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Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2013

The Opposites

Cheeky characters add fun to fast-paced vocab play

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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Pros: Understanding words in relation to their opposites enhances vocabulary learning.

Cons: The kid characters' sassy attitudes might be distracting for some but amusing and motivating for others.

Bottom Line: Kids can learn 1,000 words in context, all within an engaging competition environment.

This is a single-player game with no log-in or individual accounting, so multiple kids will not be able to play on the same device. Overall, The Opposites is great vocabulary practice, especially for preparing kids for testing that includes identifying antonyms.

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The Opposites is an app that helps kids learn vocabulary words and develop a deeper understanding of their meanings by studying them with their antonyms. Its word list offers 100 words at each of the 10 levels and starts with elementary-level vocabulary -- words like fast and slow, always and never, and lost and found. Mid-level words include novice and veteran, prudent and imprudent, and wax and wane. Highest-level words -- definitely SAT-caliber -- include compulsory and voluntary, fission and fusion, and odious and delectable. The dictionary definitions are concise and written for kids.

Kids can jump right in and play or preview the words in the dictionary. Each level includes 100 words, 50 pairs of opposites, for kids to learn. Some antonyms require context -- like the opposite of bear is bull. The competitive boy and girl each say a word, and players tap both words when the pair of opposites appears. The trick is to tap 12 pairs before the room fills with word bubbles. When kids have matched the twelve pairs, they move to a bonus round to match six more word pairs quickly. Completing a level unlocks the next.


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With ten levels of vocabulary words, from Level 1 words like left and right to Level 10 words like efficacious and inefficacious, it can work for a variety of ages and levels. Since there are no instructions for gameplay, kids may need to fiddle around a bit to realize they need to tap a word and then its opposite, and that once the room fills up, the bubbles pop, and the game ends. The first level is easy enough that kids can figure out the mechanics of play with the easier word set so they'll be prepared for the more advanced words in higher levels. One note: The definitions don't take into account other definitions for words with multiple meanings.

There is no penalty for guessing (the pair just turns red and then fades back to white), so kids can learn the meaning of the words by experimenting. The reference dictionary is helpful for kids who want to warm up a bit before diving in togameplay. Overall, the competitive attitude and body language of the two kids playing really makes this app fun.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

With fast-paced gameplay and levels that gradually increase the word difficulty, kids are constantly motivated and challenged.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Ten levels of increasingly challenging words provide this game with a good depth of learning. Kids use trial and error or previous review of the in-game dictionary to learn the opposite meanings of words.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Kids figure out this relatively easy-to-play game on their own, while the in-game dictionary tracks mastered words, displaying them in green. Kids can preview or review all the words through the dictionary before playing a level.

Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews)
Featured review by
Valerie H. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Wemrock Brook Elementary School
Manalapan, NJ
Builds vocabulary as well as reinforces opposites
The app is exactly what the title implies. Two characters say words that are opposites and speech bubbles with the words are shown and said on-screen. Users click on the opposites as they appear in the floating bubbles. There is a “Dictionary” option to find and define the words used in the ten levels. Some words are golden and when they are chosen a symbol appears after clicking it. Level 1 words are simple (left/right, open/closed) and the words increase in difficulty to Level 10 (synonym/antonym, hypothesis/antithesis). The words increase in speed and difficulty to make the game more challenging as the user plays. However, there doesn’t seem to be a way to advance to higher levels without playing through all of them. There is no way to create players so everyone playing would be at the level the last player was at when they start the game. It would be optimal to be able to create players so many students could play the game on the same device and also have the option to save their play. Overall, the app is useful and works well. I would like to see the ability to choose a level to play, and to add players to the game for more usability in a classroom environment. Read full review