Developer: Sago Sago
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Storytelling/Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Intuitiveness Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Sago Mini Monsters is a playful and creative app for toddlers and early preschool children that allows them to explore with color and other fun details as they create unique monsters that they need to take care of by feeding, primping with accessories, and attending to their personal needs such as teeth brushing.

photo 5photo 1Each monster is met by dragging him or her from the green swampy area seen at the bottom of the page bubbling about adding a charmingly icky sense of style – especially as one will need to drag the monsters and their food up from this bog-like area as a tap will also make this fluid bubble. Children will enjoy decorating their at first detail-less monster with the use of five included colors. Simply draw and, when completed, a charming creature face will sprout giving personality to the character the young player has just decorated. Also fun is the ability to swap out different features to further customize the look of these monsters, complete with fun gooey details as one pulls off areas of the face, allowing new parts to sprout.

I do love the different monster faces that are created possibly including multiple eyes, horns, or fangs. The features, as well as unique head and face shapes, create combinations that will seem endless to young players who will really enjoy seeing these monsters come to life. Photos can be taken of the creature once it’s accessorized, and soon this character retreats back under the green swampy area a new monster rises up from the bottom of the screen waiting to be detailed with paint as well.

photo 3photo 2Sago Mini Monsters really hits all the right notes as these monsters are friendly and never scary, even if the details include pointy horns or fangs. I also really appreciate the language-neutral sound effects these characters make, engaging young players in a way most social and maintaining eye contact – be it with their single eye or maybe three. I can easily imagine older children and adults really enjoying sharing this app with young children, but I would not expect Sago Mini Monsters to be the go-to app for a child my son’s age (six) as the feeding, brushing, and ornamenting of these characters can become a little repetitive. I think toddlers benefit from activities that are slightly predictable, nicely combined with the surprise foods or decorative items to accessorize their monster with such as hair accessories, hats, gems, or other details.

Although my son is older now, Sago Mini Monsters is an app that I certainly would have used to distract my boy when he was younger, and it is an app that I will continue to keep on my iPhone to calm other children while trying to have a conversation with their moms when meeting up while out and about.

Posted in: Art, By App Feature, Creativity, iPad Apps and Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Just For Fun, Parents and Kids, Preschool, Reviews, Social, Toddlers

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