Sago Mini Monsters

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Sago Mini Monsters App Poster Image
Safe and silly fun for little monster-makers.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Kids can learn to express their creativity as they design their own monsters. They'll develop early expressive literacy skills through thinking about their monster and taking care of it, feeding it, brushing its teeth, and dressing it up. They'll develop socially and emotionally as they observe the monster's reactions when it's fed or when the food doesn't make it to its mouth, for whatever reason. Preschoolers learn most through interaction and play, and Sago Mini Monsters is a fun tool for kids and parents to explore together, creating and talking about their monster creations.

Ease of play

Kids just drag their selections into place. There's no way to undo just one move, but kids can shake the device to make all the additions fall off the monster's face.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

By default, a logo ad for other apps appears on the start page, but it can be disabled in settings by choosing the app and turning off Sago News.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sago Mini Monsters is designed for kids ages 2 to 4 to have fun creating their own custom-made monsters, but monster-making is so fun that older kids and parents may want to join in the fun, too. It's all designed with the littlest app users in mind, so creating the monster is easy, and there are no time constraints. In the device's settings, parents can turn off the start-page ad for other apps and turn off the link to the parent section. Monster creations are saved to the device's camera roll when the camera button is tapped, but there are no in-app sharing options.

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What's it about?

From a green pit of bubbly slime, kids drag a monster shape. They choose from five colors to decorate their monster and tap the check mark to bring it to life. Horns pop into place; eyes and teeth appear. If they don't like what they see, though, kids can pull off the parts and new ones will grow into place. Then they feed and care for their monster, brushing its teeth and adding accessories. Kids can shake the device to knock everything off and start over at any time. When they're happy with their creation, they can take its picture.

Is it any good?

SAGO MINI MONSTERS is pure creative fun. With just five colors and a blank slate, kids aren't overwhelmed with choices or limits. They can just create. If they don't like what they've drawn, they can shake the device to get a clean monster slate, but a last-step undo button would be a nice addition. Once the monster comes to life and gets eyes, teeth, and horns, it becomes delightfully animated, responding to the food its presented. Kids will get a kick out of teasing the monster with the food to see its response. Kids can add unlimited accessories to their monster, which can get a bit busy-looking, but they don't have to add every accessory presented. They can fling some off the screen to skip them. Accessories aren't scalable, so kids can't make the hat bigger or a button smaller, which would be nice uncomplicated additions, as well. There's not too much content to occupy kids for long periods, but it's great for a few minutes of creative fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • For safety reasons, there are no sharing options. Kids' creations are saved to the camera roll when they tap the camera button. If you'd like to share their monsters, you can email, text, or share them from the camera roll.

  • Ask kids about their monster. What's its name? What's its favorite food? What does it do for fun? Encourage early literacy skills by creating stories about the monster.

App details

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