My City : Home

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
My City : Home App Poster Image
Virtual dollhouse lets kids change characters' expressions.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Virtual role-play activities like cooking in the kitchen, showering, going to bed, playing with toys, changing outfits. Some basic problem-solving is involved. How much kids can learn is dependent on adult questions and interaction.

Ease of Play

Some trial and error is needed to figure out how to change an individual persons' emotions and clothing, as well as how to maneuver within the rooms of the home, but kids will catch on quickly.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

When kids remove characters' clothes, females wear a bikini bathing suit, and males are covered from the neck to the thigh in what looks like a large leotard.


All storefronts in the first screen of the app lead to an advertisement for more apps by the same developer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My City : Home is a free-play simulation app, very similar to a virtual dollhouse, where kids design their own characters and then use them to engage in different activities in the home, such as playing with toys, decorating a bedroom, going to sleep, showering, and cooking in the kitchen. Some household issues appear in the home, such as leaky pipes or a fire in an electrical box, or users can drop a glass and break it. Kids use basic problem-solving skills to access tools in the home to clean up and repair issues -- or just ignore them without consequences. Storefront icons lead to an ad for other apps by the same developer, and kids are able to remove characters' clothes, though they're still wearing underwear. 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?

MY CITY : HOME offers kids a way to design and personalize characters they can use to engage in virtual role play, while exploring, designing, and customizing various rooms in a home. After launching the app, players will first find a person standing on the sidewalk. Kids can immediately change the character to an African American or Caucasian adult female, adult male, younger child (choice of two boys and two girls), and a baby (Caucasian female, Caucasian male, and African American male). Kids have six options of different emotions and facial features. Lastly, there's an option to remove the character's clothing. In certain rooms of the house, kids can choose from a variety of clothing options and even design an outfit in the fashion store with their favorite color and accessories. While navigating through the app, kids tap the arrows on the screen to maneuver their character into different rooms and floors of the home. Overall there are 12 rooms to explore in the app, within two apartments and a Fashion Store. Kids are offered daily gifts and prizes to use in the app as a reward for consistent gameplay. The app supports multi-touch play, so kids can play along with a friend. Users also have a choice of transitioning between daytime and nighttime. When trying to enter different storefronts on the street, though, players will find ads for additional paid versions of different apps, such as My City : Dentist Visit and My City : After School.

Is it any good?

The virtual dollhouse is a fun way for kids to engage in simulation gameplay, and the ability to change facial expressions is a welcome addition. Overall, there are lots of places for kids to explore, accessorize, and customize. Characters can engage in basic tasks like cooking, cleaning, showering, and playing, but the characters are unable to speak or interact with each other at all. While there are choices between Caucasian and African American family members, it would be nice to have even more choices to represent more kids. While it's great that there are some basic hazards and life issues that occur in the home, there are absolutely no consequences for not addressing them or ignoring them, so educational value is limited. The user experience for this app is best on an iPad with a larger screen, as it can often take multiple attempts to tap some of the smaller, more intricate items effectively when using a smaller screen, which could be frustrating for some users. But for only a few dollars, there's a lot of play value included, if accessorizing people is the type of play that generally interests your child. 


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how My City : Home can help kids identify household issues, including fires, broken glass, and leaky pipes and how they might fix them. Parents can also point out that while using a fire extinguisher might help, in real emergencies kids should call 911 instead of just attempting to put out a fire on their own, and that it's not OK to ignore an emergency in real life, which is possible during gameplay.

  • Unlike in their day-to-day lives, kids have choices within the app to create their own rules and outcomes. What are some of the rules they must follow at home that they don't have to follow in their world using the app? Do they have similar rules or different ones? Why?

  • Talk about feelings. Changing the character's facial expressions in the app may be a great way to discuss feelings and emotions with kids. Do their characters have emotions that mimic how they might be feeling in real life?

  • For kids who enjoy writing stories, they may want to use the app for inspiration. Encourage kids to keep a pencil and paper or a journal nearby and to write down new ideas to serve as the basis of a creative story.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love storytelling and preschool apps

Themes & Topics

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