A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
While StoryForm was created with educational intent, it appears to have limited learning potential.
Ease of Play
It's very easy to use. Simply shake the device or tap "Shake" to see new words. Tap the lock tabs to save approved ideas, and shake again for new ones in the unlocked categories. You can save stories within the app, make notes, and share via email.
Violence & Scariness
Some questionable words and phrases are on the violent side, including "blood-stained crowbar," "underground fighter," and "nuclear fallout shelter."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are some questionable words and phrases that may be considered sexually suggestive for kids' story creation, such as "vulgar," "temptation," and "adulterous."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some questionable words and drug-related phrases pop up, including "hypodermic needle," "dime bag," and "chain smoking."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that StoryForm is a random idea generator writers can use to write stories. Simply tap "Shake," and words begin to scroll, slot-machine style, through five categories of story and character elements (including trait, profession, location, thing, and theme) until five are produced for approval or rejection. Unfortunately, some of the words included could lead to stories with violent, sexual, or drug-related content. Most are fine, but some words (such as "blood-stained crowbar," "adulterous," and "dime bag") are decidedly for adult stories only, and there's no way to block those from being randomly generated to make sure a kid-friendly idea appears. StoryForm may have a trillion possible story line combinations, but not all are suitable for kids.
Is It Any Good?
StoryForm can be an interesting story starter, but it's not suitable for young kids (and only mature teens who can wade through certain word choices should use it, especially for school-related work). True, creative writing and storytelling should include a wide range of life experiences, and not necessarily those of the author. But the words in this app are being generated by a device, not a kid's or teen's own imagination, and thus may be imposing an idea or experience hey wouldn't normally choose and may not be ready to consider carefully, especially without adult guidance. The solution could be a kid filter or a kids' version of the same tool, which could wholeheartedly be recommended as an age-appropriate creative aid. With its current mixed bag of word and subject choices, however, StoryForm isn't the best place for kids to go fishing for ideas.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.