We have reviewed a few kids apps here at The Smartphone App Review, and have been highly critical of a few of them. Many of these titles are so patronising that they are barely played by actual children and are purchased to sit in the home screen, more or less unused, forever.
Today, we are reviewing Timmy Tickle, an app that hopes to buck this trend and provide a challenging yet fun game for kids on iOS.
Timmy Tickle is based around a giant orange octopus, the Timmy Tickle of the title, and there are various ways that kids can get to play with him, all told through a sweet story with a few different mini games to play, as well as a few items that are more of the interactive story kind of thing.
Surprisingly, a lot of effort has gone on the 3D model of the octopus, which animates superbly and is rendered very nicely indeed. It is good to see that some care has been made here. The rest of the app is also presented really nicely, and is very professionally done.
Here, in the words of the developers, are the app’s main features:
By touching and tapping the screen children can:
★ cheer Timmy up by tickling him
★ match which fruit he’s imitating
★ play nursery rhymes on Timmy’s xylophone
★ learn to count with his colourful balloons
★ help Timmy wash up and spin-dry plates (trying not to smash them!)
★ make him roller-skate (and help him up if he falls)
★ discover Timmy’s awesome costume collection
★ help dim the lights so Timmy can get some rest for next time!
As well as learning and playing with Timmy children can also colour in eight different Timmy adventures. The pictures can be saved to iPhoto so parents can share their childrens’ creations with friends and family on Facebook or via text/email.
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What’s new since you launched the iPad version last year?
✓ A completely new paint section where kids can paint Timmy’s Adventures to save and share
✓ New and improved navigation to stop accidental page turning
✓ Lots of new animations and interactions including more giggles!
✓ Revamp of the washing up page, so focus is on cleaning not smashing : )
✓ New functionality on the balloon page for an improved learning experience
✓ Direction arrows so kids can learn four different Nursery Rhymes on Timmy’s xylophone, which Timmy can then play back!
✓ A more game-like fruit matching section and costume page, where kids identify which fruit or character he is imitating.
✓ Success chimes when page activity is completed correctly
The app really is very comprehensive, and I especially liked the ability to share the pictures that children colour in via Facebook, which is sure to be a feature parents will love. I gave the app to my three year old boy to play with, which is really the only test that matters, and he loved it. He seemed to really like interacting with Timmy and was fond of the painting sections most of all, which tells me that this is a quality kids app, as if he doesn’t like anything he is only too happy to let me know!
The only slight let down here is that this isn’t a universal app, so if you want it looking nice on iPad, you are going to have to buy a second app- not ideal.
Overall, this is a really nice kids app with plenty of activities and games to keep children interested, and is thankfully non-patronising.