A few months ago, I reviewed a fun app called Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Farm. Inspired by flip flap books, this silly app lets kids match animal halves to create various animal hybrids, for example, a “gurkey” (goat plus turkey) or a “dicken” (half-dog, half-chicken).
If your family enjoyed Flip Flap Farm, then chances are you’ll like this app I’m reviewing today. It’s called Miximal, by developer Yatatoy, and it is the latest app to adapt the flip flap book for the digital platform.
Mix and Match
In Miximal, kids swipe through different body parts to create a real animal or a completely imaginary one. Once all three sections are aligned, they can press the play button to hear the narrator read out the animal’s name, for example, “go-le-in” (gorilla/elephant/penguin) or “kan-qui-dile” (kangaroo/mosquito/crocodile). If the matched animal happens to be real (say, a crocodile), they can watch a silly animation.
There are 11 animals to match, and each is cutely illustrated and animated. What is interesting is that each body part also has a unique animation; when kids select a gorilla torso, for example, they can watch the animal pound its chest.
All this interaction is also accompanied by humorous sound effects which, as the app listing mentions, are “taken from analogue sounds”. From what I’ve heard, these include drums, maracas, xylophone, and strings.
Parents Should Know
While Miximal is advertised as a toy, you can use the app to teach young kids about sounds and syllables. Granted, there are some animal names that had to be forcefully divided to fit the three-syllable rule (for example, “pen-gu-in” instead of “pen-guin”), but overall it’s a nice app that properly balances play and education.
The app does not contain in-app purchases. It does include a link to the developer’s other app and social media accounts, but they are protected.
The app is available in English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Italian.
Things I Like
Miximal is simple and intuitive to use. It feels tactile, and kids under five years old should be able to use it without any problems. The graphics are lovely too, and the animations top-notch.
There are many details that engage you as you use the app; for example, every animal comes with a blinking animation that not only repeats endlessly, but is also accompanied by a subtle sound effect. Another example is when you press play to hear the narrator read the animal name, there is just a slight variation in the intonation each time.
Above all, the app is humorous and child-like. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched the flamingo does the YMCA dance, or the dinosaur float into space in his helmet. I hope that more animals would be added in the future to make the app even more appealing.
Also, if you enjoyed Miximal, you should check out Drawnimal, also by the same developers. It’s a unique app that engages kids in creative play by providing animal faces and letting kids draw the rest of the body.
App was provided for our honest review.
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