CotBot Farm

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
CotBot Farm App Poster Image
Open-ended farm fun lacks full crop of meaningful games.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn a few tidbits about farm life. If parents read the names out loud, kids can learn to label farm equipment such as a tractor or harvester. As they explore, kids can get a sense of what kinds of things might happen on a farm. And through mini-games, kids can get a very basic idea of some essential farm activities. The open-ended exploration platform allows kids to feel in control of their experience.

Ease of Play

Games are simple to play, but controlling the vehicle (or horse) can be a bit tricky. It's also not always easy to find and jump into the mini-games.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A small icon on the home page takes kids to an advertisement for another app from the same developer. There's a parent gate to protect against accidental purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that CotBot Farm uses 3D graphics to provide an open-ended farm-themed playground. Kids can explore the farm using one of seven vehicles or animals and play five mini-games. On the home screen, kids choose whether they want to drive by using their finger to tap and drag or by tilting the device from side to side. The tilting option seems to give kids a bit more control and may be the easier way to navigate around the virtual farm. Background music and sound effects can also be turned on or off on the home screen. Read the developer's brief privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

COTBOT FARM is a digital open space where kids can explore farm-themed landscapes and play farm games. Choose from seven vehicles (tractor, harvester, pickup truck) or animals (horse) and navigate with your finger or by tilting the device. Then "drive" the vehicle or animal to look around, crash into things like huge pumpkins, or follow signs to play mini-games. In five mini-games, kids shear sheep, plant and harvest crops, feed a cow to produce milk and manure, fish in a pond, or shop at the farm store.

Is it any good?

The 3D graphics, particularly the animals, are unique -- and the most impressive aspect of this otherwise overly simplified game. Young kids may get a kick out of choosing a monster truck or a horse to maneuver around the beautifully designed farm landscape. Abundant opportunities for a little turbo boost make the drive even more satisfying. Yet vehicles (and the horse) are overly sensitive to even the smallest finger drags or tilts of the screen, which makes staying in control challenging, especially for little ones. And, though the landscape looks nice, there are some questionable inconsistencies. Stray out of the farm area just a bit, for instance, and suddenly kids are in a desert complete with cacti. Despite the fact that there are some directional signs that point kids to where to find the games, they're still not always easy to run across. Unfortunately, the games are so simplified that they end up feeling rather hollow. CotBot Farm gets some things right: nice graphics and open-ended kid-friendly fun. But there's not enough to do, and not enough depth in what is available, to make this more than a cute experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the activities happening on CotBot Farm. Why take the wool off sheep? What do we use the wool for? How does the manure and milk that the cows make help us? What do plants need to grow?

  • Name and explore the different transportation options. What does the harvester do? What role do horses play on a farm?

  • Take kids to visit a local farm and witness what goes on firsthand. If there's no farm nearby, try a petting zoo or a horse stable or visit your library to find books about farms.

App details

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