Review: Swipea Tangram Puzzles for Kids Wild Animals offers animal education

Breed a love of puzzles and wildlife in this well-made tangram puzzle app.

Swipea Tangram Puzzles for Kids Wild Animals marries the classic tangram puzzle formula Swipea is known for on iOS with wild animals--a children's staple. The result is a well-made app that works as intended, but has some potentially frustrating issues related to its interface and controls.

Having tested numerous Swipea tangram puzzle apps, we know that the interface here is the same as in matching apps. So there are the same issues that you will find in the others, including an initially confusing menu system that uses abstract tangram pieces for buttons with no labels. This is a small issue but can be frustrating to start. The other major issue you will find in Swipea's apps is in the control structure, especially on iPhone. While iPad controls are better due to the larger screen, on the iPhone the pieces don't always respond as intended, and are hard to move and harder to turn. All of this fades as you grow used to the peculiar way the app operates, but it is a major stumbling block in the early stages and could lose a child before he or she gets drawn into the game.

Finally, there is the issue of cost. The trial version of Swipea Tangram Puzzles for Kids Wild Animals only features five tangram puzzles with the others costing $0.99. This is fine in most apps, but when you consider how many other puzzles are spread across Swipea's other Tangram apps, it can get costly fast if your children enjoy the puzzles. Nonetheless, despite its drawbacks, this is an ultimately well-made, enjoyable app that is both educational and entertaining.

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