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MyTown

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Location-based app blends Foursquare with Monopoly.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Once you get the hang of My Town, it's an easy app to navigate, but there are a lot of moving parts to it and it takes a while to figure them all out. The "How to Play" tutorial isn't obvious when you launch the app for the first time, which adds to the difficulty. 

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

The app itself has no objectionable language, but users can receive emails and updates from others (including strangers), which could contain offensive words.

Consumerism

Ads for local establishments are pushed to your iPhone at the bottom of the screen. In addition, users are able to buy upgrades for the game using real world cash.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Users can 'check in' at bars and nightclubs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that My Town is a social media app that allows users to communicate their whereabouts, while offering game qualities as well. It is, in many ways, a blending of Foursquare and Monopoly. Users can check in and 'buy' real-world properties with virtual money. You can then 'charge' future visitors, using that earned currency for upgrades. Alternatively, you can use real-world cash to short-cut the process and pay for upgrades as well. Users have the ability, but are not required, to post their check-ins on Facebook or Twitter, which can raise privacy concerns. Adult users could check in from adult establishments and post updates and comments that could contain mature language. That possibility along with privacy concerns makse this app unsuitable for younger users. For more parent advice about location-sharing apps, check out our article.

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Is it any good?

QUALITY

My Town has quickly become one of the most popular location-based apps around, with more than 4.5 million users. It has achieved this success by moving beyond simple check-ins and adding a fun gaming element to the app. That said, it's not something that's suitable for younger users -- or even young teens. While the privacy issues are not as worrying as apps like Fourquare and InCrowd, there's still the potential for users to inadvertantly reveal their location to strangers.

As a game, the app is fun, taking the best elements of Monopoly, in that you buy places you frequently visit, collect rent when others do, then use that rent to upgrade the property and (in turn) charge higher rental fees.That it's fun isn't too surprising, though, when you consider the company's developer -- Booyah --is made up of developers who used to work for Blizzard Entertainment, makers of World of Warcraft and Starcraft

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:September 14, 2010
Category:Entertainment
Publisher:Booyah, Inc.
Version:4.2.1
Minimum software requirements:OS 3.1 or later

This review of MyTown was written by

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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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Teen, 13 years old Written bygoodperson4 January 2, 2011

educational

This game teaches kids about money exchanging as well as currency and is very educational. NOTHING QUESTIONABLE.
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