App Review: Peg Puzzle 4
If you are a parent and looking for fun apps for your kids, we have covered some great choices for you in not one, but two webOS app round-ups. In addition to those apps, we also want to take a look at a pair of Peg Puzzle apps from Pulse Apps. Just as their name implies, Peg Puzzle abc 123 and Peg Puzzle Shapes are reminiscent of those wooden peg puzzles toys, just with a little different twist that you can't get with a physical piece of wood. These apps are available on the TouchPad and normally run $1.99, but are currently on sale for $0.99 for the summer.
Both app are set up in a similar way. First you choose your puzzle category and then you have to match the six pieces of the puzzle from among the available pieces that are displayed across the top of the screen. Peg Puzzle abc 123 allows you to choose lowercase letters, uppercase letters, or numbers, while Shapes give you 8 themes (such as fruit, transportation, or music) or a random option that combines all the categories. The apps differ slightly in their gameplay in that abc 123 will give you 6 letters or 6 numbers (from 1 to 20) and you have to scroll through the entire alphabet or numbers to find a match, while Shapes presents you with one shape at a time just rotated 6 different ways, giving your children different skills to hone between the two apps. In addition, abc 123 will also speak out the letter or number as you select it and drag it down to the board.
Aside from the puzzle and the pieces across the top of the screen, the interface is pretty basic. There is an exit button on the bottom left with two more buttons on the bottom right to either reset the current puzzle or to give a new puzzle within the current category. There is also a counter on the bottom that shows how many of the 6 puzzle pieces you have matched in the current puzzle, but aside from that there is no score keeping within the app, no timer to track how quickly the puzzle has been solved, and no penalties if you get the puzzle piece wrong. And while you may think this sounds like a negative statement that the app doesn't have these features, I actually like that it doesn't have these. My 3 year old doesn't care how quickly she solves the puzzles, just that she can match the right shapes or numbers to the puzzle.
With a simple interface, easy controls and enough variations of puzzles to your little one from getting bored with the same puzzle, Peg Puzzle abc 123 and Peg Puzzle Shapes are two apps any puzzle-loving child will adore. If you are hesitant to pick up these apps--even at their sale price--there are also lite versions available to test out beforehand. While Peg Puzzle Shapes Trial gives you access to the "Fruit" category only and Peg Puzzle abc 123 Trial contains only lowercase letters a-l and numbers 1-8, the apps are otherwise the same in terms of how you would use them.