A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
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What's it about?
BLOCKSTARPLANET sends players to a colorful world with plenty to do and explore. Kids design their Block Star by choosing a head, body, and legs. They then work their way through a series of tutorials designed to teach the basic mechanics of the game. Additional tutorials appear as NPCs (non-player characters) throughout several beginner worlds. Kids will need to find these to understand what to do next. Kids can mine, forage, chat with others, battle each other, play parkour games, and craft objects. One of the main objectives is to create new worlds built for battle, parkour, or both. Kids can invite others into their worlds or browse the other player-generated worlds.There are also stories to follow with quests and objectives. Players can find and earn coins to use for upgrades.
Is it any good?
This virtual social space is an enticing offer for kids who love to mine and build, but the pressure to spend is intense. BlockStarPlanet has a lot of things kids like to do -- exploration, fighting, mining/crafting, building -- but it offers them in a chaotic, overstimulating environment. Some kids will thrive on this, while others will be overloaded by the colors, the constant appearance and disappearance of other players, the overwhelming number of things you can do, and the occasional power-ups that do things like briefly change everyone into a pet. It could use a more cohesive tutorial introduction that slowly guides kids to meet NPCs so kids have a better sense of what they can or should be doing and why. The individual tutorials for parkour, mining, and fighting are all helpful, but first kids need to find and recognize the NPCs who offer them. Likewise, the ability to report problematic content falls with an NPC who kids may or may not stumble across when they start. Also, the pressure to join VIP is overwhelming and irritating. Everywhere you look, there's a gift box dangling that requires VIP to unlock. The shops have VIP materials mingled with the freebies. There's a line between enticing people to upgrade and making them feel like they're really playing a free demo. BlockStarPlanet dances right on the line. This social networking-building-RPG hybrid offers some great features, but poor mobile controls, a chaotic on-screen environment, pressure to buy, and a lack of solid introduction to the universe keep it from really shining.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about online safety while playing BlockStarPlanet. What guidelines does your family have for interacting with others online? What is appropriate to say in a chat and what isn't?
How do you like this app in comparison with other apps you could play? As you balance your time on- and off-screen, would this be an app you'd choose to use? Why or why not?
Talk about creating games and virtual spaces to share with others. How can you design something that's fun for other players?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free to try
- Pricing structure: Free to try (Limited content available with free download. Full content unlocks with a subscription; prices range from $3.99/week to $44.99/year.)
- Release date: July 14, 2020
- Category: Adventure Games
- Topics: Adventures
- Size: 98.70 MB
- Publisher: MovieStarPlanet
- Version: 5.4.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later
- Last updated: August 24, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love simulation games
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.