In this series, we’ve looked at Bible study apps (here and here), audio / video apps, and book apps that make the iPad valuable for Bible study. Today, we’ll explore memorization and game apps that aid learning and retention.
Although games have proven beneficial to the learning process of children, games aren’t just for kids. We grown-up kids can also profit from a well-designed game.
The iPad has taken the gaming industry by storm. The Games category in the app store has exploded and is second only to the Books category in quantity. Unfortunately, this revolution in gaming has not yielded many quality Bible-related game or memorization apps. In fact, the arena of Bible-related game and memory apps is desperately in need of developers. (If you have the skills, this market is wide open and hungry for quality Bible trivia, memorization, and other game apps!)
To be honest, I would not consider many of these apps to be stellar (though some are). Nevertheless, you are likely to find one or more that are useful or enjoyable — or both. Some are free, and some are not.
If you come across a great app that we should add to this list, be sure to post it in the comments below.
Let’s start with the memory apps. This list is far from exhaustive, but I’ve tried to find the best representatives currently available. (I have not included apps that are merely electronic flash cards.)
Thanks to John Huss for bringing this excellent app to our attention in the comments below!
Fighter Verses is a well-designed iPad app available for $2.99. It is quite feature-rich:
- It comes with more than 520 verses preloaded.
- Easily add your own verses simply by searching for the Scripture reference (ex: John 1:1).
- Three English Bible versions are available: ESV, NIV, KJV.
- One Spanish Bible version is available: LBLA.
- You can actually listen to the verse being read to you.
- In some cases, there are even songs to help you memorize the verse! (ESV only)
- You can add a verse to your iPad’s Lock Screen, so the verse is always before you.
- There are study tools for each verse, including the text of the chapter where the verse is located, blog articles (from FighterVerses.com), commentaries, and links to resources from the Desiring God website.
There is a “fill in the blanks” quizzing feature that I would consider to be more of a review feature than an assessment tool, but John mentions that the next update will include more quizzing tools and “many other things” (see the comments below). Tantalizing indeed!
All in all, Fighter Verses gets high marks and should be considered one of the best memorization apps available.
Mantis Bible Study
Interestingly enough, this memorization app isn’t even a dedicated app. Mantis Bible Study is a full-fledged Bible study app that we introduced in our original post in this series. It just happens to have a built-in memorization module, and it’s free!
It’s easy to add verses to the memorization module. Simply click the verse number for a verse you want to memorize, which will reveal a series of tools. Then select the Memorize option. Easily adding verses to the memorization tool may seem trivial, but, as you will see in the following apps, it can be quite a hassle to actually get your Bible verses into some of them.
Mantis offers two testing modes: Scrambled and 1st Letter. The scrambled testing mode, as the name implies, scrambles the words of your verse(s), and you have to arrange them in the correct order. In the 1st letter testing mode, you have to tap the first letter of each word in the correct order.
Mantis comes free with the King James Version (KJV). If you would like to use Mantis to memorize verses from another translation, you will need to purchase that translation from the in-app store.
Bible Memory by MobilizeFaith is a decent app, but its $5.99 price tag is a bit steep considering its limited functionality. It is actually an iPhone app. It is not optimized for the iPad, but that doesn’t really pose a problem for the app’s purpose.
Bible Memory includes a list of 250+ suggested memory verses (available in four translations: NIV, NKJV, KJV, NASB), but you may add your own verses as well. However, you have to manually type them into the app and assign a category to each. I suppose the process of typing verses may actually help you to memorize them, but it would be nice to simply select the verse or verses you want to memorize.
Bible Memory only has one testing method: Fill in the Blank. There are, however, three levels that get progressively more difficult (i.e., there are more blanks to fill in).
Bible Memory Verses
Bible Memory Verses is a free app. Like the Bible Memory app above, it is an iPhone app, not optimized to take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen.
Bible Memory Verses comes with 1,000 verses pre-loaded in four translations (ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV). You can add your own verses as well, but you must manually enter them.
As it currently stands, Bible Memory Verses is essentially a glorified flash card system. There are no testing methods, but it does have a couple of review methods and an interesting audio feature, which allows you to record yourself reciting the verse. This is intended to help you memorize by both speaking and hearing.
