The App: Pair-Up Free
Compatibility: iOS and Android
Price: Free (with in app purchases for the full version)
This week we will look at the app Pair Up. This app covers a number of important problem solving, visual perceptual and reasoning skills. Designed for children 4+, the app has games targeting three specific areas: Visual Perceptual, Associative Thinking and Quantitative Reasoning. There is a Beginner and Advanced set-up, allowing progression through levels and difficulties. In the full version of the game, there are over 300 unique questions from all the categories (there is also a free trial version with 50 questions).
It is a simple to use app, and while not as interactive and engaging as some other reasoning and visual perceptual apps, it is very effective and has a number of easy to use games.
The Visual Perceptual games cover the above sub categories for Beginners and below for Advanced. To obtain stars, players must correctly answer all the sets of questions for each sub category (9-15 questions). This format is carried across all categories within the app. All games have instructions (light globe) located top left of the game, which clarify some of the requirements of the app.
The below example of ‘Same Directions’ from the Basic Visual Perceptual games requires users to rely on orientation and directionality skills to match up direction to the image. The sure then drags (or taps on) the appropriate image, which is then placed to the right of the question image. This format is consistent throughout all games within the app. Other Visual Perceptual examples include ‘Inverted Colours’ – requiring users to identify the image/shape based on the inverted colours, looking at reasoning and visual closure, form constancy skills; ‘Shortest Route’ – requiring users to identify which flag has the shortest path, addressing motor planning, visual perceptual, tracking and reasoning skills.
The Quantitative Reasoning game requires users to differentiate between quantitates and identify matches. The below example of ‘same quantity’ requires this skill, counting the number of blocks in the top left question image and matching it with the below options.
Further examples of the Quantitative Reasoning games include ‘What Time is It’ – requiring an understanding of an analogue face and its digital representation; ‘Same Proportions’ – requiring users to identify ‘proportionality’ and understand that if you multiply a set number of cubes (e.g. 1 at top and two at bottom), the the numbers increase, but the proportion is the same (e.g. 3 at top and 6 at bottom).
The final category, Associative Thinking, introduces games including the below ‘Match the head’. This game looks at visual closure skills, whereby a user must be able to identify the matching image without having the whole image to refer to.
Other Associative Thinking game examples include ‘open and closed’ – requiring an understanding of association between an object ‘open’ and then finding a similar object ‘closed’; ‘Letters’ – requiring users to identify which image matches the letter question (e.g. ‘n’ matches with the notebook picture). Both these examples and the other associative reasoning games focus on object recognition, association and an understanding of the function of each image or relationship between the question image and the options.
One criticism of the game is that some of the specific sub games can be a little confusing. What appears to be the correct answer is not what the activity was ‘specifically’ asking for. As such, supervision is often required to explain instructions and users should always check the information that can be sought in game, from the light globe (mentioned earlier). Once the specifics of the activity are explained and understood, the game is much easier to navigate.
Despite this, with support and instructions, the full version has over 300 different puzzles which makes it a very replay-able game, and with the three areas addressed, it makes for a comprehensive and easy to use app.
*Note: OTFC has not received royalties or endorsing this app or product