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PuppetMaster

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
PuppetMaster App Poster Image
Create puppets, craft stories, co-play with cool tools.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can express themselves creatively, and work on their storytelling and presentation skills. 

Ease of Play

Could use a tutorial for creating puppets and overall flow. Directions are all written. Movement tracking is hit or miss.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that PuppetMaster is a creative app for kids that lets them create and perform puppet shows. There are no in-app purchases or ads. There's no tutorial, and the help section requires the ability to read. Younger kids will likely need help creating their own puppets as it isn't entirely intuitive. There are lesson plans on the publisher's website to help educators (and parents) use the app creatively. 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.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

PUPPETMASTER invites kids to create and perform their own puppet shows. They start by choosing a puppet or two. There are more than 10 included, but kids can import (via the camera or device gallery) a drawing, doll, or other character to animate. Likewise, there are plenty of backgrounds to start with (including a green screen), but kids can also use photos and drawings as backgrounds. Then it's time to hit "record" and start the show. Kids can animate on the screen by dragging the puppet's arms, legs, and body. They can also have the puppet move its mouth as they speak. Because it supports multi-finger touch, it allows two kids to "perform" at the time time. Kids can also have a solo performance by standing in front of the device camera and moving their arms and torso to control the puppet. Kids can share their final videos to the device gallery, but can't edit/access them later from within the app.

Is it any good?

Nothing inspires creativity quite like having full control over your art, and this app provides that for kids by allowing them to create and animate their own puppets and design the backgrounds. This isn't a perfect environment, as there's no way to edit videos or string several scenes together, but it's a cool change from canned video creation tools with limited characters and settings. And if kids aren't feeling quite so inspired, that's OK, too, as there are enough included puppets and backgrounds to design some compelling storylines. Designing a puppet may be confusing for kids, especially those on the younger end of the spectrum, and the directions are minimal at best. The camera-based controls can be somewhat glitchy, and the inability to move the puppets' legs make it less fun that it sounded, but the touch-screen controls were right on the mark. PuppetMaster is a wonderful creative option for kids who love storytelling and those who may need some more encouragement in that area. It gets bonus points for the lack of in-app purchases and subscription fees!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the puppets and stories you can create with PuppetMaster. What kind of puppets might you create? How can you move the puppets so they look more realistic while recording?

  • Talk to your kids about screen use and limits. How can kids enjoy digital media in balance with other activities?

App details

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