Sunday, March 29, 2015

iOS App: Winky Think Logic Puzzles

Winky Think Logic App
Winky Think Logic Puzzles App on iTunes ($2.99, sometimes free)

What it is: A collection of 180 logic puzzles that involve very simple to mod difficulty levels. The puzzles all consist of variously shaped and colored tiles that need to be positioned in specific spots. Sometimes it's as simple as moving a tile to its designated spot, sometimes several tiles to several spots, and sometimes there's obstacles to overcome and sequencing to determine. Solutions require single - to - multi steps to reach, with skills that tap into shape and color recognition, path determination, figuring out the outcome of various objects in the puzzles, etc.

Screen Shot 1 shows a simple level where you have to choose the correct shape to move to the center. Screen Shot 2 shows a simple level where there's some restriction on movement, and more than one target shape - so one has to move the tiles in sequence to place them. Subsequent levels include some additional problem solving. It never gets too difficult and it's pretty fun. If you get stuck, you can restart a level at any point - there's no timer and no points to lose; you just keep solving until it's solved.
Screen Shot 1

How we can use it in Tx: There's no settings to consider except whether or not you want music. If you are working on focus and need some distracting stim, you can keep the music on.

The levels are made more complex by the addition of obstacles, and multi-step solutions to the puzzle. A few levels require the use of more than one finger--I'd skip those levels in therapy unless you have a very highly functioning and dexterous individual. There's also a few levels at the end of the game where very precise movement is required (the obstacles cannot be "touched" by the tiles); I'd skip those as well as they may just frustrate more than help. But overall, levels are realistically solvable, especially with some cuing.
Screen Shot 2

You get to move up levels as you solve them (solve one, get to move on to subsequent levels) but once solved, you can reuse the levels. So, I would recommend solving ahead (as far as you plan to use with any client; or all 180 puzzles - it's fun). That way you can skip over levels that aren't appropriate for a particular client, and not worry about any subsequent levels being locked. Otherwise, just choose levels and play.

One issue that may arise is that solving some of the levels may require dexterity beyond the ability of your client. In such cases you can either skip that level, or split the task into parts that would still provide experience with the problem solving and the planning: the client may solve the puzzle by making a plan (e.g., for screen shot 2, figure out the sequence in which tiles need to be dragged into the track), and then verbalizing directions for someone else (likely the clinician) to carry out the plan. Then the dexterity of maneuvering the tiles would be left to the participant without deficits in this area.

Goals we can target in Tx with this app: Direction following, problem solving, reasoning, symbolic dysfunction, visual field neglect or other visual-field dysfunctions (like hemianopsia--to get used to scanning back and forth to compensate), sequencing, sorting, focus/attention, categorizing, planning, and of course spatial reasoning. And of course, as per my usual logic, memory.

Some specific examples:

1. As noted above, if you have a client who lacks the dexterity to maneuver the tiles in any or all levels, you can separate the task into manageable bits and remove the part that requires skill beyond your client's reach: the client can make a plan to solve the puzzle, verbalize it (or discuss it), then provide directions for another person to carry it out. The clinician, or another client if you're working in a group, can maneuver the tiles.

2. You can use this as a break between other tasks, or as its own task for a certain part of your session. To document skill and progress I would keep track of the cuing required and the number of steps that were needed to solve each puzzle to determine the difficulty of the task at each level. You might also note if the multi steps were homogenous: That is, were they the same step each time, as in sequencing the order like the puzzle in screen shot 2, or heterogeneous steps, as when one tile needs to be put on a spot that opens an obstacle or has to be maneuvered to a spot that allows it to change colors. I would consider heterogeneous steps more complex. For someone with symbolic dysfunction, you 'd want to also keep track of how many colors and/or shape choices were provided and how much cuing they needed to pick the correct shape/color (e.g., in the puzzle shown in screen shot 1).

3. Memory: you can show the solution to a min/mod difficult puzzle, and then ask your client to re-solve the puzzle using their reasoning and their memory of your solution. See, I can ALWAYS involve memory goals.

All in all, I think you can have a lot of fun with this puzzle both for direct Tx and for a motivating and useful break between other tasks you have planned.