Just 2 Fun is the newest game app by developer Adveractive Inc. Created by famous puzzle maker David L. Hoyt (of Jumble fame), this puzzle app is geared toward children age 8-13. The words and clues focus on vocabulary and ideas that are familiar and popular with children. Kids will definitely stretch their brains to figure out what the picture represents. And with over 300 puzzles, it's an app that will keep them busy for awhile!
The app is easy to use, and begins with a detailed and walk-through on how to play. Two photographs appear representing a two word answer to the puzzle. Children must use the letter tiles at the bottom to create each word (and they can be solved in any order). The pictures are crisp and clear, and seem simple enough - until you get going! Some puzzles will really have children thinking outside the box.
If a child gets stuck, they can tap on David's hint. David peeks around the side of the screen and offers a short descriptive hint for the word. Usually it involves a sentence with blanks to help the student out. The hint is written and is not narrated. Children can also tap the star button for more help. If the hint doesn't work, they can have the letters shown or color code the letters to see which letters belong in which word. These helpers cost coins which are earned for correct puzzles. However, a pop-up appears letting you know that even if you run out of coins - David will give you more, so you'll always have help.
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This is a fun puzzle game that I actually let my students try when I was in a bit of bind. At first I wasn't in love with just letting them play - until I took a closer look at the app. My children were thinking in a whole new way about pictures and clues, and using logic skills that we don't practice enough. In the end, I was confident that my students were using problem-solving skills that are often missing from their day to day lives. I appreciated that some of the puzzles were easy, and others were trickier. Using homophones was a great touch that my teacher soul loved, (for example, using a picture of toes for tow). It was an instant mini-lesson for my kids. The hints are great - though I'd love to see an option to have them narrated for my low level readers. I also liked that even if a child runs out of coins, there is no additional purchase needed for help. This creates a token system without the worry of running out of money.
Overall, Just 2 Fun is a great puzzle game for your upper elementary or middle school student. It stretches their thinking and puts rusty logic skills to work. It would be the perfect app to download for that long road trip to Grandpa's house this holiday season.
Just 2 Fun is availabe for download via the iTunes App Store - iOS Universal
RRP - $1.99/£1.49/€1.49
At the time of this review, there were no ads, in-app purchases, or external links in the app. There is an email link at the bottom of the puzzle screen for additional help. Users can send an email of the puzzle they are on asking for help using your email provider.
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, teacher, and technology coach. She admits an addiction to word puzzles and loves to beat her husband at them. She is a self proclaimed tech nerd and is passionate about technology in education. You can follow her ed. tech. blog at The iLesson Lady.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.