Parents' Guide to

Art Stories Wonders

By Christy Matte, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Cool info, but misses mark for controls, cultural content.

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While the journey around the world holds interesting information, an opportunity is lost by the lack of engaging educational or cultural content in the mini-games. Art Stories Wonders holds plenty of treasures in the travel information; kids can learn about Japanese netsuke and Mayan football, for instance. There are a few grammatical errors in the text, which may be due to translation mistakes. But the primary thing that keeps this from being a wonderful learning experience is that the mini-games have overly challenging controls and are largely uninspired. Playing Mayan football, for example, requires holding on to your avatar and swinging him at the ball in the hopes that it will fly through an extremely small hoop. Sure, you have 50 tries to get 10 points, but that doesn't make it more fun. At Macchu Picchu, you must tilt the device to help your avatar, who is riding a llama, climb to the top of the ruins while avoiding snakes and capturing objects. But the controls aren't particularly sensitive, and your llama will fall several stories if you miss a platform. Petra, which is similar to the umbrella game in Japan, involves swiping away all of the camels before time runs out. It doesn't make much sense, although it does have easier controls. And it seems that a version of tic-tac-toe may have originated during the Roman Empire, but kids are never told that in the app. Curious kids will enjoy all of the tidbits of information, and the idea of the mini-games is smart. They just don't quite live up to their potential.

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