Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings App Poster Image
Interactive retellings with games put kids in the action.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Some direction on how to play, but little help. Options to play at easy, medium, or difficult levels in games. Kids tap, hold, and slide to move characters, pinch, zoom, and swipe to navigate.

Violence & Scariness

Games include gunfights and lightsaber fights. No blood. Characters disappear when dead.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Plenty of cross-marketing of Star Wars merchandise. In-app purchase necessary to access full story and all characters in games and activities.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings is a free download that gives a teaser of each episode of the prequel trilogy: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. The full stories and corresponding games can be purchased in-app individually or all at once. Several languages are available and customizable in the parent settings, and options allow turning off voice narration, customizing the challenge level of each game, and choosing tilt or tap navigation in racing games. The stories and games include lots of fighting, including shooting. When dead, characters fall to the ground (and sometimes to pieces) and then disappear.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Each episode of STAR WARS JOURNEYS: BEGINNINGS includes a story experience, profiles of characters and ships, and an activity. The story is read aloud (unless this is disabled in settings), and kids can interact with the graphics, scrolling to see a panorama of the scene. Profiles of characters and ships are unlocked as kids encounter them in the story, and they're then available for reference with baseball-card-style facts. Each story has its own games and challenges: pod racing in "The Phantom Menace" and battles in the other stories. Kids can play as different characters they've unlocked.

Is it any good?

Fans can get in on the action thanks to the impressive graphics and customization options; however, the reliance on in-app purchases and clumsy transitions complicate the quality. The characters are recreated in accurate cartoon style, but the violence and suspense of the story is still pretty intense and may be harder to handle for younger kids since they're actively involved in the interaction. The options for customization are nice, and the graphics and sound effects are impressive -- as they should be for the price. The games are fun but limited, with the variety coming not from different games but from playing as different characters. Transitioning among the stories, activities, and collected characters is a bit disjointed, and some kids might not know how to get back to where they want to be. For die-hard fans who are willing to shell out some cash, there's plenty to enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Anakin's transformation. How does he change from The Phantom Menace to Revenge of the Sith? Why?

  • Ask kids which they find more intense: the movie scenes or the story scenes in the app or the games?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • Pricing structure: Free to Try (First three chapters are included free; additional chapters require an in-app purchase.)
  • Release date: June 10, 2015
  • Category: Entertainment
  • Topics: Adventures, Space and Aliens
  • Size: 824.00 MB
  • Publisher: Disney
  • Version: 1.8
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love Star Wars

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