My City : Election day

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
My City : Election day App Poster Image
Unique theme for virtual play has potential purchases.

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Educational Value

Virtual role-play activities like voting, campaigning, and holding meetings give kids ample inspiration for election and civic education themed pretend play. How much kids can learn though is mostly dependent on adult questions and interaction. Kids can also practice storytelling, get creative through changing outfits, and explore emotional expression with a variety of facial expressions.

Ease of Play

There's some trial and error in figuring out how to navigate through the different locations, change emotions and clothing on the characters, and how to use other available features. Motivated kids should catch on quickly though. Picking up small objects or activating on small buttons requires precise tapping.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

All storefronts in the first screen of the app lead to an advertisement for more apps by the same developer. A simple addition problem acts as a parent gate before users are directed to app store for purchase.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My City : Election day is a virtual pretend play space that lets kids move and manipulate objects and characters in various election-themed locations. Kids can make campaign material and pretend they're holding elections as they explore the mayor's office, a campaign room, a voting room, and more. It may be difficult for young kids to pick up some of the smaller objects or hit small buttons, even if kids play on a larger screen like a tablet rather than a phone. The app is part of a large collection of virtual dollhouse-type apps that can all be linked together. If kids navigate around the neighborhood outside City Hall, they'll run into storefronts and other areas that take them to ads to buy additional apps in the series so they can link to those locations. Daily gifts and push notifications encourage kids to play consistently and regularly. The app supports multi-touch play, so kids can play along with a friend. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Tap play to begin exploring the different locations available with MY CITY : ELECTION DAY. Kids can enter City Hall, print a badge, and make their way to the mayor's office, campaign headquarters, or a meeting room. Or visit the house next door. Create campaign materials like buttons or signs, vote, hold meetings, prepare dinner, or play in the baby's room. As kids explore, they find some characters already placed in a few locations, but they can always change or add more. Tap any character to choose a different facial expression or remove clothing (unclothed characters still have underwear). The character icon in the top left corner opens an options menu where kids can choose new characters and change the weather or time of day. If kids have other apps from the same developer, they can link the apps together and travel between them.

Is it any good?

There are lots of details for kids to explore in this open-ended virtual dollhouse, and the voting theme brings a unique set of possibilities for pretend play. My City : Election day's unique theme has potential for getting kids excited and involved in being active citizens in their community -- particularly if parents talk to their kids about the game. There are some fun ways for kids to interact with characters and items, such as printing a badge and using it to enter a building or choosing designs on campaign materials. Another area where My City : Election day stands out is the option to choose facial expressions showing a handful of different emotions. Yet, overall, as with most apps in this genre, kids can move characters and items around but they really don't interact with each other on screen in any meaningful way. Though there's a variety of gender, age, and skin tone in the character choices, it still seems that there's a slight imbalance in representations (for example, the "family portrait" in the mayor's office shows a standard white dad, mom, boy, and girl). Parents should be aware that the My City series includes a large number of themed apps, and there's a big push to purchase more, play more, and rate the app.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the stories kids tell with My City : Election day. Who are the characters? What are they doing and why? How can you use the facial expressions enrich your story?

  • Talk to your kids about voting and elections. What are the pretend candidates proposing? What are the important issues in your kid's world?  What are your family's basic values that help guide your own voting decisions? Why is it important to vote?

  • This app is part of a large series, and pretend play has no real end time. Set clear time limits and make sure your kids know your policy on buying more apps in the series.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love storytelling apps

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