Sago Mini Boats

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Sago Mini Boats App Poster Image
Let imaginations soar as kids sail the silly seas.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about getting silly and creative. Imaginative play has an infinite number of benefits for children, including giving them practice with flexible thinking. With a mix of realistic and non-realistic options -- such as pickle boats -- kids can explore some traditional and non-traditional uses for a few familiar objects. Though with options limited to only what's been programmed by the game developers, kids will discover that playing offscreen has even more possibilities. If they tell a story about Harvey's trip, kids also can practice their verbal and vocabulary skills. Sago Mini Boats is another fun, open-ended adventure, but its learning potential without offscreen extensions is shallow.

Ease of Play

Play is intuitive and easily accessible, but the boat is very sensitive to the slightest taps and finger moves, which may frustrate kids.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

At least one character makes fart noises, which kids likely will find hilarious.

Consumerism

An icon that takes users to ads -- including a video ad -- for other apps by the same developer appears on the home screen. Users must pass through a child gate to purchase. Parents can disable this icon in their device's settings menu. The Sago Mini characters are a part of a commercial franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sago Mini Boats  is much like Sago Mini Road Trip but with a nautical theme. Kids choose a destination/friend to visit, pack a suitcase, choose a boat, and then set off on their way to sail through the sea. Be careful, though: With the boat's super sensitive virtual movements in the water, users may get a real-life case of seasickness and kids will need to get used to the controls. Play is open-ended and completely free of rules and restrictions. A letter from the developer in the parents' section offers some context and imaginative inspiration. 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?

Harvey the dog is the protagonist in SAGO MINI BOATS. Choose from three destinations, each with a different friend. Then pack a suitcase, choose a boat, and set off. There are many things to explore and discover along the way, including a few island hops, floating objects, flying balloons, and more. Kids can dive the boat deep underwater or make it soar through the air. "Mile markers" count down distance to the final destination; once there, Harvey hops out, greets the friend, and takes a picture of the fun activity they do together.

Is it any good?

Sago Mini Boats is one of the developer's better apps because it gives kids a lot of opportunities to take charge of the experience. In typical Sago Sago style, Sago Mini Boats is intended to be an open-ended platform from which kids can run wild with their imaginations. With the options to choose a destination, pack a suitcase, and choose a boat, kids are empowered to alter their experiences. There's also a decent amount going on along the boat ride, as kids can go underwater, go in the air, find balloons, stop at islands, and more. A few aspects might frustrate kids, especially the young set for whom this app was designed. Harvey's suitcase will invariably fall into the water -- which may distress some -- and it can take some practice to figure out how to put it and other objects in the boat. The boat's movements also are extremely sensitive to the slightest touch, so it can be hard to feel in control of where the boat is going. Overall, it's a solid offering, especially if parents encourage kids to elaborate on what they're doing and discovering by telling stories, making up new scenarios, and relating their play to real-life experiences.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about where Harvey is going and what happens to him along the way. Ask kids to explain how they interpret the many things they discover.

  • Encourage your kid to tell a story about Harvey's boat trip. Help her identify the characters, the plot, and the ending of her story. Write down what your kid says and read her story back to them.

  • Water play is a universal crowd pleaser. Turn bath time into a journey across the seas, or simply set kids up with a bucket of water and some boats or other objects, and let them experiment and imagine.

App details

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