A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
SKY WHALE is actually two different games in one. The first one is an endless runner of sorts, where players try to keep their narwhal airborne by bouncing it off of clouds. You can also give it a boost by using doughnuts that you collect while it soars through the air. Longer distances earn coins, which can be used to purchase power-ups to send it further down the path. This mode is based off of a game developed by characters in a Nickelodeon TV show. The second game, which is built to take advantage of newer devices, is the augmented reality mode, which uses a device's camera and tasks players to hunt for virtual objects in the real world. By walking through their living room, backyard, or anywhere they wander, players can collect hidden treasures and improve their virtual score.
Is it any good?
Augmented reality is still a rare feature in most apps, much less done well, but tacking it onto an established game makes this a fun experience for kids. Sky Whale take a simple concept, the treasure hunt, and makes it engaging using a phone or tablet's camera and the player's imagination. The game's not especially challenging, and grown ups will tire of it quickly. But kids will enjoy exploring the real world physical space to improve their game score. It's a blending of the real and virtual worlds that's done in an approachable fashion with some of the newest technology around.
The other game mode is a seemingly random mix of characters and features that ironically pokes fun at the addictively popular (and financially lucrative) mega-hit apps, but it's really a well-calculated marketing tactic. Kids will love it despite its one-note gameplay and their minimal control over success. It's silly fun that'll entertain kids long enough to introduce them repeatedly to the new Nickelodeon show based on the very app that made a couple of teenagers millionaires. In this case, though, it's the network that hits the jackpot.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what kind of game they'd design. How would it work? What would be the objective? What kinds of characters would be involved?
Talk to kids about the marketing complexities of a television show about an app created by the kids being cross-marketed with the actual app. Since it wasn't really designed by kids, ask if the features included are things kids would include (junk food, toilets, and such) and why.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: April 11, 2018
- Category: Arcade Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Ocean Creatures
- Size: 380.00 MB
- Publisher: Nickelodeon
- Version: 2.6
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 8.0 or later; Requires Android 4.1 and up
- Last updated: February 28, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.