Mash&Co

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Mash&Co App Poster Image
Cute but muddled hero's journey could entertain or confuse.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

With a lot of parental support, kids might learn more about the importance of balance in an ecosystem (for example, what happens if there's not enough water) and can talk about friendship. The content is abstract, however, and likely will go over the heads of many young kids. 

Ease of Play

Controls are simple enough, and the app prompts kids to complete a certain action, but it's still not always clear what is supposed to be done or why.

Violence & Scariness

Some moments could affect sensitive kids. For example, when the drought occurs, plants start dying, the music becomes ominous, and Mash's family (parents) start to shrivel up. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Each appisode ends with a prompt to start or buy the next one. There's a parent gate that asks the user to tap on the shapes that match the written words (for example, "squaresquaretriangle").

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mash&Co is a collection of "appisodes" that include animation, interactive elements, and mini-games. They follow the adventures of Mash and his snail friend Periwinkle as they try to save the forest from a drought. If kids can pick up on it, there are some lovely messages on friendship and caring for the environment, but without the support of an adult, younger kids will have no idea what's going on. Parents can create profiles for multiple children to track their progress, although the reports aren't all that informative. 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?

Mash is a mushroom who lives in the forest with his family. When the water in the forest dries up and plants begin to die, Mash sets out to become the hero and bring water back to the plants. MASH&CO is a series of appisodes that follow Mash's journey with his new friend, Periwinkle the snail. Although there is no text in the stories, an informational card gives an overview of each appisode. The second installment finds Mash and Periwinkle in a forest with no color. They set out to find a man who has a machine that can restore the colors. Other installments include a color-mixing mini-game and a game that teaches kids about constellations by matching shapes.

Is it any good?

Though cute and surreal, this combination of animation and interactivity has potential but lacks focus. Mash&Co has the makings of a great experience for kids. It has cute characters, a hero's journey, and even some games. But with a story that is told entirely through pantomime and thought-bubble images, it sometimes feels a bit too abstract. While there are plenty of prompts to tell kids where to tap for the puzzles, it's still not always clear if there was a point or if the action was just there to make it interactive. Also, since there's limited free content, kids are prompted to buy the next installment when they complete the current one, which can create some pressure on parents. For the target age, the story feels a bit disjointed and sometimes potentially disturbing for sensitive kids, as Mash's parents visibly shrivel and he has to save them. Parents can try the app with kids before making a purchase.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how much kids learned. Do you think Mash&Co is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What did you learn? 

  • How do you like this app as compared to other apps you could play? If you had or have limited screen time, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?

  • What are some things in your home or yard that require access to water? What would happen if they weren't able to get water?

App details

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