Turns out, using stickers has a couple great advantages:
First, since they are cute, they end up being much more engaging than raw numbers. Kids are drawn to it as a game instead of a “number” exercise.
Second, since we’re using a larger set of stickers, each game has different stickers in it. So the “same” board actually looks different because there are different characters in each game. We’ve got a decent number of boards in the game, but it feels like even more.
And as those characters change from game to game, you’ll find you (and your child) are exercising your short term memory much more. “What’s the 4th animal I’m looking for?” is something that comes to mind quite often. As your times improve for solving the puzzles, you’ll notice your ability to rattle off the current set of 4 animals increases as well.
We also took the sticker analogy towards the interface, making the interface drag and droppable instead of a number entry format that many sudoku apps go with. Watching Sal use the sticker games, he’d often peel off a sticker and then look around for a place to put it. We’ve noticed the same behavior with this app too, as kids will drag a sticker out, and then use it as an aid for checking the legality of a particular play, before committing to placing the sticker in the spot.
This interface also allowed us to remove the need for “hint” type buttons. When a sticker is incorrectly placed, all stickers that are violating a rule flip upside down, quickly letting the player know that something funny is going on.
All in all, we’re really happy with this first app, it’s fun to play and has helped Sal show off his app critique abilities.
We already have a couple ideas of how we can extend and improve this little game, but please let us know what your suggestions are too. Comment below or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.