A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that AJ Jump: Animal Jam Kangaroos! includes a tiny bit of National Geographic content about kangaroos but mostly is an app spin-off of the virtual-world game website Animal Jam. Kids are encouraged to set up an account on Animal Jam, but it isn't necessary to play; however, it's much harder to earn coins and gems in the app alone. There's no chat option or interaction with other players in the app, either, but kids can create a username and be added to the leaderboard.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
From the start screen of AJ JUMP: ANIMAL JAM KANGAROOS! kids can hit play to start bouncing, tap the owl to learn more about red kangaroos, or select one of the options to dress and accessorize their kangaroo. Before they can buy any items, though, they'll have to earn coins and gems by playing. The kangaroo jumps on his own, but kids can guide him to the rock platforms to reach higher goals by tilting the device. If he hits a spider or misses a platform, though, the round ends. Kids record their kangaroo's names on the leaderboard and can connect their Animal Jam accounts to transfer in-app earnings to the website; however, they can't transfer from the Web to the app.
Is it any good?
With the National Geographic logo, you'd expect more educational content. There is a bit -- a short book and one-minute video -- but kids only read and watch to receive that information. The gameplay is totally separate and pretty mindless. To guide the kangaroo higher, kids must use some strategy, but skill doesn't translate into coins; instead, earning in-game currency is all about how long a kid plays. And it will take quite a bit of playtime to earn enough to deck out the kangaroo in the costume choices and accessory options. Unfortunately, those items are a fleeting investment -- many don't carry over into future games. Though kids may enjoy steering the kangaroo to new heights, disappointed parents might direct their kids elsewhere for more science-infused fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about kids creating an account on Animal Jam or not. Discuss the risks and rules around in-game chat and paying for the membership.
Make sure kids see the book and in-app videos from National Geographic about kangaroos. What did they already know? What did they learn?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Science: animals
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving
- Price: $1.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: October 28, 2014
- Category: Kids' Games
- Topics: Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- Size: 52.10 MB
- Publisher: Smart Bomb Interactive, Inc.
- Version: 1.5
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1 or later; Android 4.0 and up
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.