Review of Flow Free

One of the best apps that I have seen for improving Spatial Reasoning is Flow Free from Big Duck Games. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store (for iPhone, iPad and iPod), Google Play (for Android devices) and Microsoft (for PCs). There are in-app purchases advertised which is a bit of a drawback.

The challenge is to connect matching colours with pipes to create a ‘Flow’. Each colour has to be paired and the entire board must be covered with pipes without them crossing. To connect two matching colour dots simply draw a line with your finger between the two.

The best place to start is ‘free play’. There is a ‘time trial’ option where you have to see how many boards you can complete in a given amount of time but this is best saved for later.

Boards can be of various sizes (ranging from 5×5 to 9×9) and various shapes and features.

The simplest board looks like this:

Students might quickly see how to connect the colours with pipes to create a Flow:

Whenever a board is solved, it is checked off and you can then try another: there are over 2000 to try from! As the game boards increase in size, the position of the pipes will not be as clear, and students will develop some good problem solving and visualizing skills as they persevere to solve them. Here is a 6×6 board:

And a 9×9 board:

As students get better with these, they can also try to solve some Hexes puzzles:

Or some Bridges puzzles. Here the bridge allows pipes to pass over/beneath other pipes:

There are also Warps puzzles whereby pipes can pass from one side of the board to the other (PacMan fans will be familiar with this move!)

Finally, in the Variety Pack, there are some novelty-shaped game boards to challenge your students: 

What I particular like about Flow Free is that it is very user-friendly and extremely engaging. I have seen students that might otherwise be disengaged, puzzle away for 15 minutes to solve a 9×9 puzzle. In a classroom it can be best used perhaps by letting students work on these independently at a centre.