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The Platypus’ Search

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
The Platypus’ Search App Poster Image
Beautifully animated interactive tale teaches key lessons.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Story addresses respect for others, the value of diversity, the meaning of friendship, the importance of self- acceptance, self-love, and the power of being unique. The narration allows kids to follow along and reinforces reading fluency. The band game allows kids to explore sounds and music. The search game promotes visual attention to detail. 

Ease of Play

No directions or tutorials, but there are little visual hints that prompt kids to press the arrows to flip pages or touch pictures on the screen to activate animation.  

Violence & Scariness
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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Platypus' Search offers families a narrated and animated story that teaches kids the value of diversity, the meaning of friendship, the importance of respect, and the power of self-love. The digital storybook combines narration with interactive animation. Little ones will follow Platypus as he tries to make friends with other animals and learns an important lesson about being unique. As kids read or listen to the story, they can tap on the little stars that appear over specific images to activate special animation. Kids can make fish jump out of the water or can tap on the image of a gift box to splash star confetti across the screen. The app also offers three different games. In the first game, kids use a flashlight to find specific objects hiding among a collection of things. The second game allows kids to explore different sounds and arrange them in different ways to create a musical band. Characters from the story play instruments and sing. In the third game, little ones have to match the animal characters to their beds in order to put them to sleep. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.  

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What's it about?

THE PLATYPUS' SEARCH is a digital storybook and game app. The app is designed to be intuitive so there are no tutorials or explicit directions. Kids will see visual hints along the way that help them navigate the app. Kids can either read the text, listen to the narration, or enjoy both. Each page is animated so that kids can see the story unfold. It also has an interactive feature, encouraging kids tap on the little twinkling stars that appear on the screen to activate special animation. The story's about a little platypus that has a tough time making friends because of the other animals' reaction to how he looks. As the story evolves, the platypus and his friends learn a very important lesson about friendship, respect, acceptance, and being unique. In addition to the story, the app offers three different games. The narration and text have been translated into eleven different languages and families have the option of switching language at any time. The Set Up icon, which is guarded by a math-based parental control, allows parents to control whether a link to other games by the developer appears on the main screen for kids to access. It also links parents to the app's Facebook community and the developer's website with information about this and other games. 

Is it any good?

Touching and sweet animated and interactive story addresses an important lesson about friendship and diversity in a kid friendly way. The Platypus' Search teaches little ones a valuable lesson. Families can use it as a tool to discuss diversity, friendship, respect, acceptance, the importance of being unique, kindness, and fitting in. The characters and the story itself are super relatable, making it easy for kids to empathize and think about how platypus felt when he was rejected for his unique looks. The app isn't complicated at all and directions are intuitive. The visual prompts provide enough support for kids to navigate the app on their own. The story's illustrations are captivating and beautifully designed. The interactive feature makes the app even more engaging and empowers little ones to contribute to the story through animation. Kids will look for the little twinkling stars with excitement to see what surprise is revealed. They'll be able to see what's behind the refrigerator door; make toast; turn on lights; open the mailbox; introduce hidden animals; and activate special effects. However, the interactive features could be a distraction from the story, so it's best to read it through once first and then explore what happens when you touch the stars.The last text page of the book is a bit glitchy. White letters overlapped black letters, making it difficult to read. So, with some improvements, this would be a stellar ebook for kids.

 

The games are fun too; however, some are better than others. The search game with the flashlight encourages attention to detail and will keep kids busy. It's not easy finding all the little objects hidden in the clutter. The make a band game allows kids to explore sounds and encourages creativity. By placing animals on different tree stumps, they can create different musical combinations. The same format appears every time kids play the bedtime matching game, making it quite repetitive. Even though a link to other games by the developer appears on the home screen, parents have the option of removing it for added peace of mind and to ensure kids' experience isn't disrupted by ads or distractions. Multilingual families will love the fact that the story is translated into eleven different languages. Kids can enjoy it in French, Spanish, Dutch, and Chinese, just to name a few of the available languages. Overall, Platypus' Search is a sweet digital book with a powerful message that little ones and families will enjoy. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the value of diversity when listening to The Platypus' Search. The story addresses respect, friendship, kindness, self-love, self-acceptance, and identity in kid friendly language. Families can use this as a tool to explore and discuss these important topics. 

  • Talk about the meaning of friendship and ways to be a good friend. Friends spend time together and play together, but they also show they care for each other. For instance, they encourage each other. They comfort each other when sad. They give advice about making good choices. They show respect and celebrate each other's accomplishments.  

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