The Monsters by Tinybop

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
The Monsters by Tinybop App Poster Image
Create silly (or mildly scary) mix-and-match monsters.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

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.

Sexy Stuff

Icon on the main screen advertises the developer's other apps.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Monsters by Tinybop is an open-play sandbox tool in which kids can turn shadows into silly, scary, gurgling, or giggling monsters. Kids select an avatar to begin and then choose a shadow to work with. As they create their monsters, kids can add features such as eyes, mouths, tails, horns, wings, scales, and much more. Because there are no instructions and not all actions are immediately intuitive, some kids may need to experiment a bit before figuring out each feature. Also, though most kids will love the monsters and may even find that creating them calms nighttime fears, younger and more sensitive users might find some of the images and sounds a little scary. 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?

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.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love monsters

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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