Pluto Plays Music HD

 
(i)

 

Underwater-themed music app teaches notes and musicianship.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Younger kids can play the mini-game by dragging their finger up and down the screen to guide Pluto to the correct notes. Older kids can progress to playing the songs on realistic virtual instruments by tapping the correct key, string, or drum.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The settings menu includes a link to rate the game in the App Store.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Users can opt in to OpenFeint, an interactive network that allows users to upload real avatar photos, post on message boards, connect with Facebook friends or Twitter followers, and access live chat with strangers. Kids can also share status updates directly via Twitter, Facebook, or tumblr.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pluto Plays Music HD is an underwater-themed music game that teaches young children about the notes of the treble clef and lets them practice and play short popular and classical tunes on a virtual piano, xylophone, guitar, and drum set (with more instruments promised). Through practicing, kids earn pearls that are used to unlock new songs and instruments, or can pay real cash ($.99 or $1.99) to unlock them right away.

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Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

PLUTO PLAYS MUSIC HD is a creative way for kids to reinforce core musical concepts like notes and scales, ear-training, and overall musicianship while being given plenty of positive feedback. The app consists of two parts. Kids first "learn" the song by guiding a penguin through a musical staff, touching correct notes while avoiding obstacles. Then they perform the melody on a virtual instrument by pressing the correct keys or strings. The concept is particularly effective when using the virtual piano and xylophone -- since the experience is closest to the "real thing" -- and less so on the guitar or drums. The app isn't a replacement for picking up a real instrument, but is useful for reinforcing what kids have already learned elsewhere.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:May 17, 2011
Category:Educational Games
Size:20.40 MB
Publisher:YouWeb
Version:2.4
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2 or later

This review of Pluto Plays Music HD was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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