Truth and Tales - Kids Stories

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Truth and Tales - Kids Stories App Poster Image
Folk tales look great, but interactive elements disappoint.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids practice reading skills by listening to the narration and following the highlighted text or reading on their own. Stories present kids with creative solutions to problems and magical worlds stretch their imaginations. Some mini-games require kids to use problem-solving skills or logic to solve puzzles.

Ease of Play

Tap the screen to easily advance through some stories. In other stories it's not at all clear what kids need to do or how the games work.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

One short story is available for free. The others are locked and can be purchased for $10.99 each after passing through a parent gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Truth and Tales - Kids Stories is a collection of interactive fairy tales. The characters focus on using logic and negotiation skills to resolve conflicts, rather than violence or confrontation. The stories are narrated with highlighted text so pre- or early readers can play. Partway through the stories, the app asks for permission to access your device's camera and/or microphone so that kids can use the augmented reality feature or use their voice to complete a task. There are also some games that require kids to shake the device; make sure kids can do so safely. Stories are available in English or Portuguese. At the time of this review, one short story was available for free, and two longer ones were available through in-app purchase of $10.99 each. Read the developer's privacy policy in Portuguese 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?

From the main menu, choose one of stories available TRUTH AND TALES - KIDS STORIES. Currently there are three fantastical tales: Leo, the Lion, The Child and the Dragon, and The Prince's Journey. All stories are told in rhyme and are narrated with highlighted read-along text on the screen. Kids tap the designated areas on the screen to advance through the story. Sometimes, there's an activity that kids must complete before moving forward. The Prince's Journey is more interactive than the other two stores in that kids move the Prince around the screen as they direct where he goes and what he does.

Is it any good?

Traveling through these magical worlds is a delight with enchanting music and lovely visuals, though the interactive elements are often confusing. Just as many folk tales do, these stories, supposedly based on "old eastern tales" certainly have some elements in them that showcase wisdom, bravery, valor, or problem-solving skills. But, the way the stories are told is sometimes a bit odd, and the educational claims are a bit of a stretch. And though some of the interactive elements are fun and cleverly use different tech capabilities (e.g., shaking the device, augmented reality), they're mostly few and far between. The more complicated activities include no indication of what kids are supposed to do and end up feeling somewhat random and quite confusing. This is especially so for The Prince's Journey where kids need to explore and interact to make the story advance, and if they don't understand the subtle guiding clues, they're pretty much stuck. Even though the stories overall are nice, given the high price tag and the developer's big promises, parents may find what they actually get to be a bit disappointing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lessons in the Truth and Tales - Kids Stories. How did the characters solve their problems? What choices did they make that helped them along the way?

  • Read and tell folk tales and other stories. Make it a game to find what the moral of the story is and relate it to situations in your kid's life.

  • Make your family's expectations about screen time clear before handing over the device. Check it our screen time guide for advice.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love book apps and reading

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