A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Kids start PK XD - EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE by choosing a name (not their real name or anything the developers mark as inappropriate) and then design their avatar's skin, hair, and outfit. Some options cost in-app coins, which kids earn by playing every day and completing missions -- like delivering a pizza or gathering fruit. They can buy coins, too, with real money, which also disables ads. They then move on to their house where they can decorate and upgrade as well as visit other player's homes. There's also a school, a playground, and a huge pool to visit. Kids can chat with other players using pre-set phrases and emojis. If kids add friends to their list, it's easier to find them when they're both online.
Is it any good?
This safer-for-kids virtual world has lots to explore and customize, but there are purchases. Kids who are interested in virtual worlds should easily find plenty to in PK XD - Explore the Universe. There are a variety of settings to hang out in, from schools and parks and towns. And there's lots to decorate, like outfits and homes. There are also lots of opportunities to make in-app purchases: Parents should be prepared to handle requests to spend real money. PK XD - Explore the Universe's restrictions on chat might frustrate kids, but the canned, pre-set language is a safe way to let them communicate. For example, kids can ask, "Where are you from?" but replies are limited to continents. It's disappointing that any user can enter your virtual home, but the limits on chat options helps make that more annoying than unsafe. Closing out of the app is tricky the first time, but kids just need to swipe from the line at the bottom of the screen. Given that virtual playgrounds are popular with kids, but aren't always safe spaces, PK XD - Explore the Universe strikes a good balance between creative exploration and safety.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about guidelines for adding "friends" in games like PK XD - Explore the Universe. Ask why the developer set it up so that kids can't chat in full conversations, what they can learn from that. Read our article on online playgrounds.
Discuss your family's approach to making in-app purchases. Are they okay? How much is okay? Who pays for them? Check out 5 Ways to Curb Kids' In-App Purchases for tips.
Talk about how kids feel connecting to others in virtual worlds versus the real world. How are the experiences different? Do they prefer one way over the other? Why?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free to try
- Pricing structure: Free to try (Coins for in-game upgrades range from $1.99-$19.99)
- Release date: May 17, 2020
- Category: Simulation Games
- Topics: Adventures
- Size: 474.70 MB
- Publisher: Movile Internet Movel S.A.
- Version: 0.9.12
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.2 or later; Android 4.4 and up
- Last updated: March 7, 2021
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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.