Sago Mini Trucks and Diggers

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Sago Mini Trucks and Diggers App Poster Image
Using construction vehicles is fun but not very creative.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about basic construction vehicles and practice a bit of creativity. Not all the trucks are found in the real world, and even those that are stretch reality here in how they work, but kids can see how you can use different tools to do the same job and explore cause and effect. After making a house, decorating it gives kids the chance to think creatively but also provides an opportunity for parents to engage over what elements you need in a house and where they might go (for example, windows and doors). Though there are limited learning opportunities, Sago Mini Trucks and Diggers is fun and mildly creative for the target age.

Ease of Play

Kids will have little trouble with the game controls, but it's not always completely clear how to work a certain machine or what they should do next.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Links to a page with some of the publisher's other apps but requires entering a birth year to proceed. 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 Trucks and Diggers is a building and creativity game for very young kids that features the same characters and style from other Sago Sago apps. It is entirely image-driven and simple to control, so most kids with iPad experience will have no problem finding their way around with a little experimentation. This is a great option for girls who love trucks, as the lead character is female (a pink hamster named Rosie). Note that there are some bodily sounds -- burping and farting -- peppered throughout. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

SAGO MINI TRUCKS AND DIGGERS joins Rosie the hamster as she dons her hard hat and sets out to build six unique houses. Kids can choose among a standard house, a teacup, a cupcake, a barn, a mushroom, and a castle. They then pick a construction vehicle -- such as a chipper, bulldozer, or backhoe -- and use it to scoop, push, or fling dirt into Rosie's dump truck. When Rosie hops in, they guide it over (or through) obstacles to a build site where Rosie dumps the dirt. This causes the house outline to start to fill up. Each house takes a few loads of dirt to fill, so kids will repeat this several times with different vehicles. When the house is built, kids can decorate with a variety of stickers that range from windows and doors to flowers and flags. They can take a picture of the finished creation and then start again. There are no particular rules, but it does feel more like a guided experience than a sandbox.

Is it any good?

The cute construction vehicles and the ability to decorate the houses will win over many little ones, but a lack of overall creativity and a lot of repetition may lose some. It's a playful experience that has a lot of appeal for young kids, who are often obsessed with cute animals and construction vehicles, and it certainly delivers in both areas. The challenge is that the experience feels a bit lopsided, as there's no creativity involved in building the houses, and the interactivity with the vehicles varies greatly. After a house is constructed, kids can decorate it, but even that's with premade stickers. It's too bad kids can't paint the construction vehicles or otherwise feel more empowered at the beginning of the experience, but they'll still enjoy the illusion of control and creation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about construction vehicles. What do real construction trucks and diggers look like? Do you have examples in your books or toy bin to look at?

  • Talk about building a pretend house. What would it look like? How would you decorate it? Build something out of blocks or draw a picture.

App details

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