In this word game, crates in the shipping yard are labeled with letters or groups of letters. Children select crates that, when placed with a given crate, create sight words. For example, “f” and “un” are placed together to make “fun”. As crates are selected, a crane moves the crate to the proper place. When letter crates are selected, a clear voice says the letter or (letters) sound. When a word is created, the voice blends the phonemes and word segment, and then states the complete word. After this, the crane operator gives praise. However, when the incorrect crate is selected, the crane operator says things such as “almost” or “not quite”. Crates can be selected over and over until the correct crate is selected. As words are created, the crates fuse together to create one crate with the word. Word crates are stacked on top of each other to create word towers.
What Emily Liked
I appreciate the content of this app. The majority of the words in the list are sight words, which are extremely important to learn. Having an activity that encourages children to think about these sight words in different ways is important. Also, the vocalization of the sound is clear and concise.
While, I appreciate the content, and the overall idea of this app, I do have some concerns. The description of Word Tower in the app store states that there are more features than I experienced in my use of Word Tower. For example, the description states that “keeping score of the child’s highest tower provides an attainable goal for the player and a helpful benchmark for the parents”. If scores are being recorded, I could not find a score page or parent info page. Also, the app description says that the word tower will “reach higher and higher until one wrong word finally leads to its downfall.” I played this game for quite a while, and never experienced a tower falling. Rather, the crates just kept stacking on top of each other, and when I made errors, the crane operator encouraged me to keep trying. This meant that I was merely matching phonemes and word endings to create word crates. There was nothing exciting or entertaining that kept me wanting to play. My 7 year old played the game for a few minutes, but lost interest quickly and has not returned to this app. As a side note, I would love to see a hint button that would say the target word outloud so that children could have some support when they need it.
With regards to the content, the app description states that the children will combine syllables. However, most of the words used are one syllable words. Rather, the crates are different phones and ends of words. For example “j” and “ump” or “c” or “ome” are found on the word crates to creates “jump” and “come”. Other words used in this app include can, run, funny, away and down.
Finally, there are two aspects of the navigation that could improve this app overall. First, there are no navigation buttons other than play (and the numerals 1 through 4 – which I’m not sure if these refer to levels or players). It would be helpful to have an information page, and another player with player points. Also, a button to allow the player to leave the game, and return to the main menu could be useful to allow different users to play.
Currently, Word Tower is game that reinforces sight words through blending of phonemes and word endings. Currently, this app is very basic and doesn’t do all that it claims to do. I look forward to seeing updates of Word Tower that will make this game more engaging for children.
To learn more about this app, you can check the complete features of Word Tower – Early Phonetics or Download it below.
Developer provided promo codes to facilitate the review.