A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Minuscule is free but has in-app purchase options. The bug characters are from a French animated series, and kids can unlock clips as part of the app (some clips require you to unlock specific locations via in-app purchase). Minuscule is part of the Fingerprint game network, which offers family accounts and includes tight parental controls for those in-app purchases, but it does advertise and recommend other Fingerprint apps.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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What's it about?
Kids take on the role of the ladybug and race different bugs through different environments, dodging obstacles to stay alive and win the race. They earn coins and tickets when they win and can use those coins and tickets to buy items to help them in the race -- such as hearts for instant recovery after being stunned or a fly swatter to keep the bugs at bay. Kids unlock additional characters by collecting rings in the various locations (meadow, kitchen, and so on), some of which are available only via in-app purchase.
Is it any good?
Advancing through the levels is frustrating on MINUSCULE: VALLEY OF THE LOST ANTS - A FINGERPRINT NETWORK APP, but the challenge and hope of winning the race is still fun -- and it is possible. Kids need pretty good dexterity to maneuver quickly to avoid the bugs and obstacles they need to steer clear of while still diving or flying higher to reach the objects they want for power-ups. Kids can replay the levels or move on once they've unlocked the next. The graphics and sound effects are cute, but the "facts" about each bug are simplistic and centered on the game; they lack important, factual detail. For example, kids will read that the ladybug is a "real little pest. Her favorite pastime is bugging the flies and getting them riled up so they will go on a wild chase with her."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about real-life insects. Kids who are fascinated by bugs will enjoy an outdoor bug hunt. Consider starting a bug journal in which kids can draw entries for each bug they spot.
Families also can talk about advertising; kids can easily access icons for dozens of apps they may want you to get.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving
Self-Direction: effort, work to achieve goals
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free to Try, Free (In-app purchases range from $2 to $4.)
- Release date: February 28, 2014
- Category: Education
- Topics: Bugs
- Size: 156.00 MB
- Publisher: Fingerprint
- Version: 2.1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love racing and arcade games
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.