Despite the arrival of the iPad, some of us are still reveling in our relatively new iPod Touches. They’re much more portable, and easier to hand over to your kids so they can entertain themselves for a while. I’m sure I’ll be reviewing iPod apps for the small screen for quite some time. So here’s another one for all you kids out there! It’s called Frogs and Fireflies and is by ten toed inc.
The idea for the game is to match the frogs with the same color of fireflies. The colorful frogs jump one by one onto lily pads, with fireflies gradually coming into the picture flying above them. The fireflies all start as primary colors, and the frogs are all secondary and tertiary colors. So for each frog, you have to mix at least two fireflies. To do this, just draw a line between two fireflies you’d like to mix. Sometimes you need to mix primary colors to make secondary colors, and sometimes you then have to mix your secondary color with another primary color to make a tertiary color. Reminds me of one of my very favorite episodes of Blues Clues (along with “Bedtime Business”) called “Colors Everywhere!” The game gives you a certain amount of time to start, and then it gives you extra seconds each time you correctly match a frog with the right firefly color mixture. The game also keeps track of the high score.
Frogs and Fireflies is a great way to learn colors. Most early art classes will stop at teaching the secondary colors, but what about chartreuse? Who sticks up for vermilion? Who gives aquamarine a fair shake? Frogs and Fireflies, that’s who. But to play you have to think quickly. Sometimes you have a couple of partially mixed fireflies going at once, and you have to remember what goes where. Be careful not to mix the wrong colors. The lines you draw between the fireflies can accidentally touch an unintended firefly, messing up the mix. A messed up firefly will just fly off into the sky. Also, the frogs will jump away if you don’t give them the right color firefly soon enough. The game can get hectic and seems to go quite fast after a while, since you sometimes have to keep track of several color mixtures at once.
My kids both enjoy the game, but would do better if we reviewed tertiary colors first. Also, the more you play, the better you get because you get to know what certain colors look like. For example, purple and magenta are pretty close in appearance, but after seeing them several times it is easier to tell the difference.
Our own Jonathan Liu also reviewed this app, and here is his take:
The game is cute, and I like the idea of learning primary, secondary, and tertiary colors; however, my six-year-old had some trouble once the tertiary colors started showing up. When I played it myself, I had trouble telling some of them apart—is that the violet frog or the blue-violet? It’s easier to tell after a second frog shows up for comparison. I think also it might have been nice to have levels or something else to break up the game a little into segments, because it did get a bit repetitive after a while without any added features. But of course it’s not a game intended for adults so much as for children, and I think the cute, simple cartoon frogs and glowing fireflies is a great interactive way to learn about mixing colors.
Frogs and Fireflies is available in the iTunes store for $1.99.
Wired: A really fun and unusual game that teaches color mixing, with enough complexity to interest anyone from kids up to adults.
Tired: It’s a simple concept with one way to play. It could use some additional levels or features. Very difficult to play without the proper lighting, since some colors are very similar.
*Note: We were furnished with review copies of this app.