Classic Concentration Game That’s Both Fun and Cute to Play

Memomal uses cute scribbles on top of colorful 2D shapes to create the animal cards.

Memomal uses cute scribbles on top of colorful 2D shapes to create the animal cards.

According to Wikipedia, the classic concentration game has plenty of aliases: from Match Match and Memory to Pelmanism and Pexeso. Regardless of which name you’re familiar with, the game always involves a set of cards laid face down on a surface. And your task is to flip them — two cards on each turn — to find as many matching pairs as possible. The game can be played by one player, or two or more players.

The game is most commonly played with a deck of playing cards. And, one of the most commonly played rule is to find two cards that match the rank and color. Personally, I’ve played with many other variations during my childhood days, including the Zebra variant and the Two Decks variant. In the Zebra variant, pairs are two cards that have the same rank, but different color. And, the Two Decks variant requires you to find the exact matching cards from 104 cards. If your kids find these variants less challenging, you might want to try the Fancy or Spaghetti variants where the cards are not laid out in a grid format, but they’re laid out in a random or a non-grid shape layout.

But when we want to introduce this game to our kids, we usually involve less cards, use colorful drawings or images, and play with the standard rules. The goal is more about improving their short-term memory skills instead of a pure contest to see who has the best concentration.

Meet Memomal

Memomal is a fun adaptation of this game — designed especially for kids to have fun while playing. Instead of having 52 cards, you can choose from the two difficulty levels: easy level involving 12 cards, or hard level involving 20 cards.

To appeal to the younger audience, Memomal uses cute and colorful drawings, involving basic shapes to represent animals. For example, a yellow circle with some scribble can turn into a cute birdie. A more complex shape, such as a green hexagon, can turn into a fish with a few ink strokes. Throughout the game, you will find cats made of red rectangles, pigs made of pink ovals, and elephants made of cyan squares.

Memomal counts how many moves you make to solve the puzzle. Each time you flip a card counts as one move. If you can solve the puzzle in as few moves as possible, you will get three stars as your reward. But if you need more moves than the efficient threshold, you may get fewer stars.

Memomal has two difficulty levels: the easy one that involves 12 cards, and the hard one that involves 20 cards.

Memomal has two difficulty levels: the easy one that involves 12 cards, and the hard one that involves 20 cards.

Parents Need to Know

With its cute drawings, Memomal can inspire kids ages 2+ to scribble on top of commonly-found shapes. Turns out, we can turn a boring-looking 2D shapes into a lively animal. For example, a square can become either a bunny or an elephant — depends on how you’d draw it. Similarly, you can scribble an oval to become either a sheep or a pig.

Memomal works great without internet connection. It has no third-party ads, in-app purchases, nor links to social networks. I wish it would include more cards or allow us to play with other rule variants.

As hinted by its genre, Memomal is a great way for kids to improve their short-term memory skills. If you’re helping your kids to find the matching identical pairs of cards, here are a couple of tips that you can try:

  • Try sweeping your way from one corner in a consistent manner. It helps to associate your memory with the card locations.
  • Try to say out loud what the animals you flip over. And as you’re moving forward, always repeat your previous knowledge by saying the animal names and hovering your fingers on top of their locations.
Memomal also acts as an inspiration on how kids can use simple scribbles to turn a boring looking shapes, such as an oval, into a lively animal -- be it a sheep or a pig.

Memomal also acts as an inspiration on how kids can use simple scribbles to turn a boring looking shapes, such as an oval, into a lively animal -- be it a sheep or a pig.

Things I Like

Memomal has a fun background music to accompany you play the game. I’d suggest you turn the music on, if possible. It helps to keep up the mood.

I really like the designer’s decision to count the moves instead of using a timer. Some kids may feel pressured when a timer is involved — especially if they have to make their moves within a constrained countdown clock. By choosing to count the moves instead, Memomal encourages kids to take their time, concentrate more on their previous knowledge (a.k.a. short-term memory), and make sure they’re making the correct decisions each time. For learning purposes, counting moves is superior than having a timer.

And if your kids find the levels too challenging, you might want to turn on the Sneak Peek mode. Using this mode, the game will flash all the cards briefly just before the game starts. That way, you can get a glimpse of where all the cards are — before they’re all flipped over.

If the game is too challenging for your kids, you can turn on the sneak peek mode before starting the game. Doing so will cause the game to briefly show all the cards and their locations -- before flipping the cards over.

If the game is too challenging for your kids, you can turn on the sneak peek mode before starting the game. Doing so will cause the game to briefly show all the cards and their locations -- before flipping the cards over.

Conclusion

Memomal is a fun card matching memory game that can be enjoyed by anyone ages 2+. It features animals scribbled on top of basic 2D shapes. And instead of using a timer, the game encourages kids to focus more on their short-term memories and how to solve the puzzles in as few moves as possible. If you’re looking for a brain training game for your toddlers, you should definitely try Memomal.

App was provided for our honest review.

Get Memomal on the App Store: iPhone | iPad