Imagination Playground 3D Builder

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Imagination Playground 3D Builder App Poster Image
Open play promotes creativity; touch features may frustrate.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about building with a variety of blocks, which helps improve spatial awareness and allows creativity. In Gravity mode, the blocks exhibit "real life" physical properties, so kids can learn about gravity and how it affects the motion of a ball. There aren't any focused goals in this game, so kids have an opportunity to be as creative as they wish with the available technology. Though kids who love the real-life version of these blocks will be thrilled to see Imagination Playground 3D Builder, the technology only adds an unlimited supply of blocks, so they might ultimately learn more engaging with their whole bodies rather than one finger.

Ease of Play

Navigation is intuitive, but touch features can be frustrating: Rotating blocks takes multiple steps, and virtual building space doesn't always move as predicted.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

There is a photograph on the main screen advertising the developer's real-life blocks, and a settings icon takes users to the home page, which includes a shop.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Imagination Playground 3D Builder is a virtual building tool that encourages creative, unstructured free play. As with the real-life blocks, kids select various pieces and drag them into an open space, connecting them as they wish. There are some limitations of the touch features, and using them can be a bit tricky, especially for younger kids.

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What's it about?

IMAGINATION PLAYGROUND 3-D BUILDER is all about open play and creativity. Kids start by tapping the "Let's Build" button, and a brief tutorial describes the different game features. To build, kids drag pieces one at a time into an open space. They can rotate the pieces horizontally and vertically, take screenshots of their creations, and tap the Gravity mode icon to observe "real life" physical properties of the blocks, like a ball rolling down a ramp.

Is it any good?

Kids creating from their imaginations limited only by the available blocks is great for budding engineers; however, the touch features have some issues. Once blocks are dragged into the open space, they can be rearranged only by tapping to select them and then dragging them. Little fingers might have trouble placing the blocks exactly where they want them. Also blocks can't be freely rotated: The icons only allow kids to rotate them in 90-degree increments. Though relatively small, these limitations might make it hard to realize what a kid envisioned, which will be frustrating. More blocks that don't exist in the real world and the ability to resize and manipulate all blocks more freely would make this touch-screen version of these beloved blocks almost as much fun as the real thing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about ways to use the blocks to model real-life structures such as bridges and roller coasters.

  • Have kids sketch structures on paper and then recreate them using the app.

  • Get kids outside and building with real-world objects, either bought or found.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love building and engineering

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