Hops - Journey of Tree Spirit

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
Hops - Journey of Tree Spirit App Poster Image
Fun fitness experience motivates kids to move, offers ads.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Offers opportunities for kids to explore their creative side by encouraging them to change Hops' design and color and add accessories. Although the app doesn't directly teach healthy habits or fitness, it does encourage movement and exercise. It also helps kids track their progress toward their movement goals. 

Ease of Play

Throughout, there are little question mark buttons that explain aspects of the game, such as energy, materials, missions, how to measure workouts, and other useful information to navigate the app. Prompts are written, and early readers may need help from a grown-up.  

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Offers optional in-app purchase options. In-app purchase options appear as banners throughout the app. Kids can also watch a daily ad to earn extra energy points.    

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hops – Journey of Tree Spirit is a health and fitness app that combines an activity tracker with a gamified experience. The app syncs with iPhone or Apple Watch to track and display activity. Kids will be able to see daily activity, weekly trends, and a monthly summary. The gamified experience is introduced through Hops, little pieces of wood living in the forest who discover a map that inspires them to take a journey. Kids' physical activity is converted into energy, which their Hop uses to move in the digital world. Each new location on the map is worth a certain amount of energy ranging from 10 to 120 lightning bolts. As kids move to different locations, they'll be invited by Linden, the manager of missions, to accomplish a special task. Kids will unlock animated friends by succeeding in missions. Daily steps are also converted into crafting materials, which can be used to change Hops' design or add accessories. By collecting different materials and redeeming them, kids can change Hops' eyes, clothes, arms, and legs and add a variety of accessories including scarves, glasses, and hats. The app is free and offers in-app purchase options that upgrade certain features and remove limits. The options appear as banners across the bottom of the screen, and kids will be directed to them when certain limits are reached. For example, without the additional bag space purchase, kids will run out of space to collect crafting materials, forcing them to use some before continuing to play. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.          

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byV999bull April 23, 2020

Encouragement

I’m an adult who has been doing Hops for a year now. I really fell in love with the challenges that kept me motivated to move. I’ve done all the challenges and... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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.  

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love movement and health apps

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