Tiny Monsters

Common Sense Media says

Cute breeding sim playable without in-app buys.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is very easy to play and starts all new players with a walk-through tutorial. As players progress through the levels, each new feature includes a mini-tutorial.

Violence

The monsters are cute and cartoony with no scary features.

Sex

One of the main activities is breeding new monsters, which players do by placing two monsters in a breeding den. While there is nothing explicit in the app, it could spark questions for younger kids.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There are in-app purchases for coins, diamonds, and food, all of which can be earned for free through patient gameplay. Prices for in-app purchases range from $1.99 to $99.99. Each time a player tries to do something that requires more coins, diamonds, or food, the in-app purchasing options appear.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

In 2014, the developer was fined for claiming to be COPPA-compliant when they were in fact collecting personal info from kids under 13 without a parent's consent. They have since updated their privacy policy and terms of use, which include more details on their use of cookies and sharing info with third parties (they do both). According to the updated policy, the app is not directed toward kids under 13, and they "do not knowingly collect personal information from children under age 13."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tiny Monsters is a simulation game nearly identical to DragonVale, with slow gameplay and tempting in-app purchases to speed things up. The purpose of the game is to hatch, raise, and breed monsters. Players use the game's currency of coins, diamonds, and food to build new habitats and farms, purchase monster eggs, feed monsters, decorate the monster mountain, and make space for new buildings. The game requires patience, as it takes time to earn coins and there is a wait-time while buildings are constructed. It's fun, but the app's kid-friendly graphics and monster theme are at odds with its terms of service and privacy policy, which require players to be at least 13 years old. This discrepancy in ages is noteworthy, since the design of the game is tailored for a much younger audience -- and younger kids certainly will want to play. Note: In-app purchases can speed up gameplay, but watch out -- the prices for diamonds, coins, and food go as high as $99.99. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • money

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • problem solving
  • strategy

Creativity

  • imagination

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • money

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • problem solving
  • strategy

Creativity

  • imagination

Kids can learn a little bit about budgeting and spending money as they purchase habitats, monsters, farms, and other items for their mountain in Tiny Monsters. The sim game also gives kids a chance to improve decision-making, problem-solving, and strategy skills. Kids must figure out which types of monsters to breed, how to make room for different buildings and habitats, how many coins they need to earn to make various purchases, and how much food they need to grow in order to feed their monsters. Tiny Monsters gets kids to do a little problem-solving and calculating as they play. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Wilkey Oh

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Kids say

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What's it about?

In Tiny Monsters, players get a monster mountain on which to breed, care for, and raise cute, cartoony monsters. Players spend and earn coins and diamonds as they complete various tasks such as building habitats, clearing trees and rocks to make room for new buildings, and breeding and raising different types of monsters. Players earn experience points to help them advance to higher levels and unlock new monsters, habitats, and quests.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

TINY MONSTERS is a bit slow at first, which makes in-app purchases all the more appealing. However, once players have a few monsters and habitats, the monster mountain starts earning coins more quickly, giving players more play options.

A great feature of Tiny Monsters is that it's not connected to game networks and social media, though this could change with future updates. As it is, kids can play Tiny Monsters safely if parents disable in-app purchasing for their device.

Families can talk about...

  • Talk to kids about in-app purchases and establish some guidelines to follow.

  • Incorporate budgeting and arithmetic practice into everyday situations. For example, ask "How much money would you need to buy six of these $4 bracelets?" "If I save $20 a week, how long will it be until I can afford this $60 coat?"

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:June 13, 2012
Category:Simulation Games
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Size:22.60 MB
Publisher:TinyCo, Inc.
Version:1.4
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.1 or later

This review of Tiny Monsters was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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Parent Written byEmilieBF July 20, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

......

What other families should know
Too much consumerism

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