Crazy Plant Shop

Common Sense Media says

Plant-shop sim slyly gets kids to learn and apply genetics.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids learn life skills including how to problem-solve and how to interact with others. They're also given responsibility for managing funds, filling orders, and doing good science.

Positive role models

With customers such as Gregor Mendel himself, kids are exposed to people who model kind behavior, polite conversation, and positive interactions.

Ease of play

Although the introduction is not entirely helpful, the tutorial and tips more than make up for that. Even younger children will quickly grasp the play mechanics. This is an intuitive game for both novice and experienced game players.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

There is no online content.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Crazy Plant Shop is an educational game that weaves real science content about genetics and selective breeding into the business of running a plant shop. It's a lot of fun with an accessible and entertaining style that'll get kids familiar with things such as dominant and recessive genes. But, because play is not broken into clearly defined stages, time limits might be useful.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • biology
  • plants

Social Studies

  • the economy

Hobbies

  • gardening

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • hypothesis-testing
  • prediction

Responsibility & Ethics

  • fiscal responsibility

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

With beautiful graphics, engaging mechanics, and cheeky inside jokes and surprises, kids should be locked in quickly and stick around for the long haul.

Learning Approach

Cunning, subtle integration of science means kids learn about selective breeding and Punnett squares without feeling like they're getting schooled. Kids gets a lesson that sits somewhere between genetics and entrepreneurism.

Support

There are effective tutorials, occasional tips, and a dictionary of terms. There's not much in-game assistance, but most kids won't need it. Worksheets and clearer scoring would help kids better understand and share progress.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • biology
  • plants

Social Studies

  • the economy

Hobbies

  • gardening

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • hypothesis-testing
  • prediction

Responsibility & Ethics

  • fiscal responsibility

Kids can learn about selective breeding, time management, and, most significantly, dominant and recessive gene expression. By filling orders and breeding the specific plants customers are looking for -- with limited space for stock -- kids learn and apply genetics knowledge while managing their time and workspace.

This Learning Rating review was written by Jenny Bristol

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What's it about?

In CRAZY PLANT SHOP, kids set up their very own plant shop and must fill the orders of customers. The first customer, Gregor Mendel himself, leads the tutorial and serves as the player's mentor. Kids gradually expand their plant varieties through selective breeding, and they gain reputation, bring in new customers, and unlock new plants to breed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This game is extraordinarily well thought out and well implemented, merging what kids are doing with the content to be learned in a way that's fun, whether it's an educational experience or not. Kids are exposed to real science -- including Punnett squares -- but they don't feel like they're studying. Instead, they're managing a shop and collecting plants. With great graphics and intuitive play, kids will spend many hours discovering new varieties of plants and all the genetic combinations available.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss how genetics translate from the game to real life. How might things not be as simple as the models used in this game?

  • Ask kids about their favorite plants: Why are those plants your favorites? If you were to design a plant, what would it look like? What would it be called?

  • Do you find it difficult to manage screen time? Why might it be good to take a break from a game?

Game details

Platforms:Linux, Mac, Windows
Price:$9.99/year individual; $89.70/year classroom
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Filament Games
Release date:November 21, 2013
Genre:Edutainment
Topics:Science and nature

This review of Crazy Plant Shop was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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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