Archaeologist - Deep Blue for Kids

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Archaeologist - Deep Blue for Kids App Poster Image
Fun, easy search for shipwreck artifacts goes a bit adrift.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids practice cleaning up pieces of buried treasure and putting the pieces together. They also hear tidbits about real-life historical shipwrecks. Overall, learning content is light and may go over little kids' heads.

Ease of Play

Simple instructions make it clear what kids need to do to advance through the game.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Small icon on the home screen takes users to ads for other apps from the same developer; very simple addition-based parent lock protects purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Archaeologist - Deep Blue for Kids lets kids pretend to be on a ship looking for shipwreck treasure in the ocean. Kids can play four adventures for free, and the rest are available as an in-app purchase. Each of 18 total adventures has a different setting and different treasure but includes the same steps. Play instructions are simple, and the text is read aloud, so prereaders should be able to play with ease, though the information may be too advanced for little kids. Read the developers' privacy policy for details on how information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Kids look for artifacts left behind by sunken ships in ARCHAEOLOGIST - DEEP BLUE FOR KIDS. Steer a ship left and right to avoid obstacles, dig to find the entrance to a sunken ship, and dig again to find pieces of treasure left behind. Use three different tools to clean the pieces, and then put them together like a puzzle. Once the artifact is complete, kids can listen to a short explanation of a historical shipwreck. There are four adventures included in the free version and 18 in the full version.

Is it any good?

Underwater adventures are fun at first, but design missteps mean that enthusiasm may sink. Though the settings, artifacts, and stories change on each level, kids follow the same progression: guide ship through the water, dig and dig again to find six pieces of a broken artifact, clean the pieces in three steps, put the pieces together, clean again, and hear a real-life shipwreck story. Some kids may like this repetition and familiarity through the different levels while others will tire of it. And though the activities give kids a sense of what's involved in archaeological digs -- such as lots of digging, cleaning, and fitting broken pieces together -- the coverage is superficial. Kids don't have much freedom to take charge of their own play experience as they follow scripted steps over and over again. The real-life factoid stories are exciting and may inspire some kids who are fascinated by ocean travel, pirates, and historical shipwrecks. Unfortunately, the language used is aimed too high for the target age range, so the fact-based content doesn't match the activities. The good news is that the free content is enough to give a good sense of whether Archaeologist - Deep Blue for Kids is right for your kid.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the shipwreck stories included in Archaeologist - Deep Blue for Kids. Find books or look online to learn more about the ones that interest your kids.

  • Encourage kids to make their own stories about the artifacts they find. Write down their words and have kids draw pictures to complete their stories.

  • Read adventure stories to excite and stimulate kids' imaginations.

App details

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