The Monsters by Tinybop
By Debbie Gorrell,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Create silly (or mildly scary) mix-and-match monsters.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about exploration and creativity as they make monsters from myriad components. The ability to add lots of physical features, record monster voices, and take selfies with the monsters encourages kids to use technology as a way of expressing their creativity. Some kids (and adults!) may need to play around for a while before really grasping all the possibilities, but most kids will appreciate the open-ended nature of the experience. By turning shadows into playful creatures, The Monsters by Tinybop is a fun and engaging way for kids to play with monsters in a non-threatening way.
Ease of Play
Dragging and dropping makes the app easy to navigate. Some audio or visual prompts might help kids as they explore.
Violence & Scariness
The app is meant to ease fears of the dark, but some kids may not be quite ready to turn shadows into monsters.
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Products & Purchases
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Parents Need to Know
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The Monsters by Tinybop
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What’s It About?
In THE MONSTERS BY TINYBOP, kids start by creating a profile: They select and name an avatar for themselves, and then the fun begins! The avatar enters a hallway where several shadows are displayed on the wall. After choosing a shadow, kids turn it into their own personal monster. They can give their monsters different limbs, body coverings, eyes, and mouths, and they can also paint their monsters with different colors, adding speckles and sparkles as they wish. Kids can use their device's camera to take selfies with their monsters and even make their monsters speak by choosing sounds from a library or recording their own sounds. Kids can explore different rooms, play with their monsters, and display them in frames throughout the hallway.
Is It Any Good?
This sandbox tool is an engaging way for kids to have fun with monsters and be creative with the wide variety of features, but some kids may wish for more instructions. The app supports multiple profiles, which allows kids to share in the monster-making without losing their creations. Some audio support and better visual prompts could help guide kids through all that's offered, as some of the interactions aren't totally intuitive. For example, giving the monster new body parts uses drag and drop while coloring the monster requires clicking on a plant and then rubbing the monster. However, beautiful graphics and lots of interactive options will keep kids creating once they figure out what to do. Also, while most kids will feel empowered by controlling and creating monsters, the youngest users and more sensitive kids might find some of the monsters' features and sounds a little scary even though they aren't meant to be.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about kids' fears of the dark and how shadows can look like scary things but really aren't.
Have a contest with kids to see who can create the silliest and/or most colorful and original monster.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Arts: playing, Hobbies: collecting
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations, Tech Skills: digital creation
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: December 10, 2015
- Category: Education
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Publisher: Tinybop
- Version: 1.0.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
- Last updated: August 11, 2021
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