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Parents' Guide to

Pepi Tree Lite

By Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Tree-dwelling mini-games are cute but not top notch.

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Mini-games set in a tree habitat introduce kids to a handful of tree-dwelling animals on a very basic level. The games are simple, which make them easily accessible for young kids. But, they feel too superficial and actually end up missing the mark on any kind of meaningful learning. It would be nice to see more complex scaffolding around learning about these animals and their habitat. There are also a few things that make Pepi Tree Lite feel a bit off-putting. For example, though the graphics are mostly appealing, there are some images that seem odd (take the app icon's open-mouthed fox as an example). The audio track similarly has some moments where the noises just seem like strange choices. Also, though the app sells itself as being an educational look at animals in their natural habitats, moles are not known for using keys to get into their underground houses. In-app navigation and controls are not fully thought out: There's no option to turn off the music or sound effects, and there's no way return to the home screen other than closing down the app. Finally, the lite version is a nice option for giving parents and kids a good sense of what the game is like, and the locked portions are more subtle than in some other similar apps. But it does leave half the game inaccessible, which is pretty enticing for little kids, regardless of how much they really like the game. Parents should discuss the buying options before they hand Pepi Tree Lite over to their kids.

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