TALU Town

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
TALU Town App Poster Image
Cute but repetitive helping games with external rewards.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice a few basic cognitive skills like matching, sorting, puzzles, and counting. They'll also experience what it's like to help someone and get a reward for it. Finally, kids can express their creativity when they spend their earned stars on customizing their driver's car and clothing.

Ease of Play

Navigation and games are self-explanatory. Some tapping and dragging requires precise placement or holding, which may be hard for young kids.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that in TALU Town, kids travel through town playing mini-games to "help" various shopkeepers. The jeweler needs to sort his gems, the postal worker needs to weigh and sort packages, the florist needs to prepare a pot of flowers, and so on. Kids earn stars for every game they complete, which they can then spend on customizing their car and clothing their driver. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Tap and hold the arrow on the left or right side of the screen to drive a car through TALU TOWN. When kids pass by a shop, they can tap on it and hold to go inside. At each stop -- bakery, post office, florist, toy store, jeweler, pizza shop -- kids play a mini-game to help the shopkeeper. For example, they can put baking tools in the correct spot, sort mail according to color, or build a cupcake to match an order. Kids earn stars after each game, which they spend on custom clothing, cars, and car accessories. When kids make a purchase, they count out their stars to "buy" their chosen item.

Is it any good?

A colorful, inviting setting offers repetitive mini-games that don't quite live up to their promise. TALU Town seems like an exciting place to be, with lots of friendly animals and fun shops to visit. Kids can feel a sense of pride when they're able to save the day and help each shopkeeper solve his or her problem. However, in addition to the warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment, kids also earn stars for helping, which they can use to buy things. Some parents may not like this external reward system, as the value of helping others then becomes how many stars kids earn. Most of the games are appropriate for the preschool set but are not particularly inspired or creative. And though there are roughly 20 of them, many are repeated across different settings -- match a pizza order at the pizzeria and a cupcake order at the bakery -- so there really isn't that much variety. Finally, given that TALU Town is meant for young kids, it may have made more sense to allow them to tap and hold the car to drive it rather than use arrows that are nowhere near the car.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ways kids help the shopkeepers in TALU Town. What kind of help did they need? How does it feel to help them?

  • Talk about helping others in real life. Have you ever helped someone? Has anyone ever helped you? How did those experiences make you feel?

  • Practice the skills covered in the mini-games. Do puzzles together, sort or match items around the house (clean socks from the laundry are great for this!), and count anything and everything around you.

App details

For kids who love preschool apps and games that teach compassion

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