Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yum Num's Galaxy

Yum Num's Galaxy was created by GoodHustle Studios, Inc. and is all about Captain Yum Num trying to save the galaxy with good food because the grim future holds only a galaxy where fast food is available. And of course, Captain Yum Num is a cat! Price: $0.99

Device Requirements: Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Developmental Appropriateness: First off, I'd like to say that as an adult, I found this app hilarious - in a fun way. It's got this 70's music, arcade game vibe. Not sure if kids would get that, but parents can enjoy a laugh. But let's not get too silly, cause we're on a serious mission here! It's Captain Yum Num's against the fast food industry! He has to first figure out what food he needs to make, then fly around finding the correct ingredients. Kids can learn what goes into "Ants on a Log" or Mac n'cheese. The actual recipes are also provided in a separate section. The whole premise, while funny - there's lots of little touches you'll have to see for yourself - can get a little slow and repetitive as Captain Yum Nums just cycles through the whole process with each dish. There's more watching Captain Yum Num's go from scene to scene than doing. My biggest concern is that the premise sets this up to be an app that teaches about nutrition and eating healthy. While many of the recipes are seemingly "lite" versions - like the pizza is made with tortillas (but still with 20 slices of pepperoni!) or the mac n' cheese uses skim milk, there's only a couple of vegetable and or fruit focused dishes. The dishes are more typical kid favorites rather than dishes with a nutritional focus. I wish this also provided some direct, kid-friendly information about eating healthy. Rating: 3.5/5 (aim for around 5)

Balance: The whole look is very stylized in an old arcade way. There are lots of scene changes though, which could just be lost on a younger kid. Television research has shown that the formatting, including scene changes, fade effects, etc. really does effect learning and attention. Rating: 3.5/5

Sustainability: While I know kids can laugh at the same thing over and over again, I think overall, this is fun at first, but gets repetitive - there's no different levels or challenges. There's a small goal of feeding the aliens, but it's easily accomplished and the goal stays the same.  Rating: 3/5

Parental Involvement: There are recipes available, which I guess in some kinda indirect way means parents should get involved and make those foods! Parents should take this opportunity to talk about nutrition and kids likes and dislikes. Rating: 3.5/5

Total: 13.5 out of 20 = 3 stars

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

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