The Lion Guard

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Lion Guard App Poster Image
Race against the setting sun to help Kion and friends.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Pointing hands or icons pulse to show where players need to tap. Parents can also visit the instructions page for detailed written instructions.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

"Disney The Lion Guard" promotional image from the show flashes briefly on-screen in between each level. Parents area links to other Disney apps; readers can also access.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Lion Guard is an app tie-in to the movie and Disney Junior TV show and is a simple platformer that features Kion racing against the sunset to complete missions with the help of his friends. Kion can move through five areas -- Grasslands, Big Springs, Canyons, Hakuna Matata Falls, and the Outlands -- but areas are unlocked one at a time, and each area has five levels. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

THE LION GUARD begins with Kion introducing himself and explaining the game's storyline. Then kids are prompted with visual prompts (pulsing icons and pointing hands) to tap the map and enter the first level available: the Grasslands. As Kion runs, kids tap to help him avoid obstacles, collect coins, fill the "roar meter" (by collecting other types of coins), and enlist the help of friends to fend off danger or cross obstacles. Kion says, "We did it!", when your kid reaches the end of a level, and then coin totals are added. If a kid doesn't make it to the end by sunset, he just tries that level again. As Kion runs into different obstacles, he asks his friends for help depending on their talents; in some cases kids can choose which friend to use, but there's only one right answer that's indicated by a pulsing icon. If kids choose incorrectly, Kion says things such as, "There's gotta be a way."

Is it any good?

Fans of TV show will likely love this very simple app, while other kids may find it too simple. The adorable characters, beautiful scenes, and engaging music may be enough to hold the attention of preschoolers new to apps who are just learning the ropes and who enjoy a game that includes TV characters that they recognize. As with the movie and show, it also showcases teamwork, positivity, and using everyone's individual talent to help out. However, for kids who have played games with more complexity or who aren't familiar with the show, this app may not have the variation or challenge to keep them engaged. There are few verbal instructions, so kids must rely on visual prompts. But, again, the game is so simple the visual prompts are all that's needed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen use. Since this game has many levels, make sure to talk to your kid about using the device in balance with other activities.

  • As you see the various animals and natural elements in the landscapes, name them and encourage your kid to do the same.

  • When kids don't make it to the end of the adventure prior to sunset, Kion encouragingly says, "Well, at least we know now what not to do." You can use that same language when you or your kid makes mistakes in real life. 

  • Talk about the background music on this app. Ask your kid: What instruments do you hear? Can you tap the beat of the drums?

App details

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