Yo Gabba Gabba! Birthday Party

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Yo Gabba Gabba! Birthday Party App Poster Image
Mini-games are deeply appealing but have shallow content.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how much fun birthdays are (though they probably already know that). Kids need good coordination and timing to tap the piñata as it swings by or to place their favorite character under a falling plate to catch it. They'll stretch their short-term memories in the classic memory game -- here with presents hidden in gift boxes. And they'll explore balance and spatial sense as they stack boxes of different sizes so they don't topple over. Yet, the light learning content only scratches the surface. Yo Gabba Gabba! Birthday Party is much more about having fun than anything else.

Ease of Play

Games are super simple for young kids to play and navigate. Kids need only know how to tap and drag. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A button in the main screen takes users to a list of other apps by the same developer. Actual purchase of those apps is protected behind a parent lock.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Yo Gabba Gabba! Birthday Party allows kids to interact with the fun characters from the Yo Gabba Gabba! TV show as they help prepare for Brobee's fourth birthday party. Kids don't need to be familiar with the characters or the show, however, to play the games. In addition to the games, kids also can watch music videos or color in coloring pages. Note that these coloring pages are magical -- kids can never color outside the lines. More apps are available to buy behind a parent gate.

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What's it about?

Six randomly presented and lightly educational activities get kids matching, stacking, swinging at piñatas, and more. Most activities have three difficulty levels, which start anew each time kids restart that game. Kids choose which of five Yo Gabba Gabba! characters they want to play with, and after completing a full cycle of all games, they can interact with the party guests, feed them cake, and pop balloons. There's also an "I can remember your birthdays!" music video and coloring pages.

Is it any good?

YO GABBA GABBA! BIRTHDAY PARTY has lots of kid appeal. Characters are fun, cute, and inviting, and games are simple -- perhaps too simple -- even for young kids. Kids who know and love the show will particularly appreciate this interactive opportunity. Yet the content tends toward superficiality. For example, the birthday song is cute but is drastically over-simplified as it repeats the same words again and again. Also, in one game kids catch falling colored plates. Varying the falling plate colors and asking kids to distinguish among different colors, or emphasizing counting the plates with written numerals, would make play more meaningful. Sometimes there are long pauses while games load, which could frustrate kids. Ultimately, this is an appealing app that falls just a little flat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about kids' memories from past birthdays. What do they remember, and what did they enjoy? How do they feel about getting bigger?

  • Expand on the learning themes offscreen. Play memory, stack real boxes or blocks of different sizes, and explore colors and numbers.

  • Talk about birthday traditions from around the world, from piñatas to special birthday foods to traditional birthday activities, or learn the Happy Birthday song in different languages. 

App details

For kids who love apps for toddlers and preschoolers

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