Clangers - Playtime Planet

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Clangers - Playtime Planet App Poster Image
Promo for TV show has cute graphics and uneven game design.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about basic musical expression, match colors, and align shapes. In the music game kids can freely explore the notes, or they can listen to a short song and copy sequences in short chunks, which lets them use working memory, matching, and imitation. The constellation game lets kids rotate shapes to match a picture, and the knitting game asks kids to find colored yarn. Though it's meant for entertainment for kids who love the show, Clangers - Playtime Planet does offer some shallow learning opportunities.

Ease of Play

Mostly easy and straightforward, though it's not always clear what to do next. One game is overly sensitive to movements on the touchscreen.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A bouncing icon advertising additional apps from the developer can be hidden in the parent's section. Actual purchase is protected behind a child gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Clangers - Playtime Planet lets kids interact with the characters from the Clangers TV show. There are several games and more being added through updates. The app's characters, graphics, and sometimes idiosyncratic features are loyal to the show, though kids don't have to be familiar with the show to play. The gentle narration and super simple game structure make this app most appealing for young kids.

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What's it about?

Land on the CLANGERS - PLAYTIME PLANET and explore their quirky world. Swipe across the screen to scroll through the interactive games. Play hide-and-seek, collect peas in a basket, match constellations from the night sky, guide a cow-like flying animal, play music and copy melodies with singing egg bots, and find colored yarn. The gentle-voiced narrator (available in British- or American-accented English) accompanies kids on their journey. Play with or without the soundtrack.

Is it any good?

The great graphics, sweetly knitted mouse-like characters, and the wonderfully gentle and comforting narration offer plenty of kid appeal, but the substance of the games is hit or miss. Many games do not seem to have clear purpose or logic, and some have no natural ending point. For example, in the peas game, kids drop peas in a basket, but the controls are a bit irregular, and once all the peas are in the basket, nothing happens; there's no more that kids can do until they tap the home button. Moving around items, such as the peas or the Skymoo on his endless flight, may be difficult for kids, because the movements are extremely sensitive to slight movements in sometimes strange ways. The best game, by far, is the music game in which kids can tap eight differently colored "egg bots" which play notes on the do-re-mi scale. Kids can experiment freely, or they can listen to a tune and try to recreate it step by step. Though there are several frustrating elements, there also are some fun games that kids will enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different aspects of the Clangers world. What makes their planet -- and the creatures on it -- different or the same as ours? Encourage their imaginations and ask them to create their own version of life on a faraway planet.

  • Help kids explore music. Offer instruments -- even empty coffee cans -- for them to explore concepts of beat, rhythm, melody, and more.

  • Engage with kids with the offscreen versions of some of these activities: play hide-and-seek, look at the night sky to point out stars and find constellations, or sort items into baskets.

App details

For kids who love apps for toddlers and preschoolers

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