Masonry - 3D Brick Creativity

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Masonry - 3D Brick Creativity App Poster Image
Virtual builder has weak instruction, glitchy controls.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can potentially exercise creativity and use spatial skills to construct objects, but the controls might hinder progress.

Ease of Play

Navigation isn't overwhelming, but it's not entirely clear how to use all of the features. The virtual bricks do not "snap" together in alignment. In order to align them, kids need to rotate the models to check all sides. Controls don't all work as explained in the directions (there seemed to be no way to rotate on the Z-axis to help align the bricks, or to move the bricks along the Z-axis). 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Masonry - 3D Brick Creativity is a virtual experience for kids who enjoy building and designing with Lego bricks. There are a huge number of bricks and colors to choose from, which makes it easier to find the piece you need so you don't have to hunt. However, the controls will likely be challenging for young kids, as well as many older ones, and the fact that the bricks don't align automatically is frustrating. The instructions don't seem entirely accessible, and what we did find didn't work in the app itself. Note: There was no privacy policy available at the time of review. 

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What's it about?

MASONRY - 3D BRICK CREATIVITY allows kids to build whatever models they want with a seemingly unlimited number of bricks (5,000+ different pieces) in a range of colors. There are all sorts of shapes, including some parts to build mini-figures. Although there's no affiliation, kids can download Lego manuals to guide their building. The app has a feature that allows kids to record their build steps and create instructions of their own. It also comes preloaded with a number of models that kids can use for inspiration or build onto. Kids can search bricks and filter them to include just those in the model they are currently building.

Is it any good?

While the idea of a virtual building space with a wealth of bricks and features is great, it's hard not to be disappointed here. Masonry - 3D Brick Creativity doesn't quite feel like it's ready for prime time. Serious brick-building fans might be willing to overlook an interface that's less than user-friendly, a drab brown background that can't be changed, and instructions that you can't seem to scroll through. And the at-your-fingertips choices for pieces and colors is really fun. But it's nearly impossible to forgive a building tool with bricks that don't automatically align when you snap them together (a hallmark of the Lego bricks the app is mimicking). And though rotating and seeing blocks from all angles is meant to be a feature, it can be really hard to get the bricks to move the way you want them to. Those two limitations make building tedious, if not impossible. There's promise here, and a strong foundation of content, but the tools will need work before most builders will be happy to have plunked down their cash. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about creating your own designs. How is designing models for Masonry - 3D Brick Creativity different from designing with real bricks? How is it the same?

  • Talk to your kids about screen use and limits. How can kids enjoy digital media in balance with other activities? Are there more advantages to using the app or real Lego bricks?

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For kids who love building and Lego

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