London 2012 - Official Mobile Game
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that London 2012 - Official Mobile Game is a lighthearted replication of some of the more popular sports of the Summer Olympic Games. The game is free of most objectionable content, though there are a couple that feature weapons and target shooting. The larger concern is the push for in-app purchases, which let players buy different outfits, unlock new sports, and buy stamina, which lets them play more. Players can also earn coins for these through gameplay. A paid "premium" version of the app gives players extra coins and stamina, letting them play for longer sessions. A social option allows players to send messages to others and upload a photo.
What kids can learn
Health & Fitness
- gross motor skills
What Kids Can Learn
While London 2012 - Official Mobile Game may encourage kids to take an interest in the sports of the Olympic Games, the app wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.
What's it about?
First, kids create their avatar, choosing hairstyles, skin tone, and more. They then compete in a variety of Olympic sports (mostly track and field and swimming-related) by tapping and swiping the screen. For the 100-meter dash, for instance, kids tap the screen as fast as they can with alternating thumbs. You need stamina for efficient training (and to compete in medal events), and you have a limited amount. Once you're out of it, it takes 10 minutes to recharge. False starts result in an immediate disqualification -- and lost stamina.
Is it any good?
London 2012 - Official Mobile Game strives to be the heir apparent to Wii Sports and the arcade classic Track & Field. Unfortunately, it falls short of that goal. It's certainly entertaining to pound your device's screen with your fingers/thumbs, but the game's responsiveness is average (and not where it needs to be for a reflex title like this). And the tacked-on in-app purchase elements seem like an obvious money-grab (a premium version provides more currency, stamina, and experience points).
Also, the app is plagued with minor technical glitches that are annoyances. If you're going to play, get the free version.