Budge World - Kids Games, Creativity and Learning

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Budge World - Kids Games, Creativity and Learning App Poster Image
Mixed bag of mini-games spans ages, lacks settings.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice recognizing letters, numbers, and colors, as well as counting, adding, subtracting, matching, and early word recognition. Most of the learning activities provide no feedback for wrong answers and minimal prompting, making them less than ideal for learning.

Ease of Play

Most of the mini-games have clear prompts and directions. There are a couple that seem to be lacking in direction, but kids should easily figure out what to do.

Violence & Scariness

Kids use weapons like a bow and arrow or a slingshot to shoot at targets. In one game, the aim is to hit enough targets to drop another character into a dunk tank.

Sexy Stuff

Several of the characters (such as those from Monster High) wear short skirts, off-the-shoulder shirts, or otherwise tight clothing. There's nothing particularly revealing (no cleavage, for example), but some families may be uncomfortable with the clothing choices.

Language
Consumerism

Most of the characters are brand names of their own with entire product franchises, but there is little commercial push otherwise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Budge World - Kids Games, Creativity and Learning is a subscription-based mini-game collection geared primarily at preschool and early elementary school kids. The characters run from Caillou to Monster High, and parents can't control the selection, which may make it harder to enjoy with toddlers. Likewise, the learning activities include counting, addition, and subtraction, with no ability to choose a learning level. While there are a range of activities, it seems heavily geared toward creative pursuits (playing dress-up, cake decorating, painting nails). Also, families who have already purchased other standalone Budge apps (such as Barbie Dreamtopia - Magical Hair and Miss Hollywood: Lights, Cameras, Fashion! - Pet Adventures) will find some repetition in the mini-games and activities across titles. Each subscription comes with a free trial (a trial for the annual subscription comes with a month-long trial, while the monthly only comes with a week and you can cancel at any time), so there's time to see if kids will enjoy the experience. Subscriptions start at $3.99/month if purchased a year at a time or $6.99/month for those who want to pay monthly. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

BUDGE WORLD - KIDS GAMES, CREATIVITY AND LEARNING is a mini-game collection with characters from franchises such as Garfield, Barbie, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Monster High, Miss Hollywood, Hello Kitty, Caillou, the Smurfs, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Crayola. Budge World is a mythical place inhabited by creatures called Budgers who are builders and like nothing more than to play games and earn a currency called "shine." Kids earn shine for every mini-game they complete. When kids earn enough shine, they can spin a prize wheel and earn new Budgers, background items, and stickers that they can use to decorate the world. The games focus primarily on racing, puzzle solving, dress-up, food prep (decorate a cake, add toppings to a pizza), target shooting, object collection, and some early math and literacy activities. Over time, kids unlock new worlds along with items to use for decorating.

Is it any good?

There are enough options in this diverse mini-game collection to appeal to just about any kid, but its relatively simple content and lack of parent controls make it only OK. With so many favorite characters and choices, the challenge is really that it feels spread a bit too thin. Will a child who loves sorting passengers by color with Thomas equally enjoy shooting Miss Hollywood through a cannon at a target? Likewise, will a kid who thinks counting with Caillou is fun also enjoy choosing an outfit for a Monster High character? Hard to say. But Budge has created a proper sandbox space where kids can play what they want without parents being nickeled and dimed for each item. Sure, the subscription fee isn't trivial -- an annual subscription costs about the same as an app a month and requires paying for the entire year in advance -- but there's no advertising or in-app purchases once you're subscribed. A better parent dashboard that allows grown-ups to pick and choose which character experiences are age-appropriate would help for younger ones. While there's nothing earth-shattering about the games, it will entertain little kids for quite a long time and may lightly reinforce some early elementary skills at the same time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the educational value of the app. Do you think Budge World - Kids Games, Creativity and Learning is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn? 

  • Talk about screen use. How do you like this app as compared with other apps you could play? If you have limited time for screen use, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition
    Math: addition, counting
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: solving puzzles
    Creativity: imagination, making new creations
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (Parents can subscribe for $3.99/month if paid yearly, or $6.99/month if paid monthly. New subscriptions come with free trial (one month of annual subscriptions, or one week for monthly subscriptions))
  • Subscription price: $6.99/month or $3.99/month
  • Release date: April 7, 2017
  • Category: Kids' Games
  • Size: 424.00 MB
  • Publisher: Budge Studios
  • Version: 2.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0

For kids who love entertaining games

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