Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker App Poster Image
Fun, silly monster-making; be careful with sharing options.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how images and sounds combine to create a digital character with personality. As kids make decisions about what their monsters will look like, they are using creative expression (although limited by the choices provided) to show how they envision monster friends. Although there are some built-in limitations to the creativity kids can express with Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker, they'll have fun doing it.

Ease of Play

Easy to play. Kids get step-by-step visual, written, and verbal instructions for monster making. Recording monster sounds is easy. When kids take a photo with their monster, they have to fit their face into a box on the screen to place it properly in the photo to appear next to the monster, which can be tricky and may require a parent's help. Also, some of the interaction in the story segment may move a bit too quickly for younger users.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The Freckleface Strawberry books, musical, and website are promoted lightly on the app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker is a sweet make-your-own-monster activity app wherein the monsters are more friendly than they are fearsome. Kids can play Strawberry Freckleface's favorite game, Monster, by choosing from a manageable number of monster parts, as well as from colors, scales, and more (such as the ability to add their own voice-created versions of monster noises). Some monsters are ticklish when kids tickle their tummies. Then kids can take a photo of themselves that's superimposed on the image of their monsters, and a framed version appears. Parents should note that the options for sharing photos on Twitter, Facebook, and more are not behind a parental gate.

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What's it about?

Tap "Start" on the main page. Enter your name, then watch, listen to, and interact with the intro story (or tap "Skip Intro" icon). Choose one of three monster shapes by dragging it to the center of the screen, then tap the next arrow. Swipe to choose a color, furry or scaly, and then start adding eyes, feet, freckles, and more. Tap the "Record" icon to add sound. Take an image of yourself to be added to one of your monsters.

Is it any good?

Kids who are fans of Freckleface Strawberry will recognize the character and style of this app and will enjoy the introduction story before the monster-making activity. Some parts of the intro story include interactive elements, asking kids to answer questions or tap certain things on the screen (some of that interactivity may move along too quickly for younger kids, which could be frustrating if they want adequate time to think about their answers). After watching and listening to the story for the first play session, kids can skip it and move right into the monster-making activity, which is the centerpiece of this app and quite fun, even if it is limited to this one activity. Freckleface Strawberry says encouraging things to kids as they choose their monster characteristics ("That's the best monster I've ever seen!"). Once they take the photo of themselves and their monster, kids can save their monsters under the My Monster Collection icon. It can be challenging for younger kids to position themselves properly to take the correct image for the frame, so parents many need to assist with that part.

FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY MONSTER MAKER GAME is a generally easy way for kids to create silly (not very scary) monsters that can be fun for at least a few play sessions. The social-sharing options, however, are not age-appropriate and should be hidden behind a parental gate (or simply removed from the app).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Look for real-life items that you and your child can piece together to make a monster. Lay out fruit and veggies in monster shapes on a plate, make a block monster, or make monsters out of sand and shells at the beach or sticks and rocks in the backyard.

  • Remind little monster makers that monsters aren't real so there are no scary thoughts about them at bedtime.

  • Describe the characteristics of the monsters your kid makes. Talk about the colors, shapes, and sizes of the parts you see, and encourage them to do the same.

App details

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For kids who love to be creative

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