Parents' Guide to

Influent

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Potentially helpful language tool with some control issues.

App iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad , Mac Paid, Free Educational Games
Influent Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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The game's premise essentially involves kids interacting with things in a scene to learn what they're called in another language. In Influent's backstory, an inventor has built a device called the SanjigenJiten, which identifies the word in a selected language for any item you point it at. The device has been stolen, so the inventor hosts a live learning session where he plans to master hundreds of words to raise money to get it back -- which is a little confusing, but kids don't have to understand the story to use the app. It offers instruction for a number of languages, including English, Spanish, and French, along with a diverse array of others, such as Bulgarian, Mandarin Chinese, Latin, and Welsh. During the game, kids walk around rooms by swiping a circular game control that determines what direction you'll move in, and can either view an area using the inventor's perspective or switch to the viewpoint of a flying droid to help him succeed at his live fundraising challenge.

Kids can zoom the perspective out to view the scene from above, which makes figuring out where to walk easier than just stumbling around. But the controls can be glitchy -- when you're told to reach for a doorknob, for example, you may click on the highlighted portion of the door and find nothing happens. Similarly, during vocabulary quizzes, kids may need to click multiple times to get the app to register the object they're identifying. At least the app offers an immersive learning experience that allows kids to pair words with images and choose which terms they'd like to learn, so it could help them commit various terms to memory. They may be disappointed if they download Influent expecting to find a traditional game because it’s really more of an instructional tool. They get some information about verbs and adjectives, but there seems to be a heavy emphasis on nouns -- so they may not be ready to have full conversations in another language after using the app. With some fun ways to expand your vocabulary, though, including the quiz that features aerial shooting, Influent could potentially serve as a helpful supplementary item if kids are learning to speak another language.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad , Mac
  • Subjects: Language & Reading : reading, vocabulary
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning : applying information, investigation, Self-Direction : academic development, personal growth
  • Pricing structure: Paid, Free (Three language options -- French, Korean, and Italian -- are available for free. All others cost $3.99.)
  • Release date: October 26, 2021
  • Category: Educational Games
  • Publisher: Robert Howland
  • Version: 2.2
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 12.0 or later or macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with an Apple M1 chip.
  • Last updated: December 2, 2021

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