Developer: Kiboomu Publishing
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Fun apps designed for kids that also impart some form of education, especially music, can be valuable to tech-savvy parents.
Kiboomu Publishing’s Old MacDonald Piano is their second interactive piano app for young children. The first, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Storybook Piano is created in a near-identical style that was quite well-developed, but Old MacDonald Piano may not have been given the same attention. Nevertheless it's still engaging, highly interactive and contains the same four modes, and at least it provides a new song to play and learn.
Old MacDonald Piano features the classic children’s song to play along to on a 17 key piano. Choose to play along with lighted keys to guide you, or play in a free style mode. There is also a karaoke mode to sing along while you play. Change musical instrument sounds from piano to strings, flute, or even animal sounds and follow the song in colorful pictures displaying at the top of the split screen.
The format used in Kibommu’s music apps is clearly developed with kids in mind. By providing both visual and interactive components, it holds their interest. It would be simple to switch from the virtual guide to a regular piano to help foster an interest in music as well. The features make Old MacDonald Piano appealing, but I still like the original better.
Old MacDonald is a little glitchy and the song lags in a few spots. The on screen karaoke style lyrics don’t match up in one spot, displaying as “his” farm and sung as “that” farm. It also has a tendency to spontaneously close. None of these technical issues were evident in the Twinkle, Twinkle version. It would have also been nice if Old MacDonald could have been purchased as an add-on to the original version rather than a separate app.
If you have young kids with an interest in music or you would like to introduce them to music in the form of an interactive game, then check out both apps. It’s a simple matter of a preference to songs really, but I recommend Twinkle, Twinkle over Old MacDonald Piano as it is more polished and only $0.99.