I have made four small programs or “apps” for the iPad, the iPhone and the iPod Touch.
Mad Cat is an app for young children who know the alphabet, but do not understand yet how letters combine to form words.
The program showcases one hundred three-letter words. Each word has its own page, with a picture that you can animate by tapping it. For example, the cat vanishes like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland, from the tip of its tail to the top of its ears, while its smile lingers in the air.
You move from one page to another by changing one letter at a time. You go from cat to bat, or to hat. You can change the cat into a dog by way of bat—bit—big—dig.
You can play at finding the shortest path
from cat to dog. A contents page provides a list of all the words.
Mad Logo is an iPad version of the Logo programming language for children, created at MIT in the seventies by a team of mathematicians and psychologists.
A turtle draws geometrical figures. You guide it by writing short “scripts.” The main instructions are “go forward x steps” and
“turn right y degrees.” Very young children can play at moving the turtle, but teenagers with some knowledge of mathematics are better able to study “turtle geometry” and understand how “recursive” scripts let the turtle draw fractals.
As a bonus for hard work, this app includes a devilish turtle race, programmed in Logo langugage.
Mad Lights is a six-level brain-teaser. You’re supposed to turn off the lights in a building’s windows, but quirky wiring makes it a bit difficult.
Young children can have fun with the first few levels. Older children and adults can tackle the challenge of the higher levels instead of wasting their time with Sudoku or Rubik’s cube.
I have solved all the levels before putting the game online!
Mad Cards revives three vintage solitaire games. The second one is very simple and can please young children. The first and the third ones suppose a knowledge of elementary arithmetics, as you need to add and subtract card values.
Mad Horses includes three games:
1 A very simple random horse race. You play for pleasure or money, betting among friends. You earn more than in a real race, since the government doesn’t take a share.
2 A race similar to the turtle race, favoring geometry experts.
3 The race of the knight on the sixty-four cases of the chessboard.
Mad Code is a coding primer that uses Livecode, a programming language created for plain people, used in many English and American schools. All my apps are made with Livecode.
To find these apps in the iPad’s Apple Store, you can search them by their names, or by the name I have chosen as a publisher: Madadam games.
Mad Cards is free, Mad Lights costs $0.99, Mad Cat and Mad Logo $1.99.
I have also created a separate web site to introduce the apps: http://www.madadamgames.com