Sketch Nation Create

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Sketch Nation Create App Poster Image
Design and potentially share games in a jiffy.

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Kids can learn the basics of a few types of video games and express their creativity making their own games from these themes. The options for types of games and methods of sharing -- with friends only or sharing more publicly -- empowers kids to invent, test, and revise their creations. However, there's no formal way to give feedback, which is great for safety but hinders opportunities for improvement. Minus the code itself, Sketch Nation Create is a fun and appropriately challenging introduction to game design.

Ease of play

Navigation is sleek and simple both for creating games and playing other's games.

Violence

Some games involve shooting; others involve crashing or falling and losing "lives."

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sketch Nation Create is a visual tool that lets users easily create games without any coding. Kids can create their own games or play games created by others. The user agreement explains that the app was intended for users 13 and older but has made allowances for younger game designers. Registration isn't necessary to play or create games, but to share their games, users have to register and be older than 13. There are no chat or comment features. Published games are reviewed for inappropriate content before being featured or added to new games.

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What's it about?

With SKETCH NATION CREATE, kids can play original games created by other Sketch Nation gamers, but that's not the focus -- creating is. Kids can choose to create side-running, up-jumping, side-flying, traffic, lander, up-scrolling, platformer, match-2, or match-3 games. After choosing the type of game, kids choose to work in simple or advanced mode, depending on the number of levels they want to include. Then they design -- either using the drawing tools or uploading images from the camera roll -- the background and characters for the game. Then it's time to play. Registered users older than 13 can share their games with the community so others can join in the fun.

Is it any good?

Turns out, making games can be even more fun than playing them, but these are simple, pixel-style graphics for the easier-to-create games, so kids should have realistic expectations. Though users aren't manipulating code, the more advanced-level creation tool for the platformer game does allow HD graphics. Kids and teens will find inspiration from games they're already familiar with but also can see what others have created. The drawing tools include different colors and brush size options along with fill and undo commands -- simple but effective. For kids and teens who want to create minus the coding, this tool empowers them to make and share their own simple games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their favorite kinds of games and then work together to create their own version, each adding different graphics.

  • Have a family game day where kids challenge you to their favorite games and apps and you introduce them to your favorite old-school games.

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love digital creation

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