Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Roklienz: Rok Out! app

What would be more fun than your little one being at the helm of his/her own rock band? Being at the helm of an alien rock band, of course! Roklienz: Rok Out! is another great app from Creativity Inc. (makers of Do-Re-Mi 123) that allows children to explore their musical creativity while involving the entire family.

We really like playing this game and, for us, it's definitely a team effort! I get us started by picking the song and the alien band members, and I also dress the band up n the wardrobe room with Andrew's assistance ("Pick the other alien pirate eyepatch, Mommy!")

Then, the rock begins. We select a stage and Andrew taps on each alien to get them playing their instrument or singing. He has a blast starting and stopping each one or selecting which alien to be a featured soloist. Andrew is almost three and a half, and with my guidance, he got the hang of the game quickly--though he does get frustrated if I'm not there to help him navigate between songs and stages. Older kids will be more adept at this and really into dressing their our rock band, taking and sharing band photos, recording their music video, and playing them back for family and friends.

And what was little Liam's role in all this? Well, he just dances around the room! The four featured songs are really quirky and catchy--just what you would imagine alien rock to sound like--and they get us all dancing along.

The game is free to play and available at the itunes app store for download. There are in-app upgrades available for purchase (four extra aliens for 99 cents a piece or $2.99 for all), but we've been just fine with the original four aliens.

We're looking forward to the next game in the Roklienz series, Roklienz: On Tour due out next week! It a rhythm-based game, so it will delve into a whole different aspect of music than our other Creativity Inc. apps.  Look out for it in the itunes app store this July.

Disclaimer: Creativity Inc. provided us with a cool t-shirt for Andrew for reviewing Roklienz: Rok Out Concert! All opinions expressed in this review are unbiased and a positive review was not a condition of receiving aforementioned t-shirt (but Andrew does love his new Roklienz tee!)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Review: DoReMi 1-2-3: Music for Kids app

DRM_featuredYou know those kids apps that are so fun that you secretly play them yourself when the kids are asleep? All the apps from Creativity Inc. fall into that category! My 3-year-old, one-year-old, and I have been playing their gorgeous music-learning app DoReMi 1-2-3: Music For Kids (and also their alien rock band music game Roklienz™ Rok Out) on both my iPad and iPhone, and they are so much fun--for the entire family!

There is so much to do and learn on DoReMi 1-2-3! Lesson mode teaches kids to play simple songs by ear using an eight note scale. Notes are represented not by piano keys, but by a set of 8 colorful characters all in a row (8 pandas, 8 stars, 8 cows, etc.) And songs are taught in a progressive, build-on fashion that really works with little ones.

In free play mode--the mode we use the most--kids can make and record their own music. In addition to being able to select from multiple sets of musical characters and wonderfully-illustrated backgrounds to make music in (our favorite setting is the farm), kids can also choose to hear their characters make animal sounds, sing do-re-mi, or recite colors or numbers as they play along the scale.

Plus, there are tons of adorable extras added into each background. For example, clicking certain spots around the farm background will make corn grow from the field or a pig emerge from the barn. This game is no one-trick pony! You and your kids are going to have tons of fun discovering all of its little secrets!

You can get a free version of DoReMi 1-2-3 lite, which includes a limited number of songs, backgrounds and characters, by visiting the itunes App Store. A full version of the game with all the bells and whistles is available for purchase for $2.99--totally worth it for all the family fun to be had in this beautifully-crafted kids app.

Disclaimer: Creativity Inc provided me with a full version of the app for consideration. All opinions are my own -- I really like this app!