Barbie Life

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Barbie Life App Poster Image
Heavy product ads subtracts from fun videos, gameplay.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about identifying similar shapes, colors, objects, solving puzzles. Game instructions offer some reading practice; kids will also strengthen memory skills if they play a matching game. They earn prizes for completing activities, which can encourage them to finish what they’ve started.  Photo game lets kids be creative, add elements to a snapshot. Games aren't all necessarily learning-based -- some are just for fun, videos are even less educationally minded (some are essentially ads). But some activities can provide some learning experiences.

 

Ease of Play

Some activities feature pretty clear instructions; some aren't quite as explanatory.

 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Ads for Barbie, other products pop up fairly frequently; some app videos are also essentially commercials.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Barbie Life is a game and video-centric app set in the world of Barbie. This app doesn't feature any objectionable content; kids can’t chat or email with other users, so they shouldn't be exposed to anyone they don’t know when navigating section, and the videos, games, and other items, for the most part, offer wholesome, kid-friendly fun. There’s more than a subtle emphasis on advertising, though -- a few videos featuring kids showing how products work feel like commercials you’d see while watching a Saturday morning cartoon block –--which can interrupt the experience. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

The BARBIE LIFE app features several videos, games, and activities featuring -- not surprisingly -- Barbie and other characters. Videos range from episodes of Barbie’s video blog, which are animated, to product commercials. Kids can also assemble virtual puzzles, play games that involve matching items, finding hidden items in a room, and other endeavors. They can also decorate photos with stickers and other items. As they complete activities, they earn achievement badges.

Is it any good?

This game and video based app can be amusing, but unfortunately, the constant and blatant advertising for the brand’s dolls really detracts from the overall experience. Living a Barbie Life apparently involves a few main activities -- primarily watching videos and playing fairly simply games. There isn't really a comprehensive theme; the content involves matching games, animated video blogger entries, puzzle challenges -- essentially a hodge podge of items. There's one thing tying them all together -- Barbie -- but little explanation about the app's overall intent or offerings. More written content would be great. For instance, some activities begin with pretty clear instructions, while others don't. Other games just highlight or point to key items to get the user started, which is great for younger kids without strong reading skills, although it can be a bit confusing to follow at times. There doesn't seem to be any FAQ, written tips, or other verbal content to help guide you through the experience; even a list of what the app entails would be nice, so you didn't have to click through each item, wondering if you'd missed anything.

That said, there are some positive points to the app: It doesn't contain any objectionable content, for one. Kids don't need to enter personal information or sign in to use it, and they shouldn't come into contact with any strangers on it, so parents don't have to worry that this won't be a safe experience. It’s a product-based app, so some indirect promotion is to be expected, such as Barbie being heavily featured in games. The ads that pop up and the fact kids can watch what essentially are commercials promoting Mattel products, though, may not sit well with some adults.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. The Barbie Life app features a number of games and videos that can easy eat up some serious time, but how much is too much time to spend online a day? Talk about setting screen time limits and some off-screen activities your child might also enjoy.

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  • Talk about internet privacy and safety. The app features video blog entries from one of the characters; why would there be any risks involved in putting videos of yourself online? What kind of information should you never share online, like your name or address?

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  • Do apps, shows, and other experiences that emphasize shopping make your child feel like happiness is linked to buying things?

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App details

Themes & Topics

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