Assemblr

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Assemblr App Poster Image
Building cool stuff marred by focus on posts and purchases.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Building concepts, spatial reasoning; applying and creating with digital technology.

Ease of Play

Lots of tutorials, but also somewhat cluttered and confusing.

Violence

Content is user-dependent. Users can view other people's creations on the public board.

Sex

Content is user-dependent. Users can view other people's creations on the public board.

Language

Content is user-dependent. Users can view other people's creations on the public board.

Consumerism

At $0.99 to $5.49 per item, the cost of building materials may add up quickly.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Content is user-dependent. Users can view other people's creations on the public board.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Assemblr is an image-creation app that uses 3D and augmented reality (AR) technology to insert cute (or scary) creatures, buildings, and more onto real-life scenes. Users have to pay for parts to build their creations. They can pay either with virtual gold coins that they earn in the app or with real money via in-app purchases. The app encourages users to post their creations publicly, and it already has more than 700,000 public posts available to view. Assemblr's terms of use require players to be 8 or older. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

To use ASSEMBLR, create a username, join via email or Facebook, and choose friends' accounts to follow. Assemblr also suggests users for you to follow. Claim rewards for future use. Tap the plus sign to add a project, choose "personal" or "collaboration," and select a project name. To build a creation, choose from the shapes and textures on the app. You have to "pay" with coins for building supplies. After creating something, choose from 3D or AR view, and move and size your objects. If you have questions, read the numerous tutorials. Publish your creation to the online gallery, if desired.

Is it any good?

This app has all the options needed to make visually interesting creations -- but there's also a lot of stuff to buy. New Assemblr users may need some time to master building, turning, and sizing the 3D creations proportionally to the real-life surroundings to make the AR look realistic. But once those skills are mastered, users can make some pretty impressive scenes. There's a big push on Assemblr to get users to buy stuff, as well as to connect with and follow other users, collaborate with others, and post their creations publicly. It's way too easy to find yourself out of coins and in need of a block to finish something or to have projects posted publicly without even realizing you've agreed to it. Watch how you're saving and posting, get the hang of the tool, and try not to spend too much on in-app purchases, and Assemblr could be a fun 3D/AR app experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to use Assemblr safely outside. It's important to remind kids to be aware of their surroundings even as their visual attention is on a device.

  • Spend some time talking with your kids about privacy and posting their Assemblr creations publicly. Is there information in their scene that could identify where they live? Read Common Sense Media's 5 Tips for Protecting Your Kid's Privacy Online

  • Talk about the educational uses of an AR-creation app like this. How can kids use augmented reality to create cool science reports, bring book scenes to life, or help bring a historical scene into modern context?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Hobbies: building
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships, problem solving, spatial reasoning
    Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (optional in-app purchases $3.99/$4.99)
  • Release date: March 17, 2018
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 242.20 MB
  • Publisher: Octagon Studios
  • Version: 2.04
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up

For kids who love building and AR apps

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