Ruffy the Husky: On Ice

Talking shape matching puzzle

Rating Ruffy the Husky: On Ice - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 2+
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About Ruffy the Husky: On Ice

In this polar-themed app, children help Ruffy the Husky assemble his broken pictures.  As they play, they learn the names of each letter, number, and a variety of shapes.  Success is rewarded with a selection of fun animations.

Ruffy the Husky: On Ice Review

In one of the polar regions lives Ruffy the Husky and his group of friends.  One of these friends is clearly very lost as the group includes both a polar bear and a penguin, but that is not Ruffy's problem.  What is Ruffy's problem is that the icy pictures of his animal buddies have cracked.  Quite specifically, they have cracked in ways that have caused pieces to fall out in the shape of letters, numbers and shapes.  The player's goal is to reassemble these pictures.

This challenge makes Ruffy the Husky: On Ice a recognition activity that teaches and reinforces the names of shapes, letters, and numbers. Children complete the picture of one of Ruffy's friends and the polar backdrop by dragging and dropping the appropriate shape, number, or letter into place.   The correct placement of each item is confirmed by the app speaking the name of it.  Incorrect attempts are not punished and the item is just returned to its starting point.

When all of the items are placed, the level is complete and this is marked by a short animation.  These are very nicely done and aren't just simple repeating animations found in many other apps.  These show the relevant character performing in some way for the viewer. 

There are a few levels per section, one for each of the polar creatures.  As each creature's level is completed on the first playthrough, they appear on the main screen.  On subsequent playthroughs, they signify their level is complete by donning a party hat or whistle.

The presentation that surrounds the activities is designed and drawn beautifully.  The characters are welcoming, the art style is consistent and the animations varied and entertaining.  The sound too is of good quality with a tune playing in the background and each creature making the appropriate call.  The spoken words are very clear.  Appropriately, for the age of the intended user, the app is fully understandable by those who have yet to develop reading skills.

The activity itself is simple but one that is of a type popular with young children and useful for building recognition skills.  Giving the name of each item is a useful addition to the activity as it gives the app a teaching and reinforcement role too.  As there is no time limit on the app, parents and teachers can play it with children and stimulate further learning through considered questioning and conversations.

On the shapes activity, a few of the choices are not forms defined in mathematics.  For example, 'heart', 'cloud', and  'doughnut'.  Only the latter of these shapes as depicted in the app has a proper geometric name and it isn't one that is often used in the classroom (annulus in case you are wondering).

Some teachers have quite firm beliefs about using precise terminology even with young children.  If you are one of these, this inclusion of pictorial shapes alongside mathematically defined ones might grate a little.  We can all picture what these shapes are but their inclusion is a useful language development aid rather than a maths one.

The app can be played in five languages, so if you are from a multilingual household, or you would like to introduce your child to a second language early in their lives, this is a useful feature.  Each option contains the same activities and uses a similarly clear and precise pronunciation of each word.  The app uses U.S. English in the one place where a difference exists - saying 'zee' rather than 'zed' - but this is a minor issue for those of us who use UK English.

This app is free to download for parents and children to try but a reasonably priced in-app purchase is needed to unlock it fully.  Most children play matching activities with physical toys and, more recently, on mobile devices.  They are fun and developmentally useful.  Ruffy the Husky: On Ice would make a great choice for any parents who have yet to choose one for the device that their young child uses.

App Details

Ratings

Devices

iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Skills

Academic Relevance
Thinking & Reasoning

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

CrowdCafé

Download Ruffy the Husky: On Ice

You can download Ruffy the Husky: On Ice on your iOS devices from the Apple App Store.

Download Ruffy the Husky: On Icefor iOS

Screenshots of Ruffy the Husky: On Ice

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