A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
Disney did it again! They offer a game for free, but only give kids very limited access then charge an outrageous price!
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What's it about?
DISNEY COLOR AND PLAY is a collection of coloring books and themed Play Rooms based on Disney characters, television shows, and movies. The on-screen coloring books mirror the ones in the real world, which include roughly 14 "magical" pages that kids can color and scan into the app. The colored characters then become 3-D on the screen via augmented reality. Kids can unlock the pages with the coloring book or using an in-app purchase (coloring pages can be printed so kids can color them again and again). The Play Rooms, which represent a much smaller stable of characters (Mickey Mouse, Sofia the First, and Doc McStuffins) contain an image with a collection of items kids can paint and decorate with an assortment of art tools, including a brush that paints the character or object for you. As kids complete each item, a newly decorated item appears in the Play Room. As kids tap on items, the character will talk about or interact with it; for example, the Mickey Mouse Play Room has a jukebox that allows kids to choose a musical style or record music of their own. If kids tap on the edges of the Play Room, they're prompted to buy additional rooms, and the potential purchases are always visible to kids.
Is it any good?
While there are some innovative things about the experience, the pricey purchases and the constant temptation for kids make it disappointing overall. There just isn't enough to do in the free areas, and it seems that kids are constantly being prompted to buy more content. The in-app purchases are too expensive for what they provide, and you can bet your kids will be asking for all of them. If you can somehow look past all of that, there's some potential here. It's fun to see your drawings come to life from the coloring page to the device screen. And although the drawing tools aren't overly sophisticated, there are a lot of options that kids will enjoy, including glitter and stickers of items such as macaroni shapes and buttons. Unfortunately, all of the tools in the world do you no good when you run out of things to color.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the cost of this "free" app. Is having only one room and page enough to have fun? How do they convince you to spend money on it?
Set expectations about in-app purchases before kids begin playing. Are they allowed to buy more? If so, how much?
Talk about your kid's creations. Why did they choose the colors and textures they did? Take the creativity offscreen and let your kid use different materials to create.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Arts: drawing, painting
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free to try (one play set and one printable coloring page free; additional play sets and coloring books $1.99-$7.99)
- Release date: May 5, 2016
- Category: Entertainment
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More
- Size: 594.00 MB
- Version: 1.13
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
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For kids who love art and creativity
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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.