It is also noteworthy that there are plans to incorporate two quizzing methods in a future update.
This free app utilizes a patent pending memory technique that is optimized for how your brain actually works. No more closing your eyes to strain for that thread of recall or singing a little prompting song. As you read each verse, the MyBibleMemory (MBM) app will move you along 10 steps of creative word blanking that causes your brain to form links between words.
You must sign up for a free beta account to use the web console or the iOS app. You can choose from five translations for memorizing: KJV, NIV, ESV, NKJV, The Message.
Each of the 10 steps for memorizing a verse removes additional words. There is no other interaction in the app; however, the web interface allows you type all the missing words as you progress through each of the 10 steps.
VerseByHeart is an iPhone memorization app with features similar to Mantis above, but it comes with a $5.99 price tag, is not optimized for the iPad’s additional screen real estate, and does not contain Bible text (except a few sample verses).
Although Bible verses are not already included in VerseByHeart, there is a nifty import feature, so you don’t have to type verses manually (but you can do that, too, if you want).
Like Mantis, VerseByHeart uses the Scrambled and 1st Letter quizzing techniques.
Adventure Bible Memory HD
Adventure Bible Memory HD is directed at kids (but that doesn’t mean adults can’t use it, too). It is well-presented and is optimized for the iPad. It costs $4.99, but there is a free Lite version with a few verses that allows you to try it out before you purchase the full version.
Adventure Bible Memory uses the New International Version (NIV) exclusively. You can memorize verses as well as the order of books in the Bible. There is only one quizzing method where you must unscramble the missing words from a bank of words, but there are three difficulty levels to choose from. You can also record yourself reciting the verse and play it back, which can aid retention.
It is presented in a game format, where you earn points and prizes along the way. All in all, this app is quite good, especially if you have young children and want to encourage Bible memorization.
Although there are many Bible-related game apps available, most are poorly presented or have the barest of features. Here are a few of the more interesting apps:
Bible Challenge is a trivia game for 2 to 4 players. It is an iPhone app, not optimized for the iPad’s larger screen. It costs $2.99.
Bible Challenge serves up over 2000 questions, and, while most Bible trivia apps only use the simple multiple choice format, Bible Challenge offers the following question types to add variety:
- Trivia (Multiple Choice)
- True / False
- What Book
Bible Challenge presents a somewhat confusing interface, but, in addition to the trivia games, it also includes the full King James Version (KJV) text with searching capabilities, bookmarking, and note-taking features.
Kids Bible – Noah’s Ark
Kids Bible – Noah’s Ark is a well-presented iPad app. This app let’s kids “listen, touch, watch, discover, play.” It costs $3.99 and is worth the price if you have young children.
Kids Bible – Noah’s Ark is an animated audio book that also offers games and interactive activities related to the story. Quoting from the app’s description:
- Listen: listen to the story, accompanied by music and carefully selected sound effects
- Touch and Watch: the story is told through pictures that light up and come to life at the touch of your finger
- Explore: learn and discover where the events of the Bible took place
- Play: Puzzle, Memory, Sticker, a variety of games that allow you to revisit the most beautiful illustrations of the application
Bible Trivia HD
Bible Trivia HD is an iPad app for up to 4 players. It costs $3.99.
The goal of the game is to “get to heaven.” The game consists of a bank of 5000 questions, and you can review the Bible text that is the foundation for each question.
While Bible Trivia HD is founded on a good idea, it does tend to get poor ratings from customers, primarily for presentation.
iBibleQuiz is a free iPad app. It is a simple, multiple-choice trivia app with a clean interface. No frills.
Bible Stories Word Search Old Testament HD
Bible Stories Word Search Old Testament HD is another free iPad app. It is a simple, word-search app with puzzles based on Old Testament topics.
Other articles in this series:
- iPad for Bible Study: Bible Apps
- iPad for Bible Study: Audio / Video Apps
- iPad for Bible Study: Book Apps
- iPad for Bible Study: Bible Apps Part 2
- iPad for Bible Study: Memorization / Game Apps
- iPad for Bible Study: Bible Apps Part 3