My Robot Friend

 

Learning(i)

Fun puzzler with programming skills; some crude humor.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The drag and drop controls are intuitive and easy to figure out with minimal direction.

Violence

Kids shoot rockets at stuffed animals to blow them up so their robot can get past, and they can freeze other robots to keep them out of the way. The narrator comments that they'll be able to put the fluffy friends back together again, though.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

The fat cat burps, but the default option for the burps is off. It can be turned on under settings.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Kids are not asked to enter any personal information and can assign their own username. Kids can take and use their own photo as their avatar. Scores can connect to GameCenter, but participation is optional.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that My Robot Friend is a LeapFrog app targeted at older elementary kids, unlike LeapFrog's usual early education offerings. There's some crude humor with a sarcastic, burping cat and some mild violence blowing up stuffed animals with rockets and freezing robots, but nothing graphic. The narrator even comments that they'll be able to put the stuffed animals back together again later and explains that they just need to be blown up so the robot can get to the treasure.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • arithmetic

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • logic
  • problem solving

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The challenges are fun, and the constant rewards -- from new costumes to fun mini-games -- will keep kids engaged. 

Learning Approach

Drag-and-drop cards give kids options without overwhelming them and ease them into the world of programming. Kids will learn to plan ahead and use the tools they are given in the best way.

Support

Kids get multiple do-overs, if necessary, to figure out how to program their robot. Once they've mastered a level, they unlock the next challenge.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • arithmetic

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • logic
  • problem solving

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn to think critically and strategically to solve problems and write/code programs. They are programming their robot's moves by moving the right cards into place to direct him where he needs to go (or not to go). Kids will work with directionality and negative numbers, too, as they use the cards and resources given to get the robot where he needs to be. My Robot Friend is a fun, easy way for kids to start thinking and acting like programmers.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

What's it about?

Kids direct their robot friend through mazes to a treasure chest by programming his moves step by step. Kids are rewarded with ribbons after completing each round, and can unlock fun mini-games -- like dance parties where they can program the music and moves for their robot and advanced programming challenges where they save monkeys. Kids work with directionality, adding steps, and negative numbers as they plan the best way to get the robot to the treasure and avoid the obstacles.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

My Robot Friend combines fun and logic in such a way that kids love every minute of the increasing challenges they face and may not even realize they are building the logical thinking and strategy skills needed for computer programming. The story-based games are just crude and silly enough -- with a fat cat bad guy trying to thwart their missions -- to appeal to older kids and tweens. The frequent rewards that let kids earn currency to buy costumes for their robot and the seriously fun mini-games help keep kids motivated to keep playing. Though the puzzles start off easy enough, the challenge grows steadily and quickly.

Families can talk about...

  • Steer kids interested in programming to try out Scratch, an MIT application to teach kids programming.

  • Talk to kids about the many areas computer programming is needed and used -- in apps and games and websites and even cash registers and phones and machines we encounter every day.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$3.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:February 21, 2013
Category:Educational Games
Topics:Robots
Size:302.00 MB
Publisher:LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
Version:1.0.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of My Robot Friend was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3, 8, and 11 year old Written byThethreechunks May 25, 2013
age 7+
 

Great game which promotes thinking skills

Great game my 8 & 11 year olds enjoyed thoroughly. Builds in difficulty which is great :)
Kid, 9 years old May 10, 2013
age 2+
 

this is good... but blowing up stuff animals will make little kids cry.

well... this is not bad for learning. but blowing up stuff animals will make little kids cry, cause little kids love stuffed animals. it will hurt there feelings. but the good news is that it learns science and math. not bad. but what king of math and science is it any way?
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educator and Parent of a 8 year old Written bybarcotanya4ever January 23, 2015

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