Dear Reader

LQ: 9.1


Brain grade: 9.7
Fun score: 8.5

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: N/A Platform/Console: , LWK Recommended Age: 12+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used: ,

iPhone iPad


 Dear Reader is a literary puzzle game where classic texts are used as the game board. The game features several different types of puzzles, all centered around making meaning of the text by correctly completing the passage. There are activities where you need to find the misspelled words, activities where you put words in their correct places, and even activities where you need to put whole lines in the correct order. 

The player earns “ink” as they correctly complete these puzzles. Ink can be used to purchase new books to add to your library. As you work on each puzzle, you gain or lose ink depending on the length of time it takes you to complete the puzzle, as well as how many errors you make while working on it. Settings can be changed to increase or reduce the difficulty of each puzzle. 

The game also features weekly challenges that get harder as the week goes on. Additional goals can earn you presents, which can unlock new books, extra ink, or even new types of puzzles to play through. New books appear Mondays and Thursdays, so new book selections are always available to keep puzzles fresh and challenging. 

Dear Reader is available for free with a subscription to Apple Arcade. Apple recommends that this game be played by children 12 and older due to the content of some of the novels involved. Learningworks believes that every parent has the responsibility to research games to determine whether they are appropriate for their individual child. Read more about the ESRB and choosing the right games for your children here. Due to the large amount of reading in this game, it is not appropriate for children who are just learning to read. 

Dear Reader helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Time Management: Working under pressure. 

When you start a puzzle in Dear Reader, the clock immediately starts ticking. As time goes on, your “ink” starts to dry up. When the ink has completely dried, you need to begin the puzzle over again. Taking a long time to solve the puzzle means that you finish with less ink that can be used to purchase new books. Players need to use their time management skills and work quickly but effectively under pressure in order to end the puzzle with as much ink left as possible. For players who struggle with time management, the game has three difficulty settings involving timed puzzles, so playing around with these and working up to harder levels can help with this skill. 

Flexibility: Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

Seeing letters, words, and phrases out of order in a text can be jarring and difficult to think through, especially when you have a limited amount of ink to work with. Making mistakes will also cause your ink to dry up, so you do not have an unlimited number of tries to get the puzzles right. Players need to use their flexibility in order to adapt to what the game is asking them to do. Before playing you do not know what type of puzzle you will be asked to complete; sometimes the game even shifts between several puzzles in one chapter. For players who struggle with flexibility, this game can be a way of practicing adapting to unexpected situations and circumstances. 

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