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What parents need to know
What's it about?
With HOPS – JOURNEY OF TREE SPIRIT, kids use real-word activity to power a gaming experience. The app syncs with Apple's Health app, and when using Apple Watch, the app tracks and displays activity rings, steps, and flights climbed. Kids also have the option to use their iPhone, which tracks steps, flights climbed, and workouts. The app has its own tracker that measures walking workouts. Information blurbs pop up when kids tap on the question marks that appear throughout the app. These blurbs explain components of the game and ways to take advantage of them. Energy points are delivered daily via mailbox after achieving daily activity goals. To earn additional energy points, the app offers kids the option to watch a daily ad that promotes other apps and displays the "get" tab for one-touch access. The digital map shows kids the different places they can explore and the number of energy points it takes to get there. Kids also have the option to add expression or movement to their Hop, making it wave, jump, or relax. They can take photos or video of their Hop directly through the app. To personalize their Hop, kids exchange the rocks, flowers, wood, and rubies collected throughout the game for desired accessories or features. Some accessories are worth more crafting materials than others. Linden is responsible for missions and appears when kids explore new places on the map or when they use a magic leaf to summon him. Missions are special tasks, challenging kids to meet a certain activity goal within a specific amount of time, that allow kids to unlock animated friends or additional energy points.
Is it any good?
This engaging and empowering experience will motivate kids to move, promoting healthy habits and keeping track of their goals, but fewer ads and purchase pushes would make it even more kid-friendly. Hops – Journey of Tree Spirit is an activity tracker designed for kids. It not only tracks and displays activity in a user-friendly format, with daily information, a weekly snapshot, and monthly summary, but also captivates little ones by transforming their physical activity into gaming power. The graphics are colorful and appealing. Kids will enjoy personalizing their Hops and will be eager to collect more crafting materials in order to use the fancier accessories. It's simple to follow and provides ample support through pop-up blurbs that explain how to navigate the app and make the most of the experience. The game definitely gets more interesting as players accumulate crafting materials and movement points. The missions are a fun way to rev up physical activity. Kids who enjoy challenges will love competing against their own record or past achievement. The app considers different activity levels and tries to ensure that players have mission options they feel are achievable. Linden, the mission manager, usually gives kids three mission options, which range in difficulty level. This feature empowers kids, but also insures all players have an opportunity to feel successful and remain engaged with the experience. The daily ads in exchange for energy points and the banners that consistently promote in-app purchases introduce commercial urgency, but the ads are somewhat controlled since kids have the choice to view or not. Some kids may find the extra points too tempting to refrain from watching the ads that promote other apps, so a different revenue stream would make it more kid-friendly. Overall, Hops – Journey of Tree Spirit is a playful and engaging app that will keep kids motivated to move and hit their daily activity goals. The digital experience definitely promotes and reinforces healthy fitness habits.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the relationship between movement and health when using Hops – Journey of Tree Spirit. Why is movement important? How does it help us stay healthy?
Think of different activities the family could enjoy together to promote movement. Take a walk together. Play a casual game of basketball. Organize a scavenger hunt. Play follow the leader. Put on music and dance. Get creative with an obstacle course or relay race. Also, think about how to make the most out of everyday activities or routines to increase movement.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch
- Skills: Creativity: making new creations
Self-Direction: achieving goals, effort, goal-setting, motivation, personal growth, work to achieve goals
Health & Fitness: exercise, fitness, movement
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (in-app purchases from $0.99-$1.99)
- Release date: June 28, 2019
- Category: Health & Fitness
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- Size: 97.20 MB
- Publisher: Flask LLP
- Version: 1.4.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 12.0 and watchOS 5.1 or later.
- Last updated: June 20, 2020
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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.