The brain, like the other muscles in the body, needs constant exercise to stay sharp. Brain games are great for that. If you are looking for a good, wholesome game to train your mind, here is one that I enjoy: Pegs by White Pixels. Based on the classic game Peg solitaire, it's engaging for kids as young as seven years old.
Move the Pegs, Clear the Board
If you're not familiar with Peg solitaire, it's a puzzle consisting of a number of holes in a grid. The holes are filled with pegs, save for one hole in the center. Players can move the pegs via jumps, i.e., moving a peg over another into a hole. The jumped peg is then removed from the board. The goal of the game is to empty the board except for a solitary peg in the central hole.
Pegs by White Pixels has been simplified for kids. It uses pegs of different shapes and colors instead of a single design, which makes them easy to distinguish. Players start off with half-empty boards, which are easier to solve, before moving on tougher puzzles. There are 30 puzzles in all, each more difficult than the previous one.
Every step of the way, the app provides hints and coaching to help new players get accustomed to the rules of the game. Do note that the instructions are given in text form, so non-readers will need assistance to get started. That said, once they have understood the basics of the game, they should not have any problems figuring things out on their own.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pegs was designed for everyone, including players with special needs. The controls are simple: simply tap to play. There's no need for gestures or multi-touch, which might be difficult to perform by those with mobility impairments. The game doesn't have a timer, and there is no punishment for making mistakes, so players can play at their own pace. They can undo their actions, restart each level completely, or skip to a specific level if they want to.
The app has no third-party ads, no in-app purchases, and no links to external sites. It's also playable without Internet connection, thereby providing great entertainment on the go.
Things I Like
Pegs by White Pixels shines in its simplicity. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to play, but solving the puzzles is a different story. A puzzle might start out easy, but the more pegs you take off the board the trickier it gets. It's an exercise in logic and critical thinking, but it's a lot of fun.
What's excellent about the app is its kid-friendly design. It coaches the player all the way, and there are hints as you play. The increase in difficulty level is also gradual. This takes pressure off the player and lets them to actually enjoy the game.
One thing I'd like to see is more puzzles for extended playtime. It would also be nice if there were an option to solve the puzzle, in case the player gets really stuck. But overall, Pegs is a solid game.
As of v1.5, Pegs allows players to swipe to change levels. The app automatically saves their work, so they can come back later and continue where they left off. Nice!
If you love games that get you thinking, you will love Pegs. It's a lot of fun to play and not at all difficult to get into, regardless whether you're a kid or an adult. There is a gentle rise in difficulty level so even the most inexperienced player will be able to enjoy the game. On the other hand, the tougher levels will keep the older ones entertained.
App was provided for our honest review.
About White Pixels
White Pixels is the retirement project of Rick Meyers, a veteran software engineer with years of experience at Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Taligent, Aplia, and Cengage Learning.
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