OWTK Toy News & Reviews

My PlayHome Stores and An End of Summer App Roundup

I first discovered Dawes by accident. They were opening for someone, Langhorne Slim maybe?, at a tiny bar in North Philadelphia several years ago. The band name intrigued me enough to check them out online before heading into the city for the late night show. I liked what I heard on North Hills, their debut album, bought it, and listened to it repeatedly on the way down to Philly. I would fall pretty hard for the L.A. quartet, seeing them headline that same little bar again before catching them in bigger and bigger venues over the next few years. Maybe I wasn’t in on the groundfloor, but the elevator hadn’t gotten very high yet before I climbed aboard.

My girls and I have had a similar relationship with the dollhouse-esque iPad app My PlayHome. We received it and reviewed it right out of the gate, and have cheered updates that added a backyard, a parent’s bedroom, and ethnic family options. Unlike many an indie rocker, I do not want to keep what I hold dear a secret. I want Dawes to be heard and loved by all. They are good dudes who have gone about things the right way. They deserve every new fan. The same is true of My PlayHome, as they expand into a 2nd app today, My PlayHome Stores.

My PlayHome Stores Screenshot 1

My PlayHome Stores Screenshot 2

My PlayHome Stores Screenshot 3

My PlayHome Stores Screenshot 4

My PlayHome Stores Screenshot City View

My PlayHome Stores Screenshot Grocery Store

My PlayHome Stores Screenshot Ice Cream

My PlayHome Stores not only expands on the multi-touch genius of the original app, but incorporates the Home too! Take your family out for ice cream, scoop their cones, pick up a few bags of groceries after placing your items on the cashier’s conveyer belt, tap the ATM for cash, let the babies sit in the coin-operated ride-ons out front, go clothes shopping, and then bring everything back to the Home. So brilliant. Each aspect of the My PlayHome and My PlayHome Store experience transfers over, meaning if Mom didn’t dry off after her shower she is gonna be dripping wet in town (which is what was happening when I opened up the game to snap some screenshots this morning!)

Seeing the intuitive growth of the first app had us chomping at the bit to try the new one and it didn’t disappoint. You must buy this (and the original if you don’t already have it) for your young kids. The many rooms, levels, and activities in both will occupy and delight them for hours on end.

My PlayHome Stores is available on all mobile platforms, including through Amazon.

*OWTK received a download code for My PlayHome Stores in advance of its release today, as well as several of the apps discussed below, for review considerations. The opinions expressed here are honest and unbiased, as always.

Other notable new apps for kids:

Dr. Panda returns with Dr. Panda Airport, adding yet another beautifully adorable animal game to their ever-growing portfolio. Familiar characters will go through customs, have their luggage loaded onto the proper plane, and then make sure the planes land safely. Super cute and available for iOS, Google Play, & Android.

Sago Mini Pet Cafe

Toca Boca‘s still fresh toddler division, Sago Mini, delivered the flight of fancy app Sago Flyer in the Spring and just released the uber-pleasant Pet Cafe. The former remains a favorite of the Mouse who may NEVER stop laughing when the sweet lil’ bird drops a white poopy in the woods 😉 while the latter makes her smile because of the vibrant soda fountain shop, despite being designed for younger learners still working their way through shapes and colors. Both apps are $.99 on the iTunes App Store.

Questimate Logo

Questimate from Motion Math is one of the more clever math-tastic apps we’ve ever seen. The idea is simple yet thought-provoking, forcing players to contemplate things like “How many giraffes would be as tall as the Eiffel Tower?” and “How many jellybeans would be as long as a couch?” and make their best guess. Then kids can explore the world of these nouns they are comparing against each other. Try the free version and then upgrade to the beefy $7.99 Pro edition if you find Questimate as awesome as we do.

Speakaboos App logo

Speakaboos gets kids reading, even kids who might not ever reach for a book off the shelf. With over 150 stories, videos, and songs, the hefty Speakaboos app, which was created by some folks behind the beloved Blue’s Clues and SuperWHY!, is free to download and get started with. The app is so robust and includes OWTK approved videos from Gustafer Yellowgold. Yay!

Topps Kick Premier League Trading Card App

Topps just released their newest digital trading card app TODAY and it is a beauty! I have this one on my phone and iPad for ME alone as I am absolutely gaga for European football, including, of course, the Barclay’s Premier League. That’s the league and the players Topps Kick covers, so you can collect Arsenal’s Jack Wilshire, Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie, and Aston Villa’s super scorer Christian Benteke. I loved sports cards when I was a kid but hated storing them in boxes and plastic sleeves in my parent’s house (where they remain to this day!) This soccer app makes that problem go away and adds a real time valuation and social sharing/trading component that is so rad. Topps Kick is free to download, go get it, footy fans!

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