Look In My Eyes (Restaurant) [rating: 4/5]
This is a bit of a different kind of iPhone App to what I am used to reviewing as while Look In My Eyes is a game then underlying purpose of the app is to help children with Autism to improve specifically on one area and that is looking into peoples eyes. Now I don’t know much about Autism but having read up a bit about it I understand that looking at someone in the eye’s is a particular problem and so while this app only addresses a specific need for families for an Autistic child it’s a very important one.
The app works on a very simple premise that you complete a task and you get a reward. In this case the task in question is to look into the eyes of the children’s faces that appear on the screen. As you do so a number will briefly appear in there eyes and if you are quick enough to see the number you then get to enter the number on the next screen and win a reward in the form of some virtual money.
So the app works on two levels, not only does it encourage a child to focus on the eyes but it also encourages number recognition and so I would expect with enough use both things would improve for any child that is using this on a regular basis.
However, it goes without saying that a child isn’t going to play this ‘game’ if the reward isn’t rewarding so it’s this area that may appeal to some children and not so much to others. As previously mentioned you earn virtual money for recognizing the numbers that appear in the children’s eyes and that money can then be spent completing the interior design of a restaurant by purchasing items from tables and chairs to Soda Machines and Coffee Maker not to mention the food of course.
While it’s good to see a constructive reward system I have my reservations on how enjoyable the building of a restaurant, or auto shop depending on which app you purchase, will be for any child let alone a child with Autism.
Building your restaurant or auto shop is relatively easy, after purchasing an item you can navigate through the various rooms before pacing it where you would like it. You can then rotate and move the items until it’s in the perfect location for you. What is limiting in this part of the app is that there is no reward for good management of your restaurant. While I wouldn’t expect a game with the complexity of a game such as the Sims getting some additional reward for building a good business would provide additional incentive to continue playing the game.
Interestingly the developers have made one bug in the game into a positive. They state that if too many items are purchased and placed into your restaurant then the app can crash due to the limited memory of the iPhone and they therefore encourage you to make regular ‘snapshots’ of your work just in case that happens. Why they just haven’t fixed this bug I’m not sure.
As I said before it’s difficult to rate an app that isn’t directly marketed to me, however that being said, it definitely does appear to address a specific issue that children with Autism suffer from and it’s presented in a clear, colorful and concise way. I would certainly recommend any one with an Autistic child to take a look at this app.
Reviewed By: Craig Willis
Price: $2.99 (iTunes Store)
Updated Feb 17, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.3
Size: 9.4 MB
Seller: David Cort
© 2010 David Cort
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone and iPod touch (2nd generation). Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.