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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What 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.
Is it any good?
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