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Etch-a-Sketch HD

Educational Value:
Fun Factor:
Skills:Fine Motor Skills

What we like best:

Your little Picasso can use family photos as the backdrop for his artwork.

What you should know:

Don't purchase this app if you're looking for something to occupy your child when you're busy—the game play isn't as intuitive as it could be, and kids may not even be able to start the game without your help.
Full Review:

A classic kid favorite goes interactive with this drawing app. The controls are just like the Etch-a-Sketch we all know and love—if you spin the dials a certain way you control the direction of the drawing. But unlike the classic, the app has extra elements to enhance the experience, such the ability to draw directly on the screen, a selection of stickers, and the chance to import your own photos as a backdrop.

However, when all is said and done, this app doesn't quite meet the mark. Adults will likely enjoy it for the nostalgia value more than children will—it's just too frustrating for little ones to use. While the basic functions are fairly intuitive to those who are accustomed to the old Etch-a-Sketch toy, the complicated process to erase the picture, return stickers and even enter the game—the start icons are similar in color to the background and close to impossible to see—will prevent even older children from fully enjoying the experience.

While this review is for the full HD version, a limited free version is available for Android users—but it only allows kids to draw with the knobs and shake the screen to erase, which means no saved drawings, color options, drawing with little fingers or importing photos as a backdrop.

Reviewed 2012-09-28 on iPad iOS5 by Tia Benjamin

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