Oct 24, 2012
Mobile devices run the gamut when it comes to functionality. Beyond entertainment and content consumption, they can be great teaching aids. I found that Grandma’s Garden from Noodlecake Studios and Fairlady Media fits the bill in this regard, providing plenty of playful learning opportunities for the young and young at heart.
Grandma’s Garden is a simple, colorful foray into numbers, colors, the alphabet and shapes. In addition, matching is also part of the game.
The UI worked for its target demographic, with big buttons and spread layout. I thought the developer did a good job of replicating sounds reminiscent of a supportive grandma, and the collective look was able to keep my soon-to-be three-year-old’s attention. I noted that the celebration for a job well done was well received too. Basically, Grandma’s Garden is spliced into senses-stimulating mini games. Counting eggplants for instance, was as simple as touching each eggplant. To get Grandma clapping in he next stage, I had to pick the letter matching a missing one.
Wrong answers yielded new opportunities, so solving by elimination was a reasonable means of solution. I found out that my daughter lived to water Grandma’s plants and make her do a funky dance every now and then.
I especially liked the color quiz. These seemed to be random; my daughter and I were asked to tap all flowers of a particular color. Another favorite of ours was the memory matching, which was a colorful remake of memory card games.
The tasks seemed age-appropriate, but I did wish there were more, and that there were a few less predictable combinations. I also thought a little bit more educational animations would have been great.
As a fun learning tool, Grandma’s Garden surely hit the spot, if my daughter’s reaction to it is any indication. We have problems with her now trying to physically give Grandma a kiss, but there are worse things to stress out about.
All in all, I found it to be a good game with plenty of upside.