Type Racer - a game about typing fast

Common Sense Media says

Iffy quotes, frequent ads ruin what could've been a fun app.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

App does not work with a Bluetooth keyboard, so players must use the app's unique touchscreen keyboard, which doesn't match up exactly with the normal touchscreen (the delete key is in a different place), making it more difficult to type quickly without mistakes.

Violence

Some quotes include violent undertones. One jokes that if you give a man a match, he'll be warm for a short period, but if you set him on fire, he'll be warm for years. An uncredited quote from Hannibal Lector of Silence of the Lambs mentions eating a man's liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Sex

Humorous quotes used for typing practice contain some sexual innuendo. Quotes from comedians such as George Carlin and Bill Maher are a bit racy. One quote from Bill Maher insinuates that Madonna has more than 10 people in her bed in a week, and one from Paris Hilton mentions a "money shot" and taking her top off.

Language

Some quotes include insults, such "crazy" and "stupid," as well as several misogynistic sentences: "If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking, and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?" Words such as "hell" also appear in some quotes.

Consumerism

Kids will have to watch full-screen ads for other apps every few quotes. Many of the ads are virtually impossible not to click through by accident.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Many quotes mention drinking and smoking.

Privacy & safety

Players must connect the app to their Facebook accounts to see the leaderboard, and then their scores along with their Facebook profile pictures and names are shared on the leaderboard. The privacy policy explains what information is automatically collected.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Type Racer - a game about typing fast is more a game about advertising other apps and less a game about typing fast. Objectionable content within the quotes make it inappropriate for younger kids, and typing without the shift key (no uppercase/lowercase or colon/semicolon differentiation) may not transfer well to real-world touchscreen typing. The app is not compatible with external keyboards.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Skills

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

No boring passages to practice typing here. Movie quotes, jokes from comedians, and interesting data keep kids interested and wanting to continue typing. The quotes do get a bit risque, though, as part of the humor.

Learning Approach

With no instruction in the keyboard layout, kids are left to figure that out on their own or elsewhere. Kids learn by practicing and tracking their improvement through their WPM scores.

Support

No instructions or help available. Scores are shown throughout play as WPM average and bests. Kids can compare their scores to others on the leaderboard.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Skills

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn to type quickly and accurately on a touchscreen device such as an iPad or Android tablet. Though keyboarding skills are still important, the ubiquitousness of touchscreens means kids need to develop speed and accuracy with them as well. Kids won't learn hand formation or the placement of the keys, but they will practice typing short pieces -- witty and informative sentences and short paragraphs -- with perfect accuracy and then see their WPM score. Though the frequent ads disrupt the process, kids will have fun practicing with Type Racer and will get motivation from seeing their speeds improve.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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What's it about?

TYPE RACER - A GAME ABOUT TYPING FAST gives kids short, witty (but often inappropriate) quotes to practice touchscreen typing to build speed. Errors aren't accepted, so kids will have to use the delete key to fix mistakes before finishing a quote. They'll then see their WPM (words per minute) average and best WPM. To see the leaderboard, kids have to link to their Facebook accounts.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The more kids practice typing, the faster they'll get, and Type Racer - a game about typing fast can help with that. Kids need to know the QWERTY layout of a touchscreen keyboard already as there is no instruction offered in-app. Kids won't get to practice with the shift key, as it's not included. The quotes are sometimes funny and make practicing fun, but the content is not appropriate for young kids. Frequent ads interrupt the game, and there doesn't appear to be a way to remove them (via in-app purchase, for example). For tips to improve touchscreen typing as well as practicing it, TapTyping - typing trainer may be a better choice.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the quotes teens encounter in the app. Some of them present women in a negative light. Is that OK to do in the name of humor, or does the app go too far?

  • Touchscreen typing is different from what most parents grew up doing. Understand that keyboarding skills are still important, but encourage kids to practice the increasingly important touchscreen typing, too.

  • Encourage kids to learn the QWERTY layout using other apps or typing websites.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:July 27, 2013
Category:Word Games
Size:5.60 MB
Publisher:Bonfire Media
Version:1.04
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.1 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of Type Racer - a game about typing fast 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.

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