A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about coral reefs and the plants and animals that live there. Nemo's dad Marlin teaches him a variety of factoids about ocean life -- for example, how certain plants attract certain types of fish, which in turn create a healthy ecosystem. Kids will see how all the plants and animals work together in the reef, although there's not a lot of hard science here. Kids will need to save up pearls for special plants, so they can learn a bit about budgeting and working toward a goal. Nemo's Reef is a pleasant, if a bit shallow, journey into the vibrant underwater world.
Ease of Play
The game starts with a tutorial but occasionally has quests that may not be obvious to kids. Controls are easy to use.
Products & Purchases
This app is based on a popular Disney movie franchise, encourages in-app purchases, includes links to buy additional apps, and occasionally serves ads on start-up.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nemo's Reef is a simulation game wherein kids can build and maintain their own coral reefs. It includes and encourages in-app purchases but can be played without them (with a little patience). Many items require "pearls" for purchase; these can be earned slowly, as a bonus for playing several days in a row, or by caring for rare fish. The reef is lovely and colorful, plus Nemo's dad occasionally drops some real-life information about coral reefs and the ocean, but there's also a lot of waiting around for plants to grow.
Is It Any Good?
Nemo's Reef is a fun idea that kids likely will enjoy for a while. It's exciting to have new sea creatures move into your reef and see how the reef grows and changes depending on your care. However, it's missing some substance in terms of both educational content and gameplay; eventually, kids will want to move on to games that have more to do than collecting resources and waiting. But, so long as you can fend off requests to buy pearls to speed up gameplay, it's a cute enough way to learn a bit more about coral reefs.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Best Science Games, Websites, and Apps for Kids
Best Biology Games, Apps, and Websites for Kids
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate