Device Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.3 or later and also Kindle Fire.
Developmental Appropriateness: There are 4 games: Number Show, Counting Game, Tracing Game, and Treasure Crits. Ok, really only 3, as the last one there is more of a fun, reward game. Brainster Apps has also made my job easier by clearly stating what their learning intentions are: 1) Recognize number sounds, 2) Recognize numbers visually, 3) Understand that numbers have a sequence, 4) Understand that numbers are associated with a quantity, 5) Understand that numbers in the beginning of the sequence are associated with smaller amount of objects and latter number with more, 6) Introduction to writing numbers. Do they achieve these objectives? Yes. I think together, the three games, albeit very simple games, are done well. They sequence the numbers whenever possible and also associate the numbers with objects fairly often. I think these games do a good job of showing and teaching, but I do think this app is missing an important step. While the games all show the number to object correspondence, I guess we don't actually know if the kids "get it" - not with these games at least. It'd be good to have an additional game where the kids are asked to find/choose/tap - whatever you want, a target number of objects. Then we would know for sure that they've absorbed what these three games are aiming to teach. Rating: 3.5/5 (aim for around 3 years).
Balance: While the special effects that happen as you count make it fun and engaging, at times, the sound effects are louder than the voice counting, especially in the Counting Game. Seeing the cool effects will already be taking kids attention away from the counting, so it's especially important that they at least hear the numbers loud and clear. Rating: 3.5/5
Sustainability: Cycling through the games gives it a nice feel of variety. Throwing in the just for fun reward game is nice too - and I think it's a game kids will get a kick out of. Since this app targets a narrow skill set and only goes up to 20, kids may master and bore of this app quick - although the goal is to master it, so I guess I can't complain! Rating: 5/5
Parental Involvement: This is a one-player game (it does allow for multiple kids to have profiles) and of simple games so maybe parents don't have quite as much of a role, but can still reinforce the material. there is no review/progress monitoring for parents. Rating: 3.5/5
Total: 15.5 out of 20 = 4 stars