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Monster Physics

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Monster Physics App Poster Image
Colorful graphics, fun missions engage as kids experiment.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about physics concepts through exploration and experimentation. Kids build contraptions and solve missions using tools that apply concepts such as force, friction, and gravity. This lets kids see how parts interact in a system. If they don't get the right results the first time, kids can make an unlimited number of modifications until they're satisfied with their contraptions or until they successfully solve a mission. In Monster Physics, the overall process of building, testing, modifying, and retesting is an excellent way to support critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Ease of Play

A tutorial teaches kids how to zoom, scroll, add parts, and more. Learning some of the navigation is a bit tricky, but most kids will quickly get the hang of it.

Violence

A cannon and a bomb are offered as building parts. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism

The main page has small ads for the developer's other apps. It states that the ads are for parents only, but users only have to press on the ad for three seconds before being taken to the App Store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monster Physics is a fun, engaging tool that kids can use to explore principles of physics. Kids can let their imaginations run wild by using the "build" feature to create their own contraptions. Building materials include metal, wood, and plastic parts; rubber tires; ropes; chains; magnets; propellers; and more. Once they've finished, kids can see their contraptions in action using the built-in physics engine. The app also has 50 missions for kids to solve, and they vary in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Kids will feel empowered as they use critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to complete each mission. A "learn" feature uses colorful graphics to teach kids about key physics concepts such as gravity and mass.

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What's it about?

MONSTER PHYSICS offers up to five user profiles and has two main modes of play: Build and Missions. In Build, kids can use dozens of different parts to create a contraption including a rocket, car, crane, helicopter, and more. Parts are made with different materials such as metal, wood, and plastic, and kids can draw ropes or chains to connect parts. Additional options include rotating, coloring, scaling, and flipping parts. Once kids are finished building their contraptions, they can tap and drag to use the built-in physics engine, which shows how the contraption moves. In the Missions mode, kids can choose missions to solve, and the missions increase in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Learn is an additional mode that teaches kids some basic physics concepts such as speed, velocity, mass, and density.

Is it any good?

Monster Physics does a fantastic job of combining physics content with a highly engaging digital platform. Kids will have fun and feel empowered as they build their own contraptions and solve challenging missions. The missions are open-ended and require kids to use strong critical-thinking skills, but a tutorial and tips along the way help guide the learning process. Since kids can keep trying until they're successful, they learn important lessons about trial and error and perseverance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fun goals when building contraptions. For example, ask your kid to build a contraption that can fly into space and capture limes.

  • If kids get stuck solving a mission, encourage them to think about forces and motion and how each concept will help solve the mission.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Science: engineering, gravity, motion, physics
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, hypothesis-testing, part-whole relationships, problem solving, thinking critically
  • Price: Free-$.99
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid, Free (The free lite version comes with fewer missions than the full version.)
  • Release date: September 13, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
  • Size: 46.50 MB
  • Publisher: Freecloud Design, Inc.
  • Version: 1.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love science

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