Presidents vs. Aliens

Common Sense Media says

Goofy and fun way to learn about the U.S. presidents.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The tutorial and directions are clear and the app is easy to use. Every once and awhile, a glitch seems to occur within the game physics, but it doesn't detract from gameplay.

Violence & scariness

You fling balls with the heads of the presidents at heads of aliens to knock them off the screen. The image looks pinballs bouncing around and no one is injured.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There is a link from the main menu screen to one of the developer's other apps in iTunes.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Presidents vs. Aliens is an educational app that quizzes players about each U.S. president, including his political party, nickname, a noteworthy event during his presidency, a quote, and various other facts. It also tests players' ability to recognize the portraits of the presidents. If you answer correctly, you have the chance to fling your president's head at a collection of aliens in order to knock them off the screen. There is no limit to the number of questions you can answer as you attempt to knock out aliens heads, but you must answer at least 50% of the questions correctly to win the level. Pull it off and you earn a president for your collection. The end goal is to earn all of the presidents. If you earn 15 presidents, you unlock the Heads of State bonus game which asks you to choose the correct portrait for the president's name. Earn 30 presidents to unlock Executive Order, which asks you to place presidential portraits in order of their term of presidency. None of the games are timed.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • geometry

Science

  • physics

Social Studies

  • historical figures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

If kids need to memorize facts about the presidents, this is an enjoyable way to do so. Since the game boards change each time, there's a lot of replay value, so kids may spend more time with the app.

Learning Approach

The main game is purely "edutainment," but the mini-games tie a bit more closely to the subject matter. Kids can see the correct answers for quiz questions they miss, helping them learn what they don't already know. 

Support

There aren't a lot of extras, but kids can track their progress based on the number of presidents they have collected. Instructions are clear enough and age-appropriate.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • geometry

Science

  • physics

Social Studies

  • historical figures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing

Kids can learn about U.S. history, specifically data about the presidents, with Presidents vs. Aliens. Each presidential snapshot includes an image, term dates, nickname, quotes, key historical events/facts, and political party affiliation. Kids can go at their own pace since there's no time clock pressure. Bonus: There's also an arcade-style game that may help reinforce basic geometry and physics concepts. Presidents vs. Aliens isn't especially deep, but it brings silly fun to drill-based learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christy Matte

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Kids study historical information and then answer multiple choice questions. If they answer correctly they play a round of an arcade-style game. If they answer incorrectly, the app shows the correct answer and players move on to the next question. Once they complete the game level, they are given a presidential portrait to add to their gallery. Kids can control the depth of information included in the quiz and there are two bonus games to unlock. The app includes digital "flash cards" with information on each of the presidents to help study.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

PRESIDENTS VS. ALIENS is just plain educational fun. The game provides a database of facts, so you can study up before you play. You can also just learn as you go. The alien head layouts keep changing and you can earn power-ups by answering three questions in a row correctly. You can't help but learn something in the process. There's something strangely satisfying about flinging these staid presidential portraits across the screen at colorful alien heads. This is a wacky but fun way to learn about U.S. history.

Families can talk about...

  • Quiz kids on presidential facts. Ask them what it might have been like to be president in different eras given the events that were taking place at the time.

  • Keep in mind that, while anyone can learn from this app, kids studying the presidents in school may find the app most rewarding.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$0.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:August 19, 2011
Category:Educational Games
Size:13.30 MB
Publisher:Dan Russell-Pinson
Version:1.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of Presidents vs. Aliens was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 September 3, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

presidents vs aliens

but fun way to learn about U.S. history.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 5, 8, and 11 year old Written byCassidy D. April 5, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

BRAVO!!!

This game is truly one of my favorites. It is really good for learning and all 3 of my girls play it ( although its kind of weird when one shouts " Warren Harding just killed 3 aliens!") Now even my five year old knows about our presidents! Thank you Presidents VS Aliens!

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Poll

What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide