A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: HALF-SHELL HEROES follows kid-size versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a journey to defeat their longtime enemy Shredder and his henchmen, who have invaded the Turtles' home. Between battles with ninjas, there are a few mini-games that require kids to solve simple problems, such as connecting pipes to make water flow. The game has three main sections: Adventure, Dojo, and Goods. In the Adventure section, short snippets of story set up each round of fighting with the bad guys, and the narrator instructs the player on how to swipe strategically. The Dojo section lets kids practice their ninja moves, and the Goods section tracks the special moves and award badges kids earn. There's also a "curriculum" page that parents can view to learn more about the sorts of STEM skills that kids might learn from the built-in mini-games that pop up in the midst of the story.
Is it any good?
Though the app description promised to help your preschooler develop STEM skills, it's more likely that your child will stay engaged just to swipe endlessly at flying ninjas and water balloons. There are certainly problems to solve in the science-themed mini-games, but the spoken instructions to "use gravity" to fling pizzas at ninjas will likely go over younger kids' heads. Plus, there aren't any real consequences for failing the tasks, so kids can swipe as mindlessly in the learning activities as they do in the game's main action. More importantly, these learning opportunities don't have much bearing on the gameplay: They're just little interludes in the midst of well-animated -- but repetitive -- gameplay. Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half-Shell Heroes is OK for younger Turtles fans, but look elsewhere for tougher gameplay or richer learning experiences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half-Shell Heroes. Here, fighting is cartoonish and does not present any negative consequences. What is it like in real life?
Talk about how the gameplay relates to the game's story and to other shows or games you've seen with the Turtles. How does this game fit into their story?
Discuss problem-solving with puzzles. What kinds of strategies can you use as you play? How can you plan ahead for your next move?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, solving puzzles
- Price: $3.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: July 28, 2016
- Category: Education
- Size: 173.00 MB
- Publisher: Nickelodeon
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 4.0 and up
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.