Speedy Reader

Nov 15, 2010 by

Speedy Reader is a reading game available on the App Store for $2.99.


Speedy Reader is a reading game. It teaches kids and English language learners the names of things in the natural and human world. It grows their spoken and written vocabularies within specific arenas in a fun, fast-paced and exciting way.

Speedy Reader gets you closer to our world with actual pictures rather than cartoonish imagery. And with Apple’s Retina display on iOS 4, our pictures have incredible crispness and beauty.

Speedy Reader teaches 90+ words, some ordinary and some exotic, from 4 different arenas: desert, jungle, ocean, and space.

You can see a video of it in action here:

Speedy Reader is a game where you are presented with an image, and must select its name from two choices (or vice versa), trying to be a speedier reader than a bot, or a friend. I see this being potentially very useful for people learning the English language.The images are great, and the app works quite smoothly, but the $2.99 price tag is too high for me. The Comic Sans font makes the game feel really childish (maybe that’s what they were going for?), and there are only four categories to choose from (Desert, Jungle, Ocean, and Space). I would also like to see a different choice of graphics for the Settings, Credits, and Email buttons, each feels out of place. The icon is… I think a lamp maybe? It doesn’t really reflect what the app is. The icon has to be instantly recognizable – “Oh! That’s Speedy Reader!” The settings view is a waste of space, it should be in a popover or modal view. The sounds when you get a correct match are too digital sounding, and don’t really match the theme.
The Bottom Line
It’s an okay app, but the pricetag needs to go down.
Graphics: 4/5 – The pictures are high quality, but actual UI graphics could be better.
UI: 3.5/5 – Okay… The settings, credits, and email buttons should be near each other.
Gameplay: 2/5 – Four Categories. And it never gets any harder.
Creativity: 1/5 – It’s a matching game, but it could be more engaging… Perhaps with videos instead of pictures. The category images on the main screen maybe changing to other images of the desert or jungle, etc.
Sound: 3/5 – Each category has background sound, I like that. Tapping the image, or text speaks the name to you, good. Correctly matching, though, produces an ugly digital sound that doesn’t fit the categories and can’t be disabled or changed.
Controls: 3.5/5 – Just tap your choice, easy enough, but it never tells you what to do.
Difficulty: 1/5 – It’s all about hand-eye coordination, but there unless you’re racing the TigerBot, it’s not much of a challenge.
Longevity: 0.5/5 – Like I mentioned many times before, only 4 categories. Play it twice and it gets boring.
Entertainment: 0.5/5 – Not really entertaining, more of a kid’s game.
Value: 2/5 – The app works and does what it says in the description, but $2.99 is waaay too high for a simple matching game. Add more features and round the edges, or drop the price.
Total: 20.5/50 or 41% – Good game for kids, or English-learners, but it’s not worth a download until it ups it’s game or lowers it’s price. 

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