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Parents' Guide to

Totally Amp'd!

By Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Tween series and interactive app combine for fun new hybrid.

Totally Amp'd! Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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TOTALLY AMP'D! may be the first but most likely won't be the last app to combine watching a tween television series-style show with in-app activities to form a more interactive entertainment experience for viewers. The series storyline on this app -- kids meet to form a band, personality conflicts and other challenges create drama, if they win the big contest they'll become the next hit sensation -- may be a little worn at this point as Disney and Nick have both been there, done that in a number of various forms. But many tweens and some teens will likely find the cast and its story funny, cute, and interesting enough to want parents to pay the $4.99 to watch the rest of the season after the first "appisode" freebie. The activities are fun and a couple of them incorporate some simple music and video production, which is cool for kids who connect to the musical aspect of the show.

Parents may want to talk to their kids about some of the more subtle forms of advertising and promotion that go on with series directed at kids these days, as some of the activities are promotional without being clear that they're advertising, but still have the effect of motivating kids to want to buy the rest of the series. It's a tricky balance, but one that will likely be an ongoing trend on apps such as this.

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