Sago Mini Fairy Tales

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Sago Mini Fairy Tales App Poster Image
Fun, imaginative fairy tale world inspires but lacks depth.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn a few simple things about how to interact with a touchscreen and what it can do as they practice tapping and dragging. As kids observe what happens when they touch certain parts of the screen, they also explore cause and effect: When I tap that, this happens. They may want to follow up to learn the stories behind the characters. If they make up their own stories, they'll also exercise language skills as they narrate what's going on, but this will likely only happen with parent involvement; the app doesn't encourage this on its own. The open-ended and inviting world of Sago Mini Fairy Tales will definitely entice toddlers, and parents can extend learning opportunities beyond what's offered on the screen.

Ease of Play

Play is super easy as kids simply tap around the screen and watch what happens. Tapping and dragging across the screen gives kids more control over Jinja's movements, but Jinja also will just move on her own to wherever kids tap. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

One character farts and another burps -- kids likely will find this hilarious. 

Consumerism

There is an icon that, when clicked, showcases other apps from the developer, though purchase is protected behind a child lock. Parents also can hide this icon through the 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 Fairy Tales is the latest in the collection of exploration and free-play apps from Sago Sago. As usual, there are no rules, no guidelines, no time limits, and no how-to. Kids simply move Jinja the cat through a fairy tale world and watch what happens as she encounters different characters. There are several characters from classic nursery rhymes (for example, Humpty Dumpty) and fairy tales (Rapunzel). Kids don’t need to have refined touchscreen skills: They play by tapping and dragging Jinja or simply by tapping a location and watching her move there automatically. There is some mild body humor -- an underwater fart, a big burp -- that likely will give kids the giggles, and Jinja gives a frog a big smooch on the lips, which may provoke an "ew" or two. 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?

In SAGO MINI FAIRY TALES, tap Jinja the cat's house to begin exploring. Watch what happens as Jinja flies around: Gnomes pop out of bushes, mushrooms grow, and acorns fall from a tree. Tap on yellow dots hovering near characters (some of whom are from familiar fairy tales) to see short animations. Jinja puts a bandage on Humpty Dumpty after he falls off the wall, then dives into a dress-up treasure chest and comes out in a costume. There are 30 yellow dots in all, and kids can endlessly cycle through the land, repeating whatever tickles them.

Is it any good?

Opportunities for open-ended play, discovery, and creativity are gold for little kids. Sago Mini Fairy Tales inspires by offering no-rules and easy-to-use exploratory interactions. Kids will delight in the whimsical and appealing graphics and the silly animations. However, especially if you've been following the Sago Mini series, the offerings might feel a bit hollow and repetitive. There's just not that much that happens in this game. The 30 animations, for example, last only a few seconds. Kids lead Jinja around, but they ultimately end up passively watching someone else's creative expression. For instance, kids could create more of their own imaginative world if they could choose what costume Jinja wears when she dives into the dress-up chest. Kids can make up stories about what's going on as they explore, but this would be more meaningful if kids had more control over what happens. Finally, some kids may enjoy the references to popular tales, but kids who are young enough to enjoy this game may also be too young to recognize many references (such as King Arthur). 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what kids find as they explore the fairy tale world. When you tap there, what happens? Does the same thing happen every time?

  • Play with kids, provide prompts, and ask questions to help them create a story about what's going on: Why did the giant do that? What might happen now that the plant is so tall?

  • Ask kids questions about their experiences: What would if be like if you could fly like Jinja? 

App details

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