Alien Buddies

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Alien Buddies App Poster Image
Prereading games fun for young kids, but not challenging.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

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.

Ease of Play

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

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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