Neuronsurge: Playful digital classroom for kids to train their young brains
The application Neuronsurge: Playful digital classroom for kids to train their young brains is an app suitable for ages 6 to 8. The application is an interactive brain training game for children based on digital interactive stories. The users choose a story, customise the characters and work their way through the interactive features. Each original story can also be downloaded in a text format to read to children. The app is free from in-app adverts and is KidSAFE listed.
There is a mixed message in iTunes age range and app description. iTunes provides us with a 6 to 8 age range category yet the description tells us it is suitable for ages 5 to 10. When tested by our users the apps language was too difficult for some of our children aged 5 and the instructions were not self-explanatory, however the app does provide some graphical prompts within the games.
Once the app has been loaded the user is shown a home screen with several options. We did find the navigation scroll quite unresponsive at times. The options are as follows:
The Factory book format
Team terra the book format
It is note that the book format downloads into a browser. We would like to see the book format as a PDF, or open within iBooks. It might also be recommended that the book format can be printed or shared within the application.
The secured ‘Grown Ups’ option in the top right enables grown-ups to change a number of options such as sound, narration, difficulty and text. There is also a link to the developer’s website which is very informative. There is also a neuro scoreboard at the bottom of the app which we discovered. This is a great way to keep track of your gameplay success. The option to sign into the app with a profile would create competition within the classroom and should be considered for later upgrades. For this review we will focus on one of the stories within the application.
The Factory Interactive story
Once this option has been chosen the app takes a while to load. This is probably due to the graphics and content.
The graphics are excellent and sound is very good in this interactive story. The app takes you through a rescue scenario, with some great characters, where the user has to complete mini brain training games. Please note here that the app is an American app so some spelling differs from the UK. The first games ask the user to find objects against the clock. We did find some of this objects a little uninspiring and repetitive. The jigsaw game and matching pairs game was much better and our users really enjoyed these. Once the games have been completed the story takes you on a journey to the next section. If a game is completed, then a neuro connection is awarded. We are unsure whether the heading at the top should read “congratulations’ rather than ‘congratulation’?
Thiefs (or should this read thieves?)
This story focuses on the twin characters and again provides interactive games such as collecting objects, jigsaws, connecting dots, We noted that there is no way to skip the games if the user is not successful for the story to continue. The app also seemed very unstable and crashed on several occasions whilst testing.
This part of the story focuses on the twins creating their own robots. Once again mini brain training games are introduced throughout the story. These includes finding objects and matching pairs. The games here once again are very repetitive.
This part of the story focuses on the creation of the robot. Once again mini brain training games are introduced throughout the story. These includes finding objects and matching pairs. The games here once again are very repetitive.
The final section of the story features Rob the robot and the rescue mission. Once again finding objects is a key and joining the dots. It’s a real shame that some of the games play no relevance to the part of the story.
One section of the app that our users really enjoyed was the ability to change and customise the characters. This was an excellent feature that really engaged our users. The menu system and the character descriptions were also very interesting.
The second story in the app focuses on Team Terra who are to work as a team changing planets for the greater good. Once again the graphics and sound are excellent here and the story seems to flow much better. The interactive story is once again littered with brain teasing games some of which are related and some which are not. The story also provides the opportunity to change the characters and colours.
Overall this app has some excellent graphics and sound that is hampered by the slow story progression and repetitive games. The concept of interactive games throughout the story is an excellent one but the app lacks pace and variety. We did enjoy the text versions of the stories which supplied more detail then the interactive versions. With some minor changes the app could be made more engaging for its users. The developers can be commended for the quality of graphics and sound, however we felt that they have tried to do to much with the app and have confused the apps real educational value.
From the Developer
Boost your kids' cognitive skills in Neuronsurge's playful interactive brain training. Our digital stories improve children's assessment, social, audio-visual and comprehension skills while having an epic time.
A digital school filled with entertaining and interactive stories. It’s a safe and nurturing environment for 5-10 year-old children to learn through playing.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS
1. Pick a story from the Neuronsurge library
2. Customize characters in the story
3. And…GAME ON!
4. Collect as many neuron connections as you can so you can track how much smarter you got along the way.
OUR SECRET SAUCE
• Interactive games are woven into the stories, instead of having to select them from a separate menu
• You get completely original stories
• Personal touch: customization of the characters
• Emphasis on soft skills and educational programs
As Mary Poppins said, ‘In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.’ Neuronsurge gives children just what they need: they can play the interactive stories as many times they want, while collecting virtual neuron connections – and forming them in their physical brain! We created an educational program focused on children, using the expertise of child-therapists, educators and parents.
These guides are prepared by educational experts, attached to each story which contain:
• A description of the characters,
• A description of the premise,
• A description of the main topic,
• Educational aspects
Visit Neuronsurge anytime, as it’s open 24/7, both for you and your child.
• It’s kidSAFE listed: https://www.kidsafeseal.com/certifiedproducts/neuronsurge_app.html
• It’s available on iPad with iOS 6 or higher.
• Visit www.neuronsurge.com for more information!
WHO WE ARE
Neuronsurge was founded by a team whose members are passionate about their children’s future. Our goal is to create a smarter, more open generation. We plan to reach this goal through this gamified app.
We ourselves are responsible for designing, developing, and marketing of the Neuronsurge app. The app itself affords young players to develop various life skills, such as motor and audio-visual skills and comprehension, while acquiring specialized knowledge such as terraforming and basic physics.
DOWNLOAD IT AND GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK
Your feedback is very important to us. If you have a comment, question, or complaint, contact us at any given time using the Contact section of our website. We're here to answer all your questions and receive feedback on how to improve the Neuronsurge app, both for you and your child. You can message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.