Mobo Kids Puzzle World

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Mobo Kids Puzzle World App Poster Image
Colorful world tour more layover than lesson.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn the names and locations of 15 countries around the world. They'll see the flag from each of those countries and hear a very brief snippet of the national anthem. Images from each country introduce kids to some (stereo)typical local features or cultural aspects. Kids will also practice fine motor skills as they drag puzzle pieces into place.

Ease of Play

Tap and drag large puzzle pieces to fit in the shadowed outline.

Violence & Scariness

A cowboy mouse shoots a toy gun.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mobo Kids Puzzle World takes kids on a journey around the world to 15 countries. In each country, kids drag images of things typical of that country to a shadowed outline. Because it's difficult to boil down a culture to one or two items, some images are somewhat stereotypical. When the puzzle is complete, kids can scroll through the items to see them labeled. They must tap a separate button to hear the item named out loud. Except for these labels, there's no opportunity to learn anything about the images. Kids can visit countries from around the world such as Great Britain, Mexico, South Africa, and India. The app store indicates that Mobo Kids Puzzle World offers in-app purchases. However, at the time of this review, there were no pay walls in the app and all the content appeared to be free. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

The first country on the list for MOBO KIDS PUZZLE WORLD's globetrotting fox is Great Britain. Tap play to see a shadowed outline and three image choices. Drag the correct one into the outline and move through the map of the country to the next puzzle. After correctly placing all images, listen to a song from that country and get a stamp in your passport. Then scroll through the images to learn their names, or move on to the next country. There are 15 countries to visit, each with about 10 items.

Is it any good?

Colorful, kid-friendly graphics take kids on a tour around the world but don't teach them much about what they see. Sure, kids can get a basic sense of geography as the fox flies to each new destination. But, without seeing the whole world map, it may be hard to contextualize and put things together. And yes, kids will see the flag of each new country and hear a snippet of the national anthem (though not enough to really understand much about the music), but both are presented without any context. Finally, kids play an overly simplified puzzle game that presents images of things "typical" of each country. Though some images are probably spot on for what people think of for these countries (say, Big Ben in Great Britain or pasta in Italy), some are curious choices or are overly stereotypical, like an octopus for Japan. Furthermore, with little more than a label (and even the label isn't immediately available), kids won't actually learn anything about what those images are or what they mean for the culture they belong to. Though it's nice to be able to learn about the cultures from around the world without having to spend money on plane tickets, parents should expect this simple puzzle game to just skim the surface.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the countries in Mobo Kids Puzzle World. What language do they speak in that country? Name each puzzle item as your kids are placing it. What is the meaning of that item for the culture it belongs to?

  • Learn more about cultures around the world through books, songs, movies, internet searches, local cultural events, and travel (if you can).

  • Explore music and the world by listening to the full national anthems of the countries kids visit in the app. What's your national anthem? Do you know more than one?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Social Studies: citizenship, cultural understanding, geography, global awareness
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try ($1.99 in-app purchase to unlock all content)
  • Release date: June 11, 2018
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 104.30 MB
  • Publisher: Mobo Kids
  • Version: 1.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up

For kids who love cultural appreciation and geography

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