A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
SUSTAINAVILLE - AN ETHICAL GAME asks kids to build communities in four regions: a savannah, an arid climate, a tropical area, and on an island, all initially undeveloped. As kids play, more of the game gets unlocked, including all four regions, different tools and bonuses, and more difficult levels. Kids can get bonuses in the game by doing well, by connecting with friends who play the game, and by making real-life donations to Save the Children. Each level begins with setting up a water source, a house, and a food crop. From there, kids work to meet the requirements of the level, providing the proper amount of water, food, housing, health, education, and disaster preparedness. Each item they place costs in-game money, but each level provides money if successfully completed; the money available carries over from level to level, so doing well on early, easier levels sets kids up for success on the later, more difficult levels. Kids can revisit lower levels as many times as they wish.
Is it any good?
A fun and interesting resource-allocation simulation, this charity-sponsored game teaches and inspires. Each level is a puzzle requiring different priorities and combinations of solutions. Kids can likely solve the early levels without using the bonuses or any of the fancier resources, such as the chicken coop or the evacuation center, so they may not know how to best use those resources when they come across the bigger challenges later. Still, the game teaches kids the basics of what's necessary to create a sustainable community and how several of those resources work together. It also gives kids the opportunity to think hard and creatively about problem-solving and efficiently allocating their resources. The game does occasionally crash, however, which can be frustrating, but it saves your progress if you're logged in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about in-app purchases and your rules about them. Does it make a difference that the money goes to a charity?
Talk about the game villages vs. the real-life communities that are represented. What do you think are the similarities? What might be some differences? Are there any challenges people face that aren't shown in the game?
Take curiosity about the game and funnel it into research about real places and people. Which communities does Save the Children try to help?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
Social Studies: cultural understanding, global awareness
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, defining problems, strategy
Emotional Development: empathy, perspective taking
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (optional in-app purchases that go to Save the Children)
- Release date: August 24, 2015
- Category: Simulation Games
- Topics: Horses and Farm Animals, Science and Nature
- Size: 194.00 MB
- Publisher: Save the Children
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up
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