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Latin Games for iPad

Certamen for iPad

Certamen

Made with the help of NJCL, this app comes with an astonishing 12,000 questions taken from real past Certamen competitions, all graded for three levels: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. The game works just like a real certamen competition: you buzz in to answer the toss-up question, and the first to answer correctly gets two bonus questions each worth five points.

Certamen for iPad works either single-player or with two players, and has one of the nicest iPad designs you'll come across - it's hours of fun, super-cheap, and the graded questions means that you hand it out to a variety of student levels without worrying.

Pros: Fast, fun and looks great &mdash and an unbeatable price, too.

Cons: Novice difficulty may prove too tricky for very young students.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 — View on App Store >>

Speed Latin for iPad

Speed Latin Premium

If you want to add a little competition to your classroom, Speed Latin is where it's at - it features a variety of fast-paced Latin questions that pit your wits against the clock as you parse words, complete word searches, and more. It also ties closely into Apple's Game Center system, which means you can compete with other players world wide on the high score tables.

Part of the fun of Speed Latin is that you don't really have time to get bored - you get about 20 seconds to answer each question, and that gets even less as you progress through the game. You're also forced to keep changing test types, so you never have time to get bored. Speed Latin is available as two apps: "Speed Latin" is free with a limited word list (the rest can be unlocked for a $0.99 in-app purchase), and "Speed Latin Premium" is available with a $0.99 up-front fee so that it qualifies for Apple's educational volume discount scheme.

Pros: Extremely fast and fun; let's players compete for high scores.

Cons: Earlier versions didn't show correct answers when you got it wrong; make sure you update to the latest release!.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 for Speed Latin Premium; a free version with in-app purchase is available — View on App Store >>

Latin Builder for iPad

Latin Builder

This is such a simple app, but once you've tried it you'll wonder why it wasn't created earlier. Put simply, this app gives you Latin stories (the story of Perseus, the story of Hercules, and the first book from Caesar's Gallic Wars) split up into individual sentences. Those sentences are then split up into individual words, and arrayed on various cards. Your mission, if you should choose to accept it, is to drag the Latin cards around the screen to form the correct sentence.

It sounds hard, but in reality you'll find it simple and remarkably rewarding. The app helpfully provides English hints to guide you as you drag the Latin words around, and when you finish each level you'll see a more natural English translation of the sentence to encourage greater understanding. Even better is the fact that the whole app is graded so that the sentences start very simple (mostly present tense with some imperfect), but by the end of you're working your way through subjunctives and much more.

Pros: Feels great to play - very rewarding; 1000 levels to solve.

Cons: None.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 — View on App Store >>

Latin Hangman

Latin Hangman

Hangman is an ageless game with a strong focus on spelling and deduction, which makes it a good addition to classrooms where you want to liven up the atmosphere now and then. Latin Hangman does a good job of presenting a fun game to users, and even has a quirky beheading animation when you lose. However, it's hard to use in the classroom because its word selections aren't graded - this means you are, more often than not, presented with a difficult word that younger students will struggle to answer.

Is it fun? Sometimes, but you do need to set the right difficulty level. It certainly looks good, and the "head start" mode can make it easier. But if you set it on a difficulty level that's beyond your years you'll get stuck pretty quickly.

Pros: Nice design; low price; works on iPad and iPhone.

Cons: Harder settings are very difficult.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 — View on App Store >>

Latin Pairs for iPad

Latin Pairs

Pairs is one of those games that everyone played when you were a kid: turn over two cards from a set of face-down cards, and hope they match. Usually this game is done with two cards that show the same picture, but this app adds a Latin twist: one card has a picture, and the other has the Latin word for that picture. It then throws in over 100 basic Latin words in categories such as animals, numbers, colors and so on, so you get a good range of vocabulary

Although this game is unlikely to appeal to students with more than a couple of years of Latin under their belt, it's fantastic fun for younger kids and beginner students, and makes it quite fun to get some key Latin vocab set in place. Did we mention the gorgeous graphics?

Pros: Beautifully cute graphics and easy gameplay.

Cons: Probably not for older kids.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 — View on App Store >>

Latin for iPad and iPhone

Latin

Taking a cue from the game 7 Little Words, Latin asks you to spell words on a board that match English definitions. For example, if you're giving the definition "I sleep", you'll need to find the tiles "DO", "RM" and "IO" to spell out the answer. This game comes with 50 Easy levels, 120 Medium levels, and an astonishing 1500 Hard levels, which means there's something for everyone - Easy is aimed at grades 7-10, Medium at 11-12, and Hard at everyone beyond that point.

The app looks polished, has simple sound effects, has a fun "you win" screen, and is guaranteed to challenge you for hours.

Pros: Cheap, challenging and fun &mdash a great way to practice your Latin.

Cons: No iPhone support.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 — View on App Store >>

Latin Scramble for iPad

Latin Scramble

Anagrams can be hard enough even in English, but this game gives the genre a smart new look, helps you along by providing the English translation of the word you're trying to spell, and provides a variety of difficulty levels so that everyone can jump in - it even has a mode for beginners that serves up vocabularly suitable for first-timers.

There's nothing complicated here, which actually works in the game's favor: roll the dice, re-arrange the letters to match the hint, and you're done. But with over 10,000 words to find and glitzy graphics that can keep even bored students entertained, this is certainly worth a buck.

Pros: Easy to learn and easy to play.

Cons: None.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 — View on App Store >>

Latin Match for iPad

Latin Match

Mastering basic vocabulary such as colors, food, numbers and animals can take time, but it doesn't have to be boring. This app combines pictures and words in a simple game environment, encouraging players to find the right words for each picture as a timer ticks away in the background. Each correct answer gives you points, and if you get enough points you can submit your score to a Game Center leaderboard to share with the world.

Although Latin Match does have some customisation options around difficulty, the game's simplicity is its strength: it's easy to dive in and start playing without needing instructions or a steep learning curve. As a fun way to teach basic vocabulary, it doesn't get much better than this.

Pros: Inexpensive, simple and fun, plus you can compete with other players around the world.

Cons: Limited use once you progress beyond its beginners' vocabulary.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 — View on App Store >>

Collins Latin Dictionary

Collins Latin Dictionary

This app comes with three simple games built-in: Word Scramble, Hangman and Anagrams. They aren't particularly advanced or attractive, but they are thrown in as part of a larger bundle and so we see them as free bonuses. As they are drawn from the dictionary, the games aren't structured or graded in any meaningful way, which limits their usefulness slightly, but at least you're guaranteed a huge corpus of words to work from.

Pros: Comes free as part of the larger app.

Cons: A bit basic.

Price: $9.99 / £6.99 — View on App Store >>

Latin Word Search for iPad

Latin Word Search

This is another app with a really beautiful user interface &mdash it has light wooden tiles on a dark wooden surface, and you just drag your finger over the screen to match words when you find them. The app generates word searches on the fly, which means you get a new puzzle every time you play. It generates each puzzle using its built-in dictionary, which is also called upon to show definitions of words as soon as you match them — a really nice way of subconsciously encouraging vocabulary learning.

At its hardest level, Latin Word Search generates word searches with words in every direction, including diagonally backwards. This means you have to really search hard to find words, which in turns means students really focus on spelling. It's a sneaky, but fun, way to make them learn words really thoroughly.

Pros: Beautiful app; random puzzle generation; low price.

Cons: No iPhone support.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 — View on App Store >>