Alien Assignment

App review by
Cynthia Chiong, Common Sense Media
Alien Assignment App Poster Image
Cute storyline for problem solving; great family fun.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

Kids can learn to problem solve, investigate, and think creatively as they figure out what is needed to fulfill their photo assignments. In searching their immediate environment, they might discover objects they weren't thinking of to solve the Gloop family's problems. Additionally, kids get step-by-step instruction on how to take pictures using an iOS-style camera -- a useful digital skill to add to their toolkits. Alien Assignment gives kids a chance to do some high-tech sleuthing with a clever blend of real-world and other-worldly fun.

Ease of play

The characters in the app give very clear, kid-friendly verbal instructions throughout the activity. It requires the use of the camera on the device.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Alien Assignment is an app that encourages problem solving and family interaction. Kids help the Gloop family fix their spaceship by taking photos of objects they think might help solve specific problems like a leak or a stuck steering wheel. Then, they hand the device with their photos over to a parent or adult to review. The review is a great opportunity for parents to take part and talk with kids about their thinking. Alien Assignment is an engaging and active family activity that adults and kids can enjoy together.

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What's it about?

In ALIEN ASSIGNMENT, kids are on a mission to help the Gloop family fix their spaceship. The narrator instructs kids to take photos of objects that can help solve various problems. For example, there is a leak, so they need something that can hold liquid. Parents can set the number of pictures required per round from 4 to 20. After each round, kids pass the device to an adult who verifies that the object photographed will solve the specific problem. If parents give the photos a thumbs-up, kids can watch the ship getting fixed.

Is it any good?

Alien Assignment is a fantastic opportunity for kids to be active while engaged with an educational app. It also does a great job of involving parents in kids' learning. The photo review provides kids with feedback on their solutions and also gives parents a way to begin conversations with kids about important learning topics.

The premise of the Gloop family story is thought out and well executed. The illustrations and animations are cartoony and something kids will enjoy. The picture prompts change with each use, so kids can replay for a new learning experience. Alien Assignment is a "must have" for some family fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Ask your kids to explain their thinking when they bring photos to you for review. Ask them questions like "Why did you choose this object?" and "How will this help the Gloops fix their spaceship?" 

  • Encourage your kids to come up with creative and alternate solutions to everyday situations. Ask your kids "How else might we do this?"

App details

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For kids who love outer space and problem solving

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