It’s always interesting unpacking apps designed for children, you’re never wholly sure if the developer intended the app to be for kids initially, and you’re never 100% certain from which angle to review it i.e. a learning perspective or just plain fun.
As it happens we’re 7 weeks away from having a baby, which is exciting, and I’ve been more mindful than ever of what Android has to offer younger users. There certainly seems to be a set approach to designing apps for children, and normally, categories consist of: educational, creative or good old fashion fun.
Maze for Kids, in my opinion, falls into the latter category. The developer seems to be a dab hand at creating Android apps for kids, and from looking at his portfolio, it’s clear to see that Maze for Kids was very much intended – and by no means an accident.
The first thing you’ll notice is the playful music, which in truth, doesn’t get annoying half as quickly as other apps out there. When reviewing kids apps I always try to imagine being the parent, and imagine the app being played at full volume, on repeat, for hours. For this reason I feel it necessary to mention that the music is largely inoffensive – and can be switched off if required.
The next thing you’ll notice is that the app isn’t exactly blooming with pretty pictures, rather, it is of basic design, which may suit younger users who are easily distracted. Personally, I feel the UI is a little too basic, but then again I am prone to playing more established titles, such as Angry Birds, FIFA 2014 and Jetpack Joyride. Once you look at the developer’s wider portfolio you will notice this theme runs across all of his Kids apps, so again, very much intended and obviously a choice made through feedback, learning and an understanding of how best to present games for children.
The aim of the game is simple and as you might hope, so are the controls. Working against the clock you are tasked with swiping the snooker-cannonball looking object around the maze, navigating it to the end point – the red flag. Along the way there are a number of cute objects to collect (rainbows, cars, crayons) and one particular object to avoid – the bomb! Collecting stopwatches will add more time to your game. As you progress, the mazes become bigger and more complex, and take more mental power to navigate around the bends and to the end point. You are met with a lovely applause and release of celebratory balloons upon the completion of each level, something I’m sure the kids will enjoy.
Maze for Kids is a nice addition to the Android repertoire, but one thing I feel I should add, the app comes with in-game advertisements. I’m always worried about where children might end up after clicking advertisements, so you may wish to consider buying the full version for a couple of pounds, just to be safe.
You can get the app here.