Mystery Word Town is the latest app by Artgig Apps and is new in the iTunes Store today. The app is a spelling adventure where children play the detective tracking down members of the Huevos Rancheros Gang and recovering lost gold in a ghost town somewhere in the USA. Children enter and explore buildings, using their spelling skills as keys to enter areas.
If you have either Mystery Math Town or Mystery Math Museum, you’ll be familiar with the game play. You collect letters in each room or area of the building you are exploring and use them to complete words. The goal is to find the required number of gold nuggets indicated by a little pouch in the top right corner, and to find the room with a wanted poster of one of the gang. Exits from each room could be doors, windows, trap doors, ladders or even just looking up or down. If you are unsure of where you can go, a little ghost floats in each room and you can drag it around to highlight exits. You can tap on the floating letters in each scene to either complete the word or add them to your tool belt. Letters you don’t use in one room might be handy in another. As the levels increase in difficulty you may have to look in different rooms to collect the letters you need. Once you have completed your goals you can move on to the next building.
- Three Difficulty Levels – There are three word lists available within the app. The level 1spelling is about the level Mr 7 is bringing home with is weekly homework. The other two lists look to be middle-primary in level. Bearing in mind that Australia generally uses UK spelling, there was only one word in the app that we had issues with: favorite. In Australia and the UK, we spell this word as favourite. I find that when I highlight these things to my children, they have no problems.
- Audio Hint Mode – there are two modes to choose from:
- Spell Your Own Words – Players can use any letters to complete a partial word. There may be more than one option, and there are no audio hints. The correct word may not be in the word list but will be validated against an extensive dictionary.
- Listen & Spell – The incomplete word is spoken aloud as it appears on the screen. Children can hear the word repeated by tapping the sound icon in the word bubble.
- Individual Profiles – I love apps where you can set things up for each child in your family or class. Once you have created a profile, children can have a bit of fun creating an avatar by choosing hair, eyes/nose, mouth and skin tone (that can be a traditional tone, or any colour of the rainbow.) You can set the difficulty level for each child within their profile.