Smashing Grammar drills six grammar rules by placing the training of each inside a fast-paced whackamole-like game. The games drill the use of nouns, verbs, plurals, syllables, and tenses of verbs, as well as challenging players to identify commonly misspelled words.
How to Play
The opening screen presents the six game options. After you select a game, a short video plays, showing you examples of correct and incorrect responses. Then the timed game begins with words popping up on the screen in random places for short periods of time. Players tap the correct answers to earn a positive score. Incorrect answers are subtracted from your score. You win the round if you match or beat the targeted score shone at the left of the screen.
Depending on the game, there may be an example sentence across the top of the screen. Thus, in "Noun Disco," you will see "A _____ escaped from the zoo." on the top, and all of the target nouns are animal words. In other games, such as the "Plural Piggies" game, players are told to either smash the plural words or the singular words.
Tension-building music accompanies the gameplay, and when time is about to run out, players hear a ticking sound.
There are very few apps that succeed in making learning grammar fun. Thankfully, Smashing Grammar does just that! By gamifying six grammar rules, kids learn to identify nouns, verbs, plurals, and commonly misspelled words, all while playing exciting games. They also learn about tenses of verbs and how to count the syllables of words. This is a fun way to expose kids to thousands of words and encourage them to read quickly.
Cleverly, the app repeats words whenever the player selects the incorrect answer. This method of delivery allows kids to learn from their mistakes. British voiceovers cheering the player on with silly phrases adds to this app's jolly atmosphere. There are also extra silly items to tap inside the games that can help or hurt your progress, making the games more than just tapping words.
However, Smashing Grammar is set up to generate a tension-filled environment. The app creates anxiety by counting down the time you have left to succeed and playing music that hypes the pressure. You can turn off the music to make the experience less intense, but not the countdown.
There is one other design quirk in Smashing Grammar that I would recommend that the developers change. In each of the games, kids play through levels that get progressively harder. When they eventually lose by not reaching the target score for that level, they are sent back to the beginning level to start again instead of being given an option to replay the harder level they just failed. Even with this repetitive level design, Smashing Grammar has earned our Best Pick Award because it succeeds in making grammar practice enjoyable.
Smashing Grammar is best for kids who relish competition, and adore fast-paced games that push them to succeed.
This kids' app review of Smashing Grammar was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.