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Best iPad Apps by Peter Meyers

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Distracting (and Educating) the Kids

Best App for Stealth Mental Challenges

Best App for Stealth Mental Challenges

$2.99 Version: 1.3 | 99 Games

This is the Deceptively Delicious of brain-exercise apps: an adventure story vehicle for a series of mind- and finger-challenging quizzes and tasks. The app starts you off with simple stuff: you’re asked to do things like chop wood by tapping your finger at quickly appearing bark markers. Soon enough, however, some of these suckers get tough: Carla is four times her daughter’s age. In 30 years, her daughter will be half as old as Carla. How old are Carla and her daughter now? Up for dozens and dozens more of those cranial stretches? Take yourself a trip down the Blood River.

HINT MINT: Hints can be unlocked either by paying for them (cost: about 3 cents per hint, sold in dollar bundles) or using the hidden currency embedded throughout the game. These aren’t flat-out answer shortcuts, but they do expose a route-to-progress that might strike old-school learners as unacceptably easy for young’uns who get easily discouraged (or who’ve got their own iTunes Store budget for buying in-app hints).

TALK NERDY TO ME: Some of the dialogue is as clunky and forced as that other popular entertainment genre in which the plot and characters’ words are incidental to the, uh, main action. But let’s be clear: the story here is secondary. If you don’t ...

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