Mac, Izzy & Friends

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Mac, Izzy & Friends App Poster Image
Kids explore, experiment, create with fun tools and prompts.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about self-expression and creative exploration. What happens when I change the kaleidoscope view to a fish-eye view? How does a little dinosaur's roar sound different from that of a big dinosaur? Each activity pack has a different learning theme such as dinosaurs or light and shadows. Kids may learn a bit about how shadows change throughout the day or the names of different dinosaurs. Kids also will practice fine motor skills as they draw, do puzzles, and more. Mac, Izzy & Friends offers a great mix of different kinds of activities that require kids to watch, listen, do, create -- or all of the above. 

Ease of Play

Navigation is easy and kid-friendly, once kids get used to how to maneuver among the games. For some activities, kids will need to manipulate the device to point it in the right direction for taking photos.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchases for more activity packs are conspicuous and quite likely to catch kids' attention.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mac, Izzy & Friends is a collection of activities designed to encourage creative exploration and expression. Kids can explore videos, stories, and drawing tools; they can also manipulate audio recordings and visuals, create and put together puzzles, and more. Once kids get the hang of how to navigate the app, they can play on their own, but this is also a really great app for parents and kids to play together, on- and offscreen. Kids use the camera, but photos are only stored in-app and can't be shared. There are a good number of things to do with the free version, but the additional activity packs available as in-app purchases offer even more fun and can be quite tantalizing. Read the developer's privacy policy for more details on what kinds of information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

In MAC, IZZY & FRIENDS kids experiment with visuals, audio, reading, puzzles, and more with the creation suggestions. The free version comes with some "creativity tools," such as a drawing pad and an audio recorder, that let kids experiment with visual and audio distortions, and it comes with a puzzle maker. The free activity pack delves into shadows and has shadow-themed drawing tools plus a video, a digital story, and an offline extension activity. Additional activity packs follow a similar model, though they have different themes and some additional content; there's also a website.

Is it any good?

Animated blob-like hosts Izzy and Mac are cute, gentle guides through a fun world of exploration and experimentation. Kids are bound to get a kick out of seeing their faces in a kaleidoscope view, hearing their voices roar like a dinosaur caught in a tin can, or learning how to make shadow animals with their hands. Many of the activities feel as though they're repeating throughout the game (the puzzle in the shadows pack isn't that much different from the puzzle in the exploration tools). The drawing activities all are similar enough to be familiar to kids, but each does offer something new. All kids, but especially younger ones, will benefit from some help and guidance from a grown-up, especially at first. The offline activity extensions are perfect ways to get kids and parents exploring together. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about imaginative play. Kids can use the dinosaur or shadow puppets or the drawings to make up stories.

  • Create and explore with your child; discuss the different visual and audio effects.

  • Do the offline activities together and talk about what you're doing.

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love dinosaurs and exploring with others

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