February 17, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Caught in a Labyrinth: ‘Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure’ | Touch and Go

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Roxie Munro is the prolific author of titles ranging from the “Inside-Outside” series on cities to books on creatures: dinosaurs, snakes, and small builders of the insect world. One of her lift-the-flap titles was the basis of the OCG app, Roxie’s Doors. Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure references her many marvelous maze books (Mazeways [2007], Amazement Park [2009], Ecomazes [2010, all Sterling]), that feature landscape labyrinths kids can follow from spread to spread. Take a look at how developers have translated that format into a puzzle app–but save yourself time. Once you enter, you’ll be there for hours.

Despite a lack of instructions, only the youngest players will need guidance when embarking on Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure (OCG Studios, iOS, $1.99; Android, $1.99; Pres-Gr 6), a remarkably engaging and entertaining production by Roxie Munro, the author and illustrator of numerous children’s books. The app opens to a colorful aerial scene reminiscent in color and detail of the author/artist’s titles on mazes. The fun begins on a screen featuring a large picture depicting winding roads, looping highways, blue lakes, housing developments, farms, and parks, divided into a grid of 16 squares. When players begin, clouds cover all but the first square, or puzzle. They’ll soon discover that each square represents a separate puzzle, and each puzzle presents levels of difficulty.

Interior screen from ‘Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure’ (OCG Studios) Munro

A young child can choose to create a puzzle of 6 pieces from the square, while others may choose to do the same puzzle with up to 260 separate pieces. Along the way, challenges can be adjusted and/or help provided via a peek at the finished puzzle or by temporarily eliminating all but edge pieces on the board, etc. If stuck, the zoom feature will help kids get a closer look at what they are doing. A back arrow allows users to return to the main grid, save their progress, and choose another puzzle. As each puzzle is completed, the cloud lifts from that section of the grid, until finally, the entire colorful scene is revealed. Up to five players can store their games and each has a little car–that can be painted–associated their name. There are no in-app purchases. Depth, detail, and terrific fun for a range of ages.–Denise Moore, O’Gorman Junior High Library, Sioux Falls, SD



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Daryl Grabarek About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek dgrabarek@mediasourceinc.com is the editor of School Library Journal's monthly enewsletter, Curriculum Connections, and its online column Touch and Go. Before coming to SLJ, she held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Her dream is to manage a collection on a remote island in the South Pacific.