A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, although The Sandbox allows kids to create their own worlds and advertises numerous elements they can use to build them, not all the elements come with the free version. Instead, ads for additional elements and suggestions involving paid elements fill the game. Parents who neglect to turn off notifications also will find that the game sends sale notifications frequently, encouraging kids and parents to buy more expansion packs. It's annoying, but parents can use this as an opportunity to talk to kids about need versus want and how to create a budget.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
THE SANDBOX introduces kids to a 2-D pixelated universe in which they can play the role of creator. In the free-play mode, they can experiment with the various elements and create their own worlds. In the campaign mode, they can participate in guided challenges; for example, in the first campaign they learn how to make sand and mud. As they play on, kids have the opportunity to complete unique missions that involve creating and destroying their own universes and, in some cases, introducing fun characters such as ninjas. Unfortunately, many of the more advanced tasks require additional purchases.
Is it any good?
Although the game will entertain kids, and the campaigns will challenge them, the number of ads can become frustrating. Making a purchase helps remove many of the ads, but it doesn't keep kids from encountering more opportunities to buy new elements, participate in new campaigns, and add other special features. Some kids will find themselves hooked, justifying the extra purchases, but others will use the free-play mode to drop in a few elements, add a few humans, and call it a day.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Science: engineering, ecosystems, energy, rocks and minerals, weather
Social Studies: power structures
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, problem solving, strategy
Creativity: imagination, making new creations
Self-Direction: achieving goals, work to achieve goals
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (Requires in-app purchases to progress beyond the basic level.)
- Release date: March 11, 2014
- Category: Educational Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Size: 79.30 MB
- Publisher: Pixowl Inc.
- Version: 1.9990
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love building worlds
Our editors recommend
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.