Apple Twist by SmartGames is a simple and fun logic game that teach your kids important cognitive skills without them realizing it.
One of the most commonly asked questions that I get when I meet a new homeschooling parent is, “How do you keep your kindergartener occupied when you are teaching your elementary school kid?”
I have to admit, multitasking and trying to teach two kids at the same time is probably the hardest part about homeschooling. Thank goodness for SmartGames like Smart Farmer and Camelot Jr that allow one of my kids to play independently while I focus on teaching the other.
The latest SmartGames game to join our gameschooling collection is Apple Twist, a unique logic game with a 3D game board. Made for kids ages 5 and up, Apple Twist uses the familiar concept of hungry caterpillars eating their way through an apple to challenge your kids’ spatial insight, visual perception, planning, and problem-solving skills.
How to Play Apple Twist
Apple Twist includes a twisting apple game board, 3 caterpillar puzzle pieces, and a booklet with 60 challenges and solutions. The simplicity of the game and the compact game pieces make it a great game to take on a road trip to keep the little ones busy.
Similar to the other SmartGames games we have played, the challenges range from Starter level to Master level. A preschooler or kindergartener can start from the Starter challenges, while an elementary school kid may jump ahead to the Expert or Master level challenges.
The objective of the game is to fit all 3 caterpillars on the game board. Let’s walk through how to play Apple Twist in detail.
Apple Twist Rules
To start off the game, you pick a challenge in the booklet. The Starter and Junior challenges use the same game board configuration so that once you figure out the twisting apple game board, you don’t have to adjust it again until the next level.
The apple game board is divided into 5 horizontal segments that can each be rotated 180 degrees. At first, my kindergartener had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to set up the game board since she never had to deal with a 3D board before. Matching the correct sides of the apple is a puzzle by itself!
My kindergartener had trouble understanding the concept of rotating the different segments when we first started, but then she got really interested in manipulating the game board. Even though the Starter puzzles used the same game board orientation, she asked me to mix up the segments before every puzzle so she could redo the game board herself.
Next, bend the caterpillars and fit all 3 inside the dimples of the apple. The initial Starter challenges give you hints on where the caterpillars should be on the game board with colored circles. The later challenges only show you yellow, green, and blue heads to indicate where the heads of the specific caterpillars are on the apple, but you need to figure out the body orientations.
What was interesting to me was the way my kindergartener approached the game. When I tried a few puzzles, I like to figure out how the caterpillars should look like on the board, and adjust them to the correct shapes, and then place them on the apple. My kindergarteners took a different approach and first lined up the heads to where the booklet said they should be, and then start bending the caterpillars so they fit in the dimples.
The Master challenges use a different game board setup for each challenge, so you must figure out the game board before placing the caterpillars on the apple. You also only get a white head as a hint. You no longer know which caterpillar’s head is in the dimple, just that one of the heads of the 3 caterpillars should be there.
Just like the Starter challenges, it’s your task to figure out the body orientations of the caterpillars on the apple game board. My elementary school kid was able to solve these Master level puzzles after a few tries, but they were by no means easy.
All of the challenges only have one solution, and they are shown at the back of the manual.
Although it’s not a big deal, the only thing I would complain about Apple Twist is the caterpillars do not fill all the dimples on the game board. After you fit all 3 caterpillars on the apple, there are still some uncovered dimples. This makes the game slightly harder, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It would just have been so much more satisfying to see all the dimples covered by the caterpillars.
Final Thoughts on Apple Twist
It’s safe to say that SmartGames has done it again with Apple Twist. A fun logic game that challenges your kid’s cognitive skills, Apple Twist is the perfect addition to Timberdoodle’s kindergarten curriculum kit. It’s going to be an integral part to our homeschooling this year as well as other resources that will improve my daughter’s thinking skills in the kindergarten curriculum kit.