iSays App Review

The classic Simon game is an electronic game that creates a series of tones and lights requiring players to repeat the sequence. Suspense builds as the sequences become longer! The classic Simon game has been a favorite electronic game for decades - especially for students who are visually impaired! iSays is the digital version of this beloved game. The Home screen and menus are accessible with VoiceOver; the game can be played with VoiceOver but since the game is timed, it is more efficient to learn the layout and then play the game without VoiceOver.

Game Layout

Note: this game is played in Portrait Mode.

The iSays Home screen four options: New Game, Settings, More Apps and Game Center.

  • New Game: begins a new game
  • Setting
    • Auto Speed (easy, medium, hard; insane speed is only available in the paid version)
    • Sound Effects (toggle on/off)
    • Sound Theme: (piano or original)
  • More apps (for purchase)
  • Game Center: (Game center is only available if players are signed in)

Select the New Game button to begin. The game screen has the score in the upper left corner (unfortunately, the score is not accessible) along with either the word Repeat (meaning player's turn) or Watch (meaning app's turn). The majority of the screen is a large circle divided into four equal parts. The top left is green, top right is red, bottom right is blue, bottom left is yellow. Each color has a dedicated tone. Below the circle on the left is the Home button and on the right is a Repeat button. When activated, the Repeat button will play the tones again. 

If using the free version, there will be advertisements in a bar along the bottom of the screen. It is recommended to try purchase the paid version to eliminate the ads and to have access to all of the game features.

When learning the layout of the game, students can use VoiceOver and drag around the screen to determine where the 4 quadrants are in the circle. Note: VoiceOver will announce the colors but does not create the associated tone for each color when the student drags his finger. If the student drags and does a split tap (holds the dragging finger in place and drops another finger to the screen) the tone will sound; however, since the game starts automatically, if the student selects the wrong tone, the game will end!

This game is designed to teach sequencing skill and listening skills. It is a great game to develop and practice spatial relationships and mental mapping! While students can play the game with VoiceOver on, VoiceOver will make announcements. Since the game is timed, this will impact the student's speed. If absolutely necessary, the student can play the game using Voiceover and the drag and split tap gestures - but encourage the student not to listen to the full VoiceOver announcement! Ideally, the student will quickly develop a mental map of the circle and rely on his spatial memory skills to tap on the desired quadrant without VoiceOver.

Screenshot of iSays app showing a colorful circle divided into 4 sections and the VoiceOver box around the red section in the top right of the circle.

Play

If appropriate, use VoiceOver on the Home screen to find and select new Game. After learning the basic layout of the circle, turn VoiceOver off. Listen careful to the first tone. Be prepared to learn the four tones and associate these tones with their specific location. (This may require starting several new games in order to initially learn the four tones.) Start a new game and listen carefully for the first tone. Tap on the correct quadrant to replicate the tone. If correct, the game will repeat the first tone and add a second tone. Another tone will be added to the sequence until the student misses. If the student needs to hear the sequence again, tap the Repeat button below and to the right of the circle. The game ends when the student misses or when the time runs out.

Teaching Hint: The teacher can learn the tones first before introducing the student to the game. Then, prompt the student by listening to the random tone and tell the student which quadrant to tap. Repeat this until all four tones have been heard and/or the student has associated the specific tone with each quadrant.

iSays Free in the App Store

iSays - Simon Says Classic Color Switch Memory Game ($.99) in the App Store