Ameka Love©™ Journey To Crystal Mountain©™

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Ameka Love©™ Journey To Crystal Mountain©™ App Poster Image

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Problem-solving and meditation story has few features.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn that it's important to be kind and to consider carefully when trying to solve a problem. On her journey to find gemstones, Ameka Love encounters obstacles that she conquers with courage and kindness. There could be opportunities for kids to interact with colors, numbers, words, and other pieces of the story, but they remain static story elements. Reading about Ameka Love's magical meditation journey might inspire some kids to sit and try it, though it might be even more helpful to take kids through actual steps, if teaching meditation is the goal. Ultimately, Ameka Love©™ Journey To Crystal Mountain©™ is an appealing story with a promising protagonist that could use more polishing and features to make it great for learning.

Ease of Play

The interactive features are inconsistent from page to page. Most are pretty simple -- tap the dog to make it bark! -- but others can be a little buggy or work unexpectedly.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ameka Love©™ Journey To Crystal Mountain©™ is an interactive storybook that follows a little girl on a magical adventure. The story involves a search for magical gemstones, dragons, talking elderberries, and meditation. Kids can read the book or have it read to them in a little girl's voice. Although there are a few interactive features, they are inconsistent, and some kids might expect more.

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What's it about?

AMEKA LOVE JOURNEY©™ TO CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN©™ is about a little girl who travels to the fair and sees a picture of a kid (who looks a lot like her) wearing a magical necklace called the Energy Dazzler. After deciding that she needs to go on an adventure to find the magical gemstones to make her own necklace, she goes home, closes her eyes, and meditates to decide what to do next. Magically, her room transforms into a wilderness, and Ameka Love travels through the forest, through an Elderberry Patch (filled with grumpy, talking, bearded Elderberries), across Snake River (where a sad dragon lives), past a fork in the road, and on to the mountain itself. There, she finds the gemstones: one purple, two blue, three teal, four green, five yellow, six orange, and seven red. She sits down to clear her mind and begins to meditate again and is suddenly transported back into her bedroom, where she's home just in time for bed.

Is it any good?

Ameka Love is simple and sweet, and kids will enjoy the bright colors and imaginative story. There also are great built-in features: Kds can pick "Read to Me" to hear the text read in a child's voice, or they choose "I Read" to display the words without an audio guide. Ameka Love herself is a great main character, because she's a plucky, positive problem-solver who sits quietly to think things through with meditation. Some kids might see this as a positive endorsement of meditation whereas others may just be struck by how Ameka Love's world sparkles and changes after her moment of reflection. Either way, this sends a positive message to young children still developing their skills for self-management.

Though it's a sweet story, some other key features would make it even better. For example, the interactive elements on each page behave inconsistently, and it's hard to tell which items on-screen are static and which are interactive. Calling better attention to this visually would be a big help. Also the developers claim the app teaches kids colors, shapes, and counting; although the text certainly calls attention to numbers and shapes, kids can't explore them directly or systematically. More features for exploring numbers, colors, and shapes and more consistent signals for what's interactive on-screen would make this charming story even better as an experience for kids and families. Finally, there are a couple of typos and grammatical inconsistencies that might throw some parents, so an update including fixes to any errors in the text would help.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about meditation: What is it? How might it be helpful? Talk about how meditation, prayer, or other tools for reflection are part of your family's culture or tradition.

  • Talk about the power of imagination. Where else could Ameka Love go in her mind? Where can you go in your mind when you close your eyes?

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