Alien Buddies

Common Sense Media says

Prereading games fun for young kids, but not challenging.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The navigation is designed for use by preschoolers, so kids just need to tap and drag items.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The developer includes links to other apps, which takes kids to the iTunes app store.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Alien Buddies is a preschool-friendly educational app to introduce kids to pre-reading skills and counting with fun little alien buddies helping them. The games are easy to navigate, and the aliens are cute and silly -- not scary at all. Each game moves pretty quickly, and it won't take kids long to work through the activities.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition

Math

  • numbers
  • shapes
  • counting

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The four games in Alien Buddies are fun and easy to play, but they might be too easy.

Learning Approach

Kids could concentrate and get the right answers, but they could also master each level by randomly dragging and tapping aliens.

Support

Teacher resources are linked on the home screen, and you can see how and what your students are doing.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition

Math

  • numbers
  • shapes
  • counting

Kids can learn shapes, colors, letters, and numbers. They can develop eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills, too, manipulating the objects on the touch screen. Kids are encouraged to take academic risks as there is no penalty for incorrect answers -- the alien just bounces back into his place. Unfortunately, that could also lead to indiscriminate guesses leading to correct answers with no real learning. Alien Buddies covers a broad range of preschool skills without much depth of understanding for the individual concepts.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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What's it about?

Adorable little aliens take kids on a pre-reading journey through space. Kids choose from four games -- match, puzzle, dot-to-dot, or stickers. In match, kids can load aliens onto the right space craft by matching the color, shape, number, or letter. Matches can be made visually, by matching letter to letter, or by listening to the item named and then visually finding the match. In the puzzle game, kids put together pictures of aliens, choosing four-, six-, or eight-piece puzzles. In dot-to-dot, kids form pictures by connecting numbers in order. The sticker game gives kids the chance to create scenes using stickers they've earned in each of the other games.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

These educational activities are pretty fun, and kids will enjoy the aliens' antics as they move around and make funny noises -- like "Oh no!" when one is moved incorrectly or "All right! Whee!" when they are placed correctly. Mastering all of the levels may not take kids very long, though, as there isn't much of a challenge involved and toddlers could even stumble into the correct answers by dragging and dropping indiscriminately.

The matching game has eight short rounds. The puzzle game and dot-to-dot games includes 18 activities each. And kids can choose from eight sticker scenes to embellish. Kids can vary their challenge with the alphabet and numbers, choosing either lowercase or uppercase letters or matching the lowercase letter to the uppercase letter for letter match and choosing numbers 1 to 10, 1 to 20, or 1 to 50 for number match.

Families can talk about...

  • Look for shapes, colors, numbers, and letters that you encounter in your daily routine and point them out to kids.

  • To further develop fine motor skills, encourage kids to color with crayons, play with play dough, and string beads. Developing fine motor skills will help with writing skills.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:December 9, 2012
Category:Education
Topics:Space and aliens
Size:41.50 MB
Publisher:Artgig Studio
Version:1.2.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Alien Buddies was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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