Monstapals is a collection game designed to appeal to young children. Pretend to be a space alien collector of Australian animals, but instead of collecting one at a time, grab two and combine them. There are 45 Monstapals to collect, each with a unique appearance, name and sound. The new “animals,” such as a “dingaroo,” live harmoniously in their new environment on the aliens’ planet.
Uninterrupted game play
Collection card to track progress
Interactive alien environment
Fact cards about each new “animal”
Save great finds with the game camera
Monstapals is a high quality app that is intuitive and easy to use. With a few exploratory tap, kids will quickly figure out how to control which Australian animals to zap up into the alien space ship to combine. The collection can be reset to begin again if you wish. There is no provision for multiple players, so siblings or classmates will need work on the collection as a team.
This app has some educational value, even though it’s not really intended to be “educational.” The collection cards will promote some reading and comprehension skills. The heights and weights of the new “animals” are given in metric units, which may prompt some children who are not already familiar with the metric system to learn more about the relative sizes in it. Kids will also exercise predictive skills when they choose which animals to combine-the collection card shows outlines of the new creatures and it can be a challenge to figure out which head and which set of feet go with which real animals to create the combination.
One big opportunity that developers missed is inclusion of basic information, such as names, statistics and habitat, about the real Australian animals. Most people who are not from that area find that fascinating, and the knowledge is useful in many ways. I highly suggest they consider adding “fact cards” about the real animals into the system!
The combined animals are definitely silly enough to appeal to young children-who wouldn’t love a dingaroo or a lizile? The mechanics of the combining process are fun, too. The aliens beam animals up, use an amazing machine to combine them, and then parachute the new creature down into the zoo. Tap on the new creature, and a fact card opens that shows the creature’s height, weight, and what it was made from. The card also tells the creature’s smell and its likes. There is a collection card to help keep track of which animals have been found and which still can be made.
The downside is that, unless your child is really into either collections or animals, the app could quickly become boring. The process of collecting, melding and settling the animals into the alien zoo is very repetitious, and if your child is not yet able to read, the fact cards won’t be very interesting.
This app seems a bit pricy considering that kids may well lose interest before they complete the 45-animal collection. It costs $2.99 on the App Store.
Monstapals is very child-friendly. There are no outside connections, no advertisements, and no in-app purchases. The app does access the device’s screenshot camera with an unprotected button, so adults may need to clear out extra pictures from overzealous players.
Monstapals is a fun app that children will enjoy, particularly if they are fascinated with animals or if they like to collect things. Australian animals are very interesting in their own right, and combining them in random ways will tickle the imagination.