Aniscience

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Aniscience App Poster Image
Appealing science intro needs more supporting material.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about different plants and animals, but without a glossary, their understanding of the information may be limited. 

Ease of Play

Quick tutorial; easy to navigate.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Main menu shows additional levels that require in-app purchases to play. No parent gate on these purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Aniscience is an educational experience where kids explore different illustrated environments with an animated mouse. The app requires quite a bit of reading, and much of it will be beyond the reading level of many elementary school kids. Since there's no glossary for scientific terms, parents should expect to provide extra support as kids explore. While the illustrations of plants and animals are fairly realistic, the mouse lives in a furnished burrow with dishes, books, and a slice of cake. Younger kids may find that confusing. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Kids start their ANISCIENCE experience in an environment called "Around the Burrow." There they find a mouse in a furnished burrow. There's a quick demo before kids can set out with the mouse to explore. When kids come across another animal, insect, or plant, they drag a magnifying glass onto it to learn more. Each animal or plant has an information card (called a "table" in the tutorial) that pops up so kids can learn more. The card might label the parts of an insect, talk about food made with a plant, or share habits that make a creature unique. When kids tap on some of the animals, they may fly or swim away, though there aren't many other animations. When kids complete "Around the Burrow," they have the option to purchase additional chapters. At time of review, one additional chapter was available.

Is it any good?

Curious kids are bound to enjoy exploring and learning, but most will want more information and more interaction. Aniscience is beautifully illustrated, and the mouse companion is pretty cute. But when the information cards pop up, they are static and uninspired. Most kids will find some of the language hard to follow: Phrases like "caterpillars pupate" and scientific references to things like "carapaces" may leave them with more questions raised than answered. Kids will naturally expect to be able to "click through" to find a glossary or more detail, but nothing is available. For some kids, the lack of depth will provide inspiration to delve more elsewhere, while others will quickly tire of the experience. Parents should take advantage of the included free environment to get a sense of which camp their kids will fall into. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about habitats around their home. What kind of plants, animals, and insects do you see in your neighborhood? Do any of them appear in Aniscience? 

  • Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn? 

  • Talk about in-app purchases and how/if kids can request purchases from an adult. What are the family rules?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love science and animals

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