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The Fun Machine: A New Dr. Seuss Game by Wonder Forge

Practice Memory, Color Matching, Shape Recognition and Cooperative Game Play

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Dr. Seuss Fun Machine Wonder Forge
©Wonder Forge

Dr. Seuss Books feature unique rhymes and stories with memorable characters like the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, the Lorax and Horton, many of which are recognizable by both children and adults. Wonder Forge makes several Dr. Seuss games that are both fun and educational. The Dr. Seuss Fun Machine is an iPad/iPhone/iPod app game that uses Dr. Seuss themed tile cards in conjunction with the app, all to promote the skills of color matching, shape recognition and improve their memory with kids ages 3 and up.

What's Included

-32 Dr. Seuss themed tiles

-Free downloadable app for iPhone/iPod/iPad for use with the game tiles

-3 games with varying levels of difficulty included in the free app (Matching, Slap-Down, Guess-A-Roo)

-Ability to also play matching memory games, using the tiles, without the need for the app

How it Works

Games have completely evolved over the past few years with the introduction of the iPad, iPhone and iPod. What's a great concept about this game is that though it's more fun to use the game tiles in conjunction with the app, games can be played using only the tiles. If using the tiles and the app, once the free app is downloaded, 1 of 3 different games, Matching, Slap-Down or Guess-A-Roo, can be selected.

With the Matching game, all of the tiles are placed face down on the table. Of all of the games, this one is the most basic and best for younger children. It can also be played with multiple players. Either a color, shape or character will flash on the screen and the child turns over a tile looking for a match. Once the child finds a match, they keep the card. After 12 rotations, the person with the most tile cards wins.

I had some difficulty accessing the directions in this particular game in the app. In order to get from one direction to the next, a small lever must be touched and pulled down, almost like a slot machine. With the directions, on both my iPad and iPhone, the app freezes and the full directions can't be viewed. When actually playing the game on the iPhone, most of the children have had difficulty activating this lever. The top of the lever is also very close to the sound and settings icons on the screen and for those who are not as accurate, it has posed a little bit of frustration. Though I've mainly used the app on my iPhone, I haven't had the same trouble when using the iPad.

The second game is called Slap-Down. Players take 8 tiles and leave them face up. This game has the choice between easy, medium and hard game play. On the app, either a color, shape or character picture will flash and players race to discard this tile in the pile as fast as possible. I've played successfully letting each child remove a tile if they have one that matches, or letting only the fastest discard. The difference between easy, medium and hard is the amount of time the picture is displayed before a new one appears. Easy has a 10 second delay, medium has a 5 second delay and hard has about a 2 second delay.

My most favorite game in the app is Guess-A-Roo, especially if you have older children playing. All of the tiles are placed face up. The app provides clues to help children guess the secret tile. In easy mode, it may show a color, followed by a character, and the shape. The child would then pick up the corresponding tile once they figured it out. After the clues, they touch the screen to pull down the curtain to reveal the answer. If they are right, they keep the card, if they are wrong, they skip a turn for the next round. The player with the most cards wins. With medium or hard mode, instead of showing what the card is, it will help children with deductive reasoning, by telling them which character, shape, or color it isn't. For some reason, kids seem to think this game is magical. Most have wanted to take the card and place it on the screen of my phone or the iPad, and they are often in awe of their ability to figure it out the answer, with so many possible choices available. For some children, following these more complex directions is a challenge, and repeating the clues verbally has been helpful when needed. It's also been a fun cooperative game where kids simply haven't been able to wait for their turn, so they end up playing collaboratively and socially.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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