StoryLines

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
StoryLines App Poster Image

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

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

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.

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
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love storytelling

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