StoryLines

 

Learning(i)

Pass-and-play fun for families, friends; FB play optional.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is fairly straightforward, but choosing to play via Facebook turns up some glitches. Other people may not be able to contribute to StoryLines. It can also be challenging to draw a reasonable picture on the iPad screen using only a finger.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

One $.99 in-app purchase for a basic drawing kit.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. The app allows users to submit their story to Facebook for others to add to. Friends can add to it and then share it with others. This can result in an inappropriate experience for kids, as there is no way to control who adds to the StoryLine and what they can write/draw. The Facebook connection is not required.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that StoryLines is a creative app designed for multiple players, through pass-and-play or Facebook. The first player is encouraged to write a well-known saying (he or she can submit any sentence) and then pass it on to the next player. The second player draws a picture to go with the original sentence and then passes it along to a third player. The third player is asked to write a caption for what the second player has drawn. This goes on for anywhere from three to nine rounds. At the end, the entire StoryLine is revealed, and it's fun to see how the original saying was interpreted and re-interpreted with each round. Since this is a free-write and free-draw app, it is possible that players will write/draw inappropriate things. Players can also use this as a group storytelling experience for more creative play.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • naming
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • deduction
  • making conclusions
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • imagination

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Responsibility & Ethics

  • respect for others

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The two ways to play Storylines -- in-person pass-and-play or playing with others via social media -- create a fun, social, engaging game experience.

Learning Approach

Kids learn by interacting with other players through the words and drawings that they choose to incorporate into the game, and then by observing what changes happen between player turns. 

Support

A clear tutorial explains the game at the outset of first-time use. An in-app purchase provides kids with a basic drawing kit.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • naming
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • deduction
  • making conclusions
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • imagination

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Responsibility & Ethics

  • respect for others

Kids can learn many new phrases, quotes, and idioms by playing StoryLines. They can also learn to work collaboratively and how communication can become skewed. As they discern what other players are trying to express through words or pictures, kids practice critical thinking and deductive reasoning. Kids also practice creativity as they draw pictures to express their interpretation of the phrases. StoryLines is a creative, fun word and picture game that encourages kids to work collaboratively.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Sign in the app on the device or link it to a social media account. View the tutorial, including a sample round. To begin a game, add a phrase or word and sign your name. In person, pass the device to the next player who draws that phrase and signs it. The next player guesses what the drawing means, and so on. Players can watch the full storyline played back step-by-step. This creative, fun word and picture game is for three to nine or more players.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

STORYLINES is simple group fun. It's the type of app that adults can enjoy in a gathering, or families can use to pass time in the car. Since it relies entirely on the imagination, there is no limit to the replay factor. It's not competitive and can be played by a wide range of ages at the same time. The Facebook connection could use some work, but this free app is definitely worth the download.

Families can talk about...

  • Play StoryLines with your kid. It's a unique thinking and drawing wordplay experience that kids and adults can equally enjoy.

  • Work on a progressive story or comic strip with your kid. One of you starts a story with one sentence or frame, and the other adds the next. Then the first contributes another sentence or frame and so on.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:April 15, 2013
Category:Education
Size:38.10 MB
Publisher:Root-One, Inc.
Version:5.6
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of StoryLines was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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