Monkey Preschool Lunchbox: iPhone game for ages 2 to 5
September 2, 2009 10:51 AM   Subscribe

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox: iPhone game for ages 2 to 5
A collection of 5 vaguely educational games about packing lunch for monkeys. We had a slow summer here at our little game company and a couple of us decided to make an iPhone game for our kids. I learned that a 3 year old can be a brutal beta tester. We'd love to hear what MeFites (or I guess more specifically the little ones of MeFites) think of the game!
posted by malphigian (9 comments total)

Based on what my 4yo plays on an iPod touch, this looks perfect. I'll post what she thinks of the app tonight.
posted by mathowie at 10:52 AM on September 2, 2009

Bought a copy, I'll let you know what a 2.5yo makes of it tomorrow :)
posted by lowlife at 6:01 PM on September 2, 2009

I also bought a copy, my 3yo is going to love it.
posted by cCranium at 6:48 PM on September 2, 2009

Super big hit with my almost 4yo. After we overcame her initial incredulousness (and I quote: "Monkey Preschool Lunchbox? That's a weird game to download onto somebody's iPhone") she played it for 45 minutes straight. When pressed for comment, she said "I love the monkey."

It's really great! The menuless moving from one activity to another is a really good design choice. "Pick a Sticker" is genius, she really felt rewarded by that. It's especially genius in that "Put a sticker on the page" would not have been rewarding at all, using the word "Pick" makes it clear that they are getting something.

The loading screen is a killer. She thought it was hung because of the darkened splash screen. A progress bar would be a big improvement, although it's really only a first load kinda thing as on subsequent plays she is eagerly awaiting monkey goodness.

As the nearby adult, I would love it if the monkey had more than the one 'Ee ee ee' exclamation of success. Also some slowly ramping difficulty would be a great future enhancement. But this is great, makes Cute Math look like the amateurish crap that it is and replaces Slideamajig as favorite preschooler app. I will buy Monkey Preschool Backpack and Monkey Preschool SnackTime and Monkey Preschool Art Table and Monkey Preschool Playground. Nice work!
posted by ulotrichous at 6:28 AM on September 3, 2009

Ooh, Monkey Preschool Dressup would be a must. My daughter's favorite thing about Little Big Planet is dressing her sackboy and there's not a good iphone equivalent.
posted by ulotrichous at 6:31 AM on September 3, 2009

Thanks for the kind words (and sales :P) all!

ulotrichous, really appreciate the detailed feedback. I've been mulling the loading issue, we might be doing too much up front. It does load faster on additional plays, for what it's worth, but I can see how it can frustrate our short-attention-spanned players.

If this sells reasonably okay, we do plan to do some follow ups just along the lines of what you suggest. As well as a spanish language version. For some reason, we totally hadn't thought of a dress up one though, that's definitely a great idea.
posted by malphigian at 7:23 AM on September 3, 2009

My daughter played it for about 20min last night. She loved it overall, and wanted to play it some more this morning. (repeat play is high!)

She liked it all, but as a smart 4yo, the first thing she started to be down on was the counting fruits for the lunch box part. We have this other game called Bird Math or something that is similar but much more challenging. They show 11 fruits always, and say how many are needed (1-11, random), but you have to hit a "done" button when you think it's right and they don't count it out loud as you click them. That's too hard for most kids, but I think a happy medium would be to show ten fruits always and say the random, say 4! fruits!, and then when they hit four they win, but they're not always sure how many to hit? My daughter sort of stopped caring about that stage because she knew to just click them all to move on.

She liked the memory card game though with such few cards they were often next to each other. She never got tired of the jigsaw puzzles, but I thought she would. She liked the spelling game but I think she was matching on color instead of first letters.

Overall, we have harder games she is challenged with and gets frustrated at after a couple minutes, but this was easy on most stages and she kept playing. I think it is probably perfect for a 3yo, but she liked the graphics and monkey even though she could complete most tasks quickly.
posted by mathowie at 5:24 PM on September 3, 2009

My son had a stomach thing last night, and this morning stayed home from preschool and got to play for much too long, many times through the day. He is completely won over. The other comments cover everything I thought of. It is great for his level of skill, but maybe some different levels of difficulty (for the spelling, don't show the letter, etc) but mixed in with the other levels, would add some challenge.
posted by cCranium at 3:59 PM on September 4, 2009

The kid's asleep, so I can't tell you whether she likes it, but my wife and I love it. It's the perfect amount of matching, and the menu-free operation makes me wish everything worked like that. Not sure it's appropriate for an FPP but it's a great game, and I'm happy you got my dollar.
posted by ivey at 10:59 AM on September 6, 2009

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