Three months ago, I reviewed an awesome math app entitled Sakura Quick Math, which allows you practice your mental arithmetic skills by writing your answers directly on the iPad. Today, I will share about another app from the same developer, entitled Sakura Time.
Where Did the Time Go?
Sakura Time is an iPad app designed to help juniors practice time-telling and arithmetic skills through three games specifically designed for gesture input. Using various combinations of analog and digital clocks, the problems in the games test your expertise in reading and setting clocks both in 12-hour and 24-hour time.
The first mini game, Find the Clock, shows you a digital time in 24-hour format, such as 04:25, and asks you to identify the analog clock that reflects the time in question. The first few questions only have four options, but more are added gradually as you progress through the game to increase its complexity.
In each game session, you have a total of 60 seconds to correctly answer as many questions as possible. At the end of the game, the app shows you a chart to indicate your progress.
The second game, Set the Time, asks you to set the face of an analog clock to answer a given question. Instead of simply showing a specific time in 24-hour format, the app asks questions like "What time do you eat dinner?" and "Set the time to noon".
You set the hands of the clock by making a rotating gesture on screen. To turn the hands forward, make a clockwise rotation. To turn the hands backward, make a counter-clockwise rotation. After you set the clock to the correct time, hit the Submit button to register your answer.
Finally, the last game is Question Time. Here, the app asks you various time-related questions, such as calculating the difference between two analog clock faces and the result of adding two hour:minute time units. You answer by writing the correct time in 24-hour format directly on screen.
Unlike the first two games which require you to answer as many questions as you can under a minute, the third game gives you 20 seconds for each question. So if you're pretty good, you can play almost infinitely because the timer is reset when a new question is shown.
Parents Need to Know
If you are new to the app and would like to gauge the difficulties of the questions, Sakura Time has a practice mode. In this mode, the app gives you 15 questions to answer without keeping your time or score. Once you are ready, you can move on to the timed mode to start playing the games seriously.
Parents also need to know that the app supports multiple user profiles, so it can be used by families with multiple juniors and teachers in a classroom setting. The progress graph that is shown at the end of each game is also attached to each user profile, thus making it easy to track and compare each individual's progress through the game.
Things I Like
I really like the intuitive one-finger gesture that is used in the mini games. Similar to my experience with Sakura Quick Math, the handwriting detection feels very responsive and smooth, so you can input four digits quickly.
In addition, I also like the decision to use rotating gestures for setting clocks in the second mini game. Again, the gesture feels intuitive and responsive. It is also so precise that you can stop at a minute point, such as 17:59, if you want to.
Sakura Time is a great app for practicing your time-telling skills. While it makes a great educational tool for juniors ages 6 to 12, I personally find the mini games quite challenging for adults too. So, if you're looking for an app that can aid your juniors to learn time, or if you need a filler party game, I would highly recommend Sakura Time.
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