Sim Cell - Touch Press Games

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Sim Cell - Touch Press Games App Poster Image
Immersive mission-based game requires payment to finish.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the structure and function of organelles within cells. As kids use a nanobot to explore a cell, they can tap on an organelle (or other object within the cell) to scan it and read a description of how it functions. As they complete missions within the human cell, kids also can learn about cell processes, viruses, and how to protect the cell from viral damage.

Ease of Play

Navigating the nanobot and using the optional controls can sometimes be quite challenging.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

The game only includes one of two types of cells, and users have to pay to complete all the missions.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sim Cell – Touch Press Games is a science game that challenges kids to complete missions inside a cell. There are two options to explore: a human body cell and a plant cell. However, only the human body cell is accessible free of charge, and even that include sonly a few missions before users are prompted to pay for a full version. Purchases are protected by a parent gate. 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?

There are two main cells to explore in SIM CELL – TOUCH PRESS GAMES. Kids tap the human body figure to explore the human cell and the tree to explore the plant cell. After kids tap the human figure, they are taken to the cell screen, and a narrator describes the goal within this cell. A virus has attacked a human, and kids must complete a series of missions to save the human. Kids can tap any organelle or other object within the cell to learn about it. They navigate a nanobot within the cell by dragging their fingers across the screen. The first few missions include entering the cell, finding and towing a lysosome, using the lysosome to absorb the virus, entering the nucleus, and destroying viral DNA. After they destroy the viral DNA, users must pay to access the rest of the human cell missions and all the plant cell missions.

Is it any good?

Most kids will enjoy traveling through a cell as a nanobot, and being tasked with missions is exciting and motivating, but the controls and purchases put a damper on the fun. The graphics and supporting text do an excellent job of describing organelles and their functions, although kids have to stop what they're doing to read about each organelle. Requiring kids to answer a few questions or somehow apply the information before moving on with their missions could improve the learning value of the game. There's also an obvious lack of instructions and hints, other than what the narrator says during each mission. It's not always clear what needs to be done and why some things happen. For example, there are small blue objects floating in the cell. When the nanobot comes into contact with these objects, there's a sound but no explanation. It would be helpful to have a set of written instructions that kids can refer to throughout the game. And, having to pay a pretty hefty price after only getting to complete a handful of missions in the human cell is bound to be frustrating.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Sim Cell – Touch Press Games helps them learn about cells. Ask kids to name three new things they learned, two things they enjoyed most about the game, and one thing they still have a question about.

  • Have kids draw or make a 3D model of a human (animal) cell. Talk about the function of each organelle.

App details

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