Art Stories Cities

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Art Stories Cities App Poster Image
Playful take on world travel has lofty educational info.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic geography, like the flags and locations of the seven cities and countries. They can learn more about some of the major landmarks and a bit about the culture and/or everyday life. 

Ease of Play

Although the activities lack prompts, most kids in the target age will easily figure out what to do.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Link to the publisher's other apps from the main menu is blocked with a year-of-birth parent gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Art Stories Cities invites kids to visit different cities around the world, see some major landmarks, and learn a bit more about the culture or daily life. The narrators are British, and one of them has an accent that is strong enough that some kids might have trouble understanding it, especially since they are talking about buildings and historical figures with unfamiliar names. Moreover, for kids in the United States, the pronunciations of some words and names is different (Zeus, for example, is pronounced "Zee-us," rather than "Zoos"). Although this looks like an experience for young kids, the educational content is most on-target for older elementary school kids and tweens. There's a link to the publisher's other apps from the main screen, as well as the chance to subscribe to their newsletter; both are protected by a year-of-birth parent gate. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

ART STORIES CITIES introduces kids to seven cities around the world, including Venice, Shanghai, London, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Athens, and Moscow. At each stop, kids will fill in the missing spaces on the skyline with famous landmarks like the London Eye and the Golden Gate Bridge. As each landmark is placed, the app tells kids a bit more about it. When all of the landmarks are in place, kids can interact with the city in a special way. In London, kids can help open umbrellas on a rainy day to unlock a surprise. In Rio de Janeiro, kids can get in on the action during Carnival by helping the dancers celebrate. When kids are done visiting, they will receive a new stamp in their "passport." They can customize the passport with their own picture.

Is it any good?

For kids who are curious about the world, it's great to start exploring by learning a bit more about the skyline and culture of each city, though the content of the app doesn't go too deep. Art Stories Cities may not have much depth, but what it has is a nice introduction for kids. They can see a few buildings and landmarks and then get a simple introduction to life in that area, whether it be flooded walkways in Venice or Tai Chi in a Shanghai park. There does seem to be a slight disconnect between the types of activities for kids (matching building shapes, simple interaction) and the age level of the educational content (the height of buildings, names of architects/artists). Kids will still have fun, however, as they collect their passport stamps around the world. It would be nice to have an American English narrator to avoid confusion, but some support from an adult can easily make up for this. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their own travel experiences. Have you visited other cities away from your home? How are they same or different from the cities closest to you? Does Art Stories Cities highlight any of the places you've been or would like to go someday?

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

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love geography and social studies

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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