Trash Chaos - Best Kids Recycling App

App review by
Cynthia Chiong, Common Sense Media
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Fun game with an engaging premise about recycling.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about the importance of recycling and how to sort their trash with Trash Chaos. As the levels get harder, kids will sort plastics; organic material like food; paper; metal; and glass. The pace quickens and the amount of recycling grows, making it a true test of reflex and how fast kids can process and sort the different materials. They can also learn facts like that plastic trash that ends in the ocean can kill 1,000,000 sea animals, putting to scale just how important it is to keep the ocean clean. Together, the game and facts in Trash Chaos can help kids become more aware of recycling and perhaps want to take part in it.

Ease of Play

The interface is kid-friendly and easy to use. The difficulty progresses steadily, and with each world kids get a new material to recycle. The advanced levels require adept drag-and-drop skills. The app also provides fun facts that require good reading skills.

Violence & Scariness

A fighter craft automatically shoots the enemy until it explodes in a tame, non-gory manner. Kids do not do any of the shooting.

Sexy Stuff

The app has ads for other apps by the developers.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Trash Chaos is a fun game where kids need to sort trash and recycle. Kids will join the Yogome Squad and fight the Evil Queen Ignorantia and her trash-making minions. After kids have cleaned up the world in each level, they can learn some fun tidbits about the environment and recycling. The facts aren't read aloud, so parents will want to play along with their younger kids to offer reading support. An iPad-only HD version is also available; it's $2.99 in the App Store.

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What's it about?

In Trash Chaos, kids enter each level in a fighter craft. As the craft shoots off the enemy, kids have to sort the trash produced by the enemy into the correct bins. If they miss or incorrectly sort too many, they fail the mission and have to try again. The more accurate they are, the more points, stars, and badges they earn. Completing a level unlocks the next, and kids can always return to a specific level to earn higher marks. There's a lot of recycling to be done through the many levels of play.

Is it any good?

Trash Chaos is a fun way to talk to kids about recycling and the environment. The premise of the Yogome Squad and the Evil Queen is a great way to engage kids in the goal of cleaning up the worlds. There's a nice progression to the game where the pace quickens as you get to the higher levels, and with each world, they add a new material to recycle. A down side may be that while kids are doing the sorting, their fighter craft automatically shoots and destroys the enemies –- something kids would probably want to do themselves!

Adding the facts in between levels was a nice touch, but could use some improvements such as adding some interactive features, having the text read aloud, and even fixing some typos. Although it's clear that the focus is the game itself as kids can easily opt to skip the fact part, the facts are a good way to relate the game to everyday life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Read through and elaborate on the facts presented in between the levels.

  • Help kids take part in recycling at home.

  • Talk about other ways to help the environment (for example, bringing a shopping reusable bag to the grocery).

App details

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