Playing for a Better World

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Playing for a Better World App Poster Image
Games and mini-lessons on health, animals, eco-issues.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can practice memorization, sorting, patterns, making wise decisions, honoring the community, and citizenship related to environmental protection and recycling. They can explore topics like balanced diet for health, animal welfare, and solar energy. 

Ease of Play

Very easy to play. Some reading required. Each game includes an explanation, choice of difficulty, and instructions. Some games are simple tap-and-swipe, others require memorization, sorting.

Violence & Scariness

In the chicken game, the character jumps over bombs to release the chickens from the cages. If he doesn't jump high enough, he disappears as a bomb explodes.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Playing for a Better World uses games and mini-messages to help kids learn about environmental, animal, and health issues. The app includes seven arcade-style games and messages about animal welfare, solar energy, recycling, over-consumption, deforestation, food groups, and more. Kids earn points in the games that they can use to dress and accessorize a character. In one game bombs go off if the player doesn't jump high enough, and the character disappears. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

To begin PLAYING FOR A BETTER WORLD, tap the icon on the road highlighted by the pointer and begin the first game (of seven), The Animal Shelter. Read the brief description, tap Play. Choose Easy, Normal, or Hard, read the instructions, and then begin the memory game. When the game is over, view how many points you earned, and tap on the gift box to discover what you've won (example: a fashion item like sunglasses for your character). Tap the next game up the road to play The Solar Farm. Each game includes an explanation, choice of difficulty, and instructions. Some games are simple tap-and-swipe, others require memorization, sorting, and other lightly educational skills.

Is it any good?

If you're looking for an app to help your young kid learn about environmental issues without getting overwhelmed by dire facts, this may be a good choice. Playing for a Better World keeps the messages short and simple and focuses mostly on the arcade-style games. For example, in "Healthy Crush" (similar to Candy Crush), players learn about food groups. In Release the Chickens, players "Help Mr. Ecology to free the chickens from the cage factory." The message appears: "Birds need space to have a full and healthy life. In cages this is not possible." As kids play a game releasing chickens from a factory, bombs go off if they don't jump high enough, which may not appeal to every parent -- or kid. It would be nice if there were some extension activities that could take what kids learn offscreen and practice making an impact on the issues raised in the app. Ultimately, kids aren't going to learn any in-depth environmental lessons on Playing for a Better World, but they can get an idea of what's important and learn some related vocabulary as they have fun playing games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how your family can make changes to your daily habits to impact some of the issues addressed on Playing for a Better World. How can we take care of the environment? What does healthy eating look like?

  • If your kid is interested in any particular topic (recycling or deforestation, for example), check out Common Sense Media's Environmental Books for Kids list to help them find out more. 

  • Even though Playing for a Better World keeps the information mostly light and not too troublesome, if any of the facts mentioned here upset your kid, reassure them that there are good people working to make changes for the better on every problem mentioned.

App details

For kids who love learning about issues and taking action

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