Filled with adventure around every corner, Duh Color Stuff plunges kids deep into a mystery as they join their cyber friends, the Neighborhood Watch Kids, make their rounds to make sure all is well. This app takes storytelling and reading to a whole new level, introducing new readers to the concept of reading, while enhancing reading skills for those who need practice, all in a plot-twisting, clue-seeking storyline.
The app is more than an interactive storybook, it actually allows players to plan out their plot, letting them make small decisions along the way that help them choose how the story unfolds. This serves to engage the kids even more. The interactive exercises break up the reading and build up other skills.
In Duh Color Stuff, kids become immersed in a story rich with mythical characters and a group of clever kiddos who know what to look for and know how to keep the neighborhood safe. Kids join up with this gang of brainiacs to make sure anything that is amiss is caught and addressed. It forces kids to look at detail and to look at the big picture, using both skillsets to come to a decision, when needed.
The options to read or be read to make this app the perfect learning tool. Kids can start off new stories and have them be narrated. Younger readers who are narrated dont have to worry about flipping pages, as this is done automatically. As readers advance, their participation increases. Once they become comfortable with the storyline and main idea, they could switch over to reading it themselves.
The education value does not stop here. The plot itself forces kids to fully understand and comprehend the content. Kids dig deep into the story, seeking out clues and hints that help them make the right decisions. There are several points throughout each section and sub-plot that forces kids to think a bit and then make a decision on where they want the story to go. Interactive puzzles and games that are separate from the storyline also help in problem-solving skill development.
The graphics are sharp and bright things that kids love and transitions are smooth. Moving around in the app is extremely easy and straightforward, with arrows that are perfectly placed and the ability to choose different narration options throughout.
The only downside I could see to the app was that, at times, the decisions made would take kids back to an original decision which they had already answered. If this happens often enough, it can turn kids off to the app entirely. Kids like to know that if they are making decision, they are making them in a way that works them towards the solution or at least sideways, not backwards to something they already attended to.
It is an amazing teaching tool that helps kids with reading and comprehension without them even knowing it. Those are the types of educational apps I like to see.