Developer: mixtvision digital GmbH & Co.KG
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
Popular children's character Maya The Bee has a new collection of interactive games for iOS. Though perhaps not as well-known in the U.S., the independent little bee is quite the character. The original story from 1912 has been adapted all over the world for film, television, comics and even a German stamp. The iOS game title Maya The Bee: Flower Party features Maya and friends in a series of six mini games geared towards children ages 5 and under.
Flower Party opens with three panels of imaginative forest scenes. Children can swipe to move back and forth between the panels, then tap to choose a game to play. The app will naturally lead children through the games by instructing them to swipe and tap until each of the various games have been explored.
Activities include: a memory matching game that expands to increase difficulty; a bubble-popping game that focuses on size, color and number recognition; puzzles to build hand-eye coordination; tracing tests to improve fine motor skills; a hidden object game that introduces the characters; and a free-style jam session that lets kids pair various characters with musical instruments.
The instructions for Maya the Bee: Flower Party are slim. Aside from the opening animations which explain how to swipe between panels, individual games do not have instructions to explain gameplay. This isn't usually a problem. Start to play and tapping the screen provides visual feedback letting players know when they're not doing it right — although not necessarily how to fix the problem. Throughout the games Maya also expresses positive reinforcement for various actions with phrases like "Super!" and "Awesome!".
One of the best features about Maya the Bee: Flower Party is how it unfolds as children play. Choose a game and after a few minutes of play - between 3-5 repetitions - the app will take young players back to the forest scene, unlocking new party guests or adding a new party decorations to interact with on the screen. The panels continue to become more lively over time, filled with dancing characters and imaginative displays of fireworks and plants.
Overall, the games have a realistic learning curve for kids that increases difficulty without adding undue frustration. The mini games work together beautifully with the rewards delivered on the main pages for maximum interactivity and exploration.
Maya The Bee: Flower Party is available for all devices, however, it plays best on larger screens like the iPad and iPad mini. Little fingers on small screens may have trouble with some of the games, particularly the tracing and memory match.
Just like the many Maya films and storybooks, Maya The Bee: Flower Party comes in multiple languages for enjoyment by children all over the world. Choose from 10 languages: English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Turkish.