainly cause frustration to either them or you depending on how it is used.

Swipea Tangram Puzzles for Kids Buildings & Houses is very much the same as the other Swipea apps, so if you've played another one, it will work the same. If you haven't, the interface is designed to mimic the look of tangram blocks. It is a cool look, but it is also occasionally confusing as the blocks and buttons are rarely labeled. This will fade as you learn the interface, but the controls in the puzzles are equally frustrating, especially on the iPhone. Because of occasionally unresponsive controls, clunky turning mechanics, and a couple of extra steps when selecting blocks, it takes a bit longer to learn how to use this app than it really should.

These are admittedly small issues and overall Swipea Tangram is a fun app that works fairly well. The control issues are mostly related to intuitive actions that you expect to work and don't. The cost, however, is a decision that is hard to ignore. Each Swipea app is free with four puzzles and eight more for $0.99. However, there are more than a dozen total apps, each with the same pricing model. It's possible to spend $12 or more unlocking all of Swipea's puzzles, an unnecessarily high expense.

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