Monday, July 9, 2012

RondomTali London

RondomTali London was created by RondomTali Travel CC. The goal of this app is to help parents talk to their kids about an upcoming vacation - in this case, to London. It shows famous landmarks and people and also a sports activity, which is fitting for the upcoming Olympics (but is London otherwise known for it's sports?). Kinda a neat idea - Price: $0.99.

Device Requirements: Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Developmental Appropriateness: I really had no idea what to expect from this app, but I did think this was a very timely app, given the Olympics. Kids follow Tali on her trip to four destinations. On each page, it shows you the landmark, like Big Ben and the Buckingham Palace, labels it, and there are some interactive elements like you can "tickle" Big Ben or see fireworks around the London Eye. The most relevant interactive feature is kids can put the appropriate hat on characters on the Buckingham Palace page - like the tall black hats on the guards. But upon closer look, it's not all exactly accurate like the crown goes on Tali instead of the queen and there's a unicorn and lion, who gets a crown as well. There's also a sports page where it shows a bunch of different sport icons, labels it, and then it does a quick demonstration of that sport. And that's about it. So I guess although I didn't know what to expect, I guess I expected more. I don't think this has all that much content or really makes you excited to go to London. There's no fun facts or reasons for why kids might want to see these places. I guess it's still a good conversation starter for parents to use, but parents will definitely have to fill in a lot of the blanks. Rating: 3/5 (aim for around 6 years).

Balance: As you probably already picked up, many of the interactive features are not relevant to visiting London. Parents may even have to tell their kids that they will not be seeing a lion in front of the palace! For the purpose of this app, I really don't see why it was necessary to include a unicorn or a ticklish Big Ben. I think it should set realistic expectations for the upcoming trip. Rating: 2.5/5

Sustainability: Again, there's not much here to keep kids coming back at all. And, this is only specific to London (looks like they will be releasing other cities). Rating: 2.5/5

Parental Involvement: Although I see parents using this with their child, and having conversations about their upcoming trip, it's not because the app offers any role to the parent. There are no prompts or suggested activities and topics. Actually, I think parents need to be involved because the app doesn't offer enough info on its own. Rating: 3/5

Total: 11 out of 20 - 2 stars

Disclosure: I received this app for free for review purposes.

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