Last year my 6 year old daughter started learning chess both at home through playing with us and at school through an afterschool enrichment program. Learning and playing chess encourage concentration, improve cognitive abilities and rational thinking, it is a great game for kids. Just because it requires concentration and staying power, so it was not necessarily her first choice of activity at home. I was lucky if I could convince her to play once a week, and I could see that her chess skills are not progressing beyond a certain point.
I was initially skeptical about Dinosaur Chess since we already owned another chess game for her to play against an iPad or iPod, and she was not interested in playing it – but, I was wrong. One thing that got my daughter “hooked” was a reward model built into Dinosaur Chess. She could “battle” other dinosaurs in a fun mini-game (not chess related), but she could only win against bigger dinosaurs by playing more chess and getting her character bigger.
As a parent, I liked the bite-size lessons and the flexibility of this game. It offers basic lessons about chess, such as the pieces, how they move, their strengths and weaknesses. Each lesson is about 5 minutes long, ending with a game using knowledge learned in the lesson. In our case, my daughter already knew some of the basics, I was able to go into settings to give her options to move directly to tactics lessons. All lessons are well done, appropriately short, and include several chess problems to solve before the lesson is considered complete.
My daughter and I both enjoyed the Tactics Machine that generates various chess problems and asks the student to find the best move. This really made her think hard and in some cases she did use the handy “hint” option.
Key app features from App Store:
– Learn how to play chess with 11 bite-sized interactive lessons.
– Over 20 mini games and puzzles.
– 8 chess Tactics lessons
– Play simplified and full chess against 6 beautifully animated dinosaurs.
– The ‘Amazing Chess Tactics Machine’ game to practice chess tactics/puzzles.
– Multi-student support.
– Lock/unlock lessons and alter computer strength.
I only have a couple of minor improvement thoughts as we played Dinosaur Chess. One is to add a chess notation to the board through settings. Two is to add more difficulty levels to the Tactics Machine.
Overall we absolutely loved Dinosaur Chess, and I only wish we had it from the very beginning of our journey into chess. It absolutely deserves 5 stars and well worth the money.
Dinosaur Chess is available for iPhone, iPod and iPAD. It is $2.99 on App Store. It is also available on Google Play and Windows Tablets.
If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.
For more fun game apps that also train kids brains, visit Best Learning Tools for Kids – Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills.
Today’s app is reviewed by Natalie. Natalie lives in the Silicon Valley and works full time at a high tech company. She enjoys reading, travel, and spending time with her daughter. Natalie blogs at Afterschool for Smarty Pants about enrichment activities and life skills for advanced learners.