Tag Archives: games

App of the Week – Stickman

This week’s App of the Week was discovered during the 5th and 6th grade Information Skills class a few weeks ago. We were exploring Infotopia (remember, that wonderful search engine that has been curated by teachers and librarians) and I started digging through the Games section. And that’s where we found it.


Draw a Stickman. Like some other apps, this has a web component and that’s where we started. But then we discovered there was also a mobile version and decided it needed to be shared with the community.

The concept is simple. Step one: draw a stickman. Step two: Follow the directions to take your stickman on an adventure. Draw well or your stickman may be singed by a dragon or eaten by sharks.

The app is free and available for both iThings and Android. And there’s also Stickman Epic (Apple and Android), where you draw a friend for your stickman and have to help save him or her from a book in which he/she has been captured. Both are free for the basic levels, but require payment for higher ones. You can play all levels on the web for free.

Thanks to Ben H. for making today’s announcement!


App of the Week – I Don’t Even…

I stumbled across this game last night and I don’t even know what to think of it. I’m actually crying, I’m laughing so hard. And I predict that I will waste hours with this…not to mention that I have a new song for my running playlist.


The game is called Dumb Ways to Die. I downloaded and just started playing. The first screen is a fork inside a toaster. The goal: swipe up to remove the fork (and toast) without touching the sides. Then it’s on to a series of equally bizarre tasks: connect electrical wires, duck before the bear eats your head, tilt the phone to get a space helmet back on before the vaccuum of space makes your head explode.The games are fast paced, and as you complete each set, they repeat faster, and “fasterer,” and “faster faster faster faster.”

Here’s where the “I Don’t Even…” part comes in. If you die three times, it takes you back to the home screen, which is a train station platform (and some of the tasks are avoiding falling off train platforms). But before you get there, in the top right corner is a “Safety Pledge” which says you won’t do dumb things around trains. Turns out, the game is based on a public safety campaign by Metro Trains Melbourne (as in Australia).  You have to check out their website. There’s a video with a song, which is totally going on my running playlist, and this is what had me laughing so hard I was crying.

The game is free, with, of course, some in-app purchases (although I haven’t come across them yet) and available on both iOS and Android.

Oh, and there’s Dumb Ways to Die 2!!! (Do you think Ms. Falcone will be understanding when I don’t get my final grades done?)

App of the Week – Jetpack Joyride

The App of the Week is back. And to make up for the Mondays I wasn’t here, I decided to go with a fun one. So this week’s app is courtesy of Matt W.jetWhen I started App of the Week, Matt came to me with a few suggestions. This one looks like a  lot of fun. According to Matt, if you like Temple Run or Minion Rush, you’ll like Jetpack Joyride. In this game, you’re battling evil scientists and need to collect coins and avoid death. So far, I’ve died three horrible deaths and collected no coins, but it takes me a while to figure these things out.

The game is free (although there are in app purchases) and available for both iOS and Android.

If you have a suggestion for App of the Week, share it with me!

Apps of the Week

So, I’m trying a new thing this year. Each Monday I intend to highlight a fun or interesting app that I’ve found.

Today I actually have two apps that are related. In honor of the announcement of this summer’s trip to France, I thought it might be nice to start the year out with some language learning apps.


The first is Duolingo. This is a game-based language learning app. You can download the app for both iPhone and Android, or you can play on-line. The program uses immersion-style teaching, meaning that it has you jump right in with sentences and pronunciation. You’ll start out with some basics, then move into “themed” lessons, like food and animals. The further you go into the game, the more complex the lessons will get. For each lesson you have three or four “hearts.” Get a question wrong, lose a heart. Lose all of your hearts and you’ll have to start the lesson over. Finishing lessons and working consecutive days earns you points (“lingots”) to spend in the store which will get you extra lessons or some cool outfits for your owl.

Duolingo also gives you a chance to review what you’ve learned so that you don’t forget things from lesson 1 when you’re in lesson 20. And you can use the microphone feature on your phone to practice your pronunciation.
This is a fun app, and at times can be a little silly. A friend of mine used it before a trip to Italy, but was concerned that she wouldn’t have an opportunity to ask, “Whose penguin is that?”


If you want a more traditional language learning experience, check out Mango Languages. Like Duolingo, you can access Mango from your computer or your iOS or Android device. Mango provides more traditional course through learning the language. Most lessons start with how to say hello, thank you, and good bye and move through more practical scenarios. Mango does give you time in the lessons to practice your pronunciation, but it does not use the microphone to give you feedback or correct you the way Duolingo does.
Mango does have some fun with their language lessons. You can learn some key Portugese phrases for watching soccer in Brazil. Or, perfect for this coming Friday, brush up on your pirate!

Both apps are free, however, to use Mango for free you need to sign in through your local library,so you’ll need a library card (and since September is Library Card Sign Up Month, now’s the perfect time to get one if you don’t already have one).
Stan_Lee_PSA_FB_cover_v2I’m always open to suggestions for apps to feature, so if you know of some great ones, stop by and let me know or drop me an email.