Machine World

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Machine World App Poster Image
Kids will dig fun sandbox tool but might need more guidance.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Audio tips are helpful, but a "getting started" tutorial might better support kids who aren't sure how to begin. Most of the machine controls are intuitive but likely will require some practice.


The main screen prompts users to join a forum sponsored by the developers.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Machine World is a sandbox tool that kids can use to build, dig, and excavate using machines such as cranes, helicopters, boats, trucks, and more. As they learn how to operate the machines, kids are empowered to build or demolish structures, dig trenches and holes, mine and haul rocks, and more. There aren't any rules or specific goals. Kids use their imaginations to help them freely explore and create worlds.

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What's it about?

To get started with MACHINE WORLD, kids can choose from three scenes to get started: Lighthouse Cove, Twisty Roads, or Easy Island. Each scene is preloaded with certain features, such as bridges and roads, and a few machines. Once a scene loads, kids begin by tapping on a menu of machines to choose the one they want to use. The machine appears within the scene, and controls for the machine are located on the bottom left and right sides of the screen. The controls have two modes: one for easier casual play and the other for more realistic, challenging play. If they need help, kids can tap an icon to hear tips for using controls. Though the instructions are useful, more detailed, written instructions could help get those who struggle to figure out how to get started. Kids can save their games and share and discuss them in a forum on the developer's website.

Is it any good?

Kids who like open-ended, creative play and building with vehicles will be excited to dig in. The app gives kids an opportunity to be creative and empowers them to use the available resources to create a world of their own. With over 10 machines to operate, many structures to build, and lots of dirt to dig, there are abundant opportunities for kids to have fun as they explore and experiment. A tutorial for beginners, as well as some more developed sample worlds and specific tasks for kids to complete, would be welcome additions, since figuring out what to do next is not always easy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the structures kids create and which machines they use. Are some machines easier to operate than others? If so, why?

  • Families can talk about real-world applications of the machines used in the game. Where have kids seen the machines? What were they being used for?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love building and engineering

Themes & Topics

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