Stage Fright

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Stage Fright App Poster Image
Cute monsters with gentle messages with two payments.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Though its in the Education category, this app is mostly for entertainment. It's possible kids could pick up some positive messages about being yourself, but those would likely only stick if parents emphasized and reinforced that idea.

Ease of Play

Kids will have no trouble getting around and exploring.

Violence & Scariness

Monsters may sing about sadness, or may have mildly sad things happen to them (bucket of water dumped on their head, wind messing up their fur, etc.) if kids choose the red sign after their song. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Link from the main page to buy the album on iTunes; link is protected by a parent gate that requires reading (directions to tap three items). Paid version isn't a complete version, so there's significant pressure to purchase the rest of the monsters. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stage Fright is a cutesy collection of monster music videos that focus on a variety of themes, some "serious" (being too tall, not eating everything in sight) and some not. While the app is paid ($0.99), it's important to note that it isn't the full version: It unlocks three monsters. You'll need to shell out another $2.99 to unlock the remaining seven monsters, although they all appear on stage waiting for kids to tap on them. There's a link from the main menu to buy the accompanying album on iTunes, and the parent gate involves tapping three objects in order (written directions), so the gate will only work until kids can read. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

STAGE FRIGHT is a singing game show where monsters sing for your approval. Choose one of the 10 monsters (in the fully unlocked version) and watch them perform. There are plenty of things to tap on and discover while you watch. At the end of the song, choose a green or red sign to show whether you liked the performance or not, and you'll see either a celebration or a monster prank. Each monster has a different theme: One sings about not eating everything in sight while kids can tap objects to have him eat them (the app keeps track of how many of each you choose). Another lonely monster just wants to hang out with his balloon friends, but he's too sharp and they pop when they get close. A third monster wants to eat ice cream but needs kids to help her catch the scoops as they fly through the air. Choosing red or green signs doesn't change anything other than the ending of the performance. 

Is it any good?

The singing monsters are adorable and their messages are generally positive, but the lyrics may be hard for some kids to understand, and parents may not expect to pay twice. Stage Fright is like the musical version of an eBook: There's a basic level of interaction, but no overarching activity (i.e., you never get to crown a winner). As such, there's a lot of repetition. Still, there's plenty to amuse, discover, and entertain little ones, and the experience is feel-good, even when monsters get the red sign. If there's a big complaint, it's the approach of asking parents to pay for an app and then requiring an additional purchase to unlock the bulk of the content (7 out of 10 of the monsters). If you get past that, however, you'll no doubt end up with delighted giggles as one monster swallows a dump truck or another one comes out to toss Halloween candy toward a performer. Overall, Stage Fright is simply silly fun and kids will gobble it right up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about being different as they talk about the monsters in Stage Fright. Have you ever felt different or left out? Why? What could you do if you saw that a friend was feeling different or left out?

  • Talk to your kids about screen use and limits. How can kids enjoy digital media in balance with other activities?

  • Challenge kids to write their own songs about being themselves. What would the music sound like? What are the lyrics?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love music and preschool apps

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