MarcoPolo Recall

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
MarcoPolo Recall App Poster Image
Simple, free game to improve focus and memory.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Follow the light and sound prompts to improve attention and short-term memory skills by recalling a pattern.

Ease of Play

Activities are simple to play just by tapping the screen with one or two fingers.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

In-app videos on the main screen prompt users to buy other MarcoPolo apps. Parents must input their year of birth to get to the app store for in-app purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MarcoPolo Recall is a free app that aims to help little kids improve attention and short-term memory in a fast, easy game. Players watch one of the four keys on the screen light up and play a sound cue, and then tap the correct key. Be patient, watch, and listen, as the app completes the first play, plus another one. It's your turn again to follow the sequence. See how many steps you can learn in the sequence before you make a mistake. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

In MARCOPOLO RECALL, there are four different memory games that are played the same way. Each game has four different bars on the screen. In the first game, there are four bars, each a different color. When starting the game, the bars will flash, one at a time. The player has to tap the same bar, in the exact same order. The app will add another key to the sequence, and the player will tap the next button in sequence, each time, always starting from the beginning again. The sequence starts the same way each time, but will get longer and longer. The second game is the same, but played at a much faster speed. In the 3rd game, the screen is black and the bars aren't visible, but a light will flash in order. In the last game, players use two fingers to tap two buttons at the same time in sequence. When an incorrect answer is provided during any game, there are cute and sometimes silly animations for children to watch. Their high score displays, and users are given a chance to play again.

Is it any good?

Though it's a simple experience kids won't likely beg to play, this memory-builder is a solid, free way to practice recall. As we live in a world full of distractions, it's important to expand your short-term memory skills in order to quickly learn new information. This isn't an easy skill for many, even adults. MarcoPolo Recall gives kids and even adults a fun way to practice this skill through repetition, in a multisensory way that starts simply and gets more complex over time as the player's skill improves. Want a different experience? Try holding the device horizontally instead of vertically when playing and see which orientation is easier or more challenging. While it's not a new way to practice memory skills, it's accessible and free, and it could provide a bit of memory-stretching fun for a few minutes at a time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how MarcoPolo Recall helps to improve short-term memory. You are just remembering a sequence of lights and sounds here, but how do you use your short-term memory in everyday life? 

  • Everyone learns differently. Some learn by seeing, others learn by listening, maybe even both. Turn the sound off on the app and determine whether you or your child has a preference or advantage for remembering the information when they see it, hear it, or engage both senses at the same time. Was it easier when the lights and sounds were shared at a faster speed?

  • Improving your memory for information is a skill that needs to be practiced, and it becomes more of a challenge to pay attention with distractions. What were the distractions that impacted you from beating your best score? Did someone interrupt you by asking a question or to have a conversation? Were you able to tune out the information and keep focused, or did you forget the sequence?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool apps and puzzles

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