Springin' - Create, Share, and Play

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Springin' - Create, Share, and Play App Poster Image
Game creator has great potential but steep learning curve.

Parents say

Not yet rated

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Kids can start to understand how video game elements work together and impact each other,  use the basics of programming logic, and create and share games. 

Ease of play

Though there is a tutorial, an index of all options, and some YouTube videos, it's not always easy to figure out how to chain things together to get the results you'd like.

Violence

No violence built into the experience, but downloaded/sample content may contain simple animated violence, like a bomb exploding and a character disappearing.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Free version of the app has quite a bit of pressure to buy the full version (you have only a few select features and can't save your content). No parent gate, and the subscription model could get costly if parents/kids forget to cancel.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Springin' - Create, Share, and Play is a creative tool for making games and interactive animated sequences. It doesn't require coding, but the learning curve for all of the different options is going to be high for most kids. The developer is a Japanese company, so some content, namely the "challenges," are in Japanese. While instructions are available in English, the tutorial content is housed on YouTube. The free version of the app includes just a handful of the tools (4 or 5 out of 35+) and is significantly limited in terms of the ability to save, edit, and share creations. Kids who want to move past the tutorial will want a subscription starting at $2.49 a month, with discounts for 6- and 12-month purchases.  This is an open-ended experience, and parents may find that some kids do better with a bit more structure and guidance. After creating, kids are able to upload their creations and, in theory, download creations from other users (we were not able to find user creations beyond those provided by the publisher). It's unclear how user-generated content is moderated, if at all, though the terms of service (same document as privacy policy) state that obscene/discriminatory/violent content isn't allowed. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared. 

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What's it about?

SPRINGIN' - CREATE, SHARE, AND PLAY allows kids to create their own games and interactive animations. Kids start by drawing everything they need; there's no built-in clip art, but they can use camera images. They'll draw characters, buttons, and even the directions for how to play. From there, they can drag each element onto the screen and apply a variety of features to it. Perhaps it's a button that makes another object do something. Maybe it grows in size when triggered, or maybe it bounces off other objects. Some of the options cause items to interact with and control each other. Kids can also add gravity in any direction they want. The games can have multiple scenes, such as an opening scene, a main game page, and win/lose pages. Once a game is complete, kids can share it via upload. They get a unique QR code for each upload that they can share with friends, and they also have a page with all of their uploaded creations.

Is it any good?

For creative kids with a lot of focus and drive, there's no limit to what can be created with all of the tools available, but it might be a bit tricky for kids looking for an easy creative experience. Springin' - Create, Share, and Play removes some of the barriers to this type of creation by hiding the logic and the actual commands behind premade actions and reactions. The flaw is that it's missing some of the basics that would make the entire experience more accessible, such as tool tips for the attributes buttons, a paint bucket fill, and a text tool. Every time kids want to use a new attribute (e.g., jump, shrink, Force: Up, reset), they will need to look it up in a help guide, which explains what the attribute is but not how to use it, and possibly includes a video. The videos often show the attribute at work but, once again, have no explanation of how to actually use it. Text needs to be hand drawn, which seems a bit silly when text tools are so readily available in pretty much any other creativity app. As a result, it's a powerful tool for kids, but simply not as user-friendly as it could be. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about appropriate online behavior and what is -- and is not -- OK for including in a game that is shared publicly on Springin' - Create, Share, and Play. 

  • How do the elements of your game work together? Try sketching out your vision for the game with all of the elements you'll need in advance. 

  • Talk about screen use. How do you like this app as compared with other apps you could play? If you have limited time for screen use, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: drawing
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic
    Creativity: combining knowledge, innovation, making new creations, producing new content
    Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
    Tech Skills: coding, digital creation, using and applying technology
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to Try (free to download but premium version available with more features)
  • Subscription price: $2.49 per month or $26.49 for 12 months
  • Release date: June 30, 2017
  • Category: Educational Games
  • Topics: Adventures
  • Size: 58.70 MB
  • Publisher: Shikumi Design, Inc.
  • Version: 3.3.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love coding and creativity

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