Little Fire Station - Fire Engine & Firefighters

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Little Fire Station - Fire Engine & Firefighters App Poster Image
Find tricky hidden items, be a helper in cute, shallow play.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can get a basic sense of a fire station and what might happen there. They can also practice their observation skills. 

Ease of Play

Brief tutorial stage for kids to grasp the basics, and from there they have to figure things out on their own. Gameplay is simple enough that most kids in the target range will be able to figure  it out, even without the tutorial.

Violence & Scariness

No violence or people in peril, but burning buildings shown.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Link in the main menu for in-app purchases. Kids also get to this area by tapping on an "under construction" sign (a person digging with a shovel) on the roof of the firehouse. There's a single-digit-addition parent gate when kids click on an add-on pack to buy.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Little Fire Station - Fire Engine & Firefighters is a firefighting experience for young kids paired with an object-find activity. There are firefighters of different sizes and skin colors. A few of them could be women, but some are clearly men. Because only part of the game is accessible without making in-app purchases, expect some pressure to buy the additional levels as kids will inadvertently click on the sign that takes them to the store at some point while exploring. There are some hints about those levels on-screen (a boarded-up basement, an empty boat dock, and so on). Younger kids may be frustrated occasionally in trying to find the missing objects in the firehouse, and kids will see animated images of burning buildings, though no one is in peril. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

LITTLE FIRE STATION - FIRE ENGINE & FIREFIGHTERS is part simulation and part seek-and-find. Kids spend most of their time visiting the firehouse where the firefighters have a seemingly endless stream of requests for missing objects, from tools to clothing to stuffed animals. Some are in plain sight, while others appear in cabinets and lockers. But while they're searching, the alarm may sound, signaling a person in need. Kids can then tap on each of the firefighters to let them know it's time to go. Once they get to the scene, kids can help by doing things like raising the ladder to reach a stranded kitten or touching the firehouse to put out a fire.

Is it any good?

True firefighter fans may miss having more fire-related activities, but this cute app is entertaining and silly. Little Fire Station - Fire Engine & Firefighters isn't terribly realistic -- hopefully you won't find a stuffed animal in your local firehouse's oven -- but it has just enough realism to make it work for little ones. Don't let the cuteness fool you, though, because some of the objects are tricky to find. There are a lot of cabinets to search though and five rooms. Young kids will likely get frustrated and/or need help now and again. In a sneaky move, the link to the in-app purchase area is "hidden" within the firehouse, too. There's enough pressure to buy without maneuvers like that. But, if you can ignore a few drawbacks, this is certainly a fun diversion for kids who love trucks, firefighters, and seek-and-find games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about being a firefighter and how it might be the same as and different from Little Fire Station - Fire Engine & Firefighters. Who can become a firefighter? What kinds of skills do they need to have? What do they do other than fight fires? What other "helpers" are around your community?

  • Talk to your kids about screen use and limits. How can kids enjoy digital media in balance with other activities?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love hidden objects and preschool apps

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