I Want To Go To Mars

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
I Want To Go To Mars App Poster Image
Out-of-this-world adventure soars with an engaging story.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about reading and completing tasks. They'll follow instructions periodically and work toward short-term goals to advance. They can retry activities they don't succeed at, which encourages perseverance. Kids will be exposed to some space-related elements, such as planets. They also get to make choices that can change the story's direction, offering decision-making experience. While the app doesn't provide direct academic instruction or go into detail about story structure or other elements, using it may give kids an idea of how storytelling works as they encounter challenges and watch the plot move forward. 

Ease of Play

The narration explains what kids need to do, although some may struggle with a multilevel asteroid challenge that isn't easy to complete.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I Want To Go To Mars offers an interactive story kids can read and listen to. At times, they're asked to choose a response, which can change the story's direction. They can repeat the story from the beginning after they finish and choose different options for a different version of the plot. The app costs $1.99, but there aren't any ads, in-app purchases, or inappropriate content included.

 

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What's it about?

Kids can follow along as a narrator reads the text in the I WANT TO GO TO MARS storybook experience. After a storm ruins the moon base a boy and his teddy bear have built in a sandbox, they decide to build a spaceship and travel to Mars because it has unlimited sand and no rain. Interactive elements, such as a challenge that involves collecting stars for fuel, appear periodically, and kids make choices that influence the plot's direction. They can also repeat individual scenes from the beginning or restart the entire story.

Is it any good?

This interesting, creative story features high-quality graphics that will surely be a hit. For example, in I Want to go to Mars, the teddy bear swings his arms as he walks, and elevators zip Robyn up and down floors in the rocket ship. Kids can listen to narration while reading the text on the screen, and interactive components appear throughout the story. Kids converse with the moon, for instance, at one point, and later are asked to collect stars around the rocket ship to use for fuel. The storyline also includes a number of humorous puns, and the main character, Robyn, and his teddy bear, Teddy, have a positive, supportive friendship.  

Kids can't skip or speed up the story text, which some may find a little cumbersome. Also, while it's great they can retry activities they don't successfully complete, unfortunately, kids may have to backtrack and repeat that entire portion of the story. In one challenge, they're asked to move a rocket back and forth to avoid asteroids. Dragging your finger across the screen doesn't offer precise enough motion to make the rocket, which wiggles as it you move it left and right, which can force lengthy replays of previously completed levels. That can slows things down and can get frustrating after a few attempts. If they can get past that point and finish the story, they can go through everything again and see a different version of the tale, based on responses they choose that will alter the plot. Provided they don't get stuck indefinitely repeating the asteroid challenge, though -- or don't find it aggravating if they do -- I Want To Go To Mars offers a visually attractive, engaging story kids should enjoy exploring at least once.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the choices kids make in I Want To Go To Mars change the direction the story takes. What factors should kids consider when they're making decisions in real life?

  • Why is reading important? Why is reading a fun thing to do? What topics is your child interested in finding out more about?

  • What real-world topics can your child identify as a subject for a story? Can you write a short story together, based on an experience your child found interesting?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love stories

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