Wednesday, October 19, 2011


MexiBall is just the coolest is by Donut Games, who also make some other apps that I use: Spikey,  Ruberth's Kick n Fly, Cows in Space, etc.  There apps are fabulous for higher level language and critical thinking skills. I am able to use their games with my younger students as well as my adolescent students.  Donut Games also has a nice website (click the Donut link) where some of the games are available in an on-line version (no apple device necessary).
MexiBall is a logic game in which you need to slide colored balls together.  The levels start easy, but quickly increase in difficulty.  Ex: You will need to slide a yellow ball out of the way before sliding the red balls together. Other obstacles are added, such as holes, electric gates, etc.  Not only do you want to complete the level, but you want to do so in as few moves as possible.

Oh yeah, did I mention it is FREE this week?????  Donut Games offers a FREE app every week, they post the name of the app on Mondays. Here is their Facebook page.

What Goals Do I Target?
  • Logic, sequencing, and higher level thinking: Students must analyze the puzzle, decide what steps need to be accomplished, solve problems (ex: if a ball is in the way, etc), use multiple strategies, etc.   It was really cool to see my students pre-planning the steps...even talking out a plan before they began!  This game is advanced enough for my middle school-aged students as well. You could increase the vocabulary level for older students: theory, predict, hypothesis, test, solution, etc.
  • Following directions: I can provide oral directions for the student to follow in order to pass a level. Student partners can also work together...Student A tells Student B how to complete a move or level, then they can reverse roles. 
  • Fine motor and coordination: It is great practice for my students who struggle with keeping their finger on the screen and dragging the marbles through the puzzle/maze.  My OT friends would be better at describing the skills needed here! =)
The one drawback that I have found with this app, is that once you perfect a level, it tells you that you failed when you try it with another group.  I simply explain this to the students and instruct them not to pay attention to the message...but it would be nice if the developer could change this??? (Hint, Hint!)   My students really like seeing that phrase, "You Passed".  I do not want to reset the game either because some student keep track of their level from session to session.

Here are screenshots from the Apple Store...I didn't use my own shots as the store shots showed the finger moving the marbles, which is nice.

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