Recently, we were asked to download and review Mini Pupstars, the interactive iPad app for kids. The name alone was enough to let me know that it would definitely be worth a look for my animal-crazy five year old, so this weekend we set about finding our way around the app. These videos show you what it’s all about:
The app, which is basically a virtual dog grooming parlour, allows kids to give their chosen Pup a trim, shave, shower, wash, blowdry and add numerous colours and accessories to them to make a new and glamorous Pupstar each time. They can then photograph their preened pooch and add them to their gallery. There are three dogs to choose from and it’s completely ad-free and doesn’t feature any in-app purchases, which is really important to me as a parent.
Sausage took to the game right away; she’s a very tech savvy kid but she literally picked the iPad up and started playing, with no instructions needed, which tells me that it’s very user friendly. The app is aimed at kids aged 5 and over, so Sausage is the prime age for this app, but I also think she’d have been more than capable of using it a year or two ago, too.
She’s spent probably about 2 hours playing the game on and off over the course of the weekend and she’s really enjoyed all of it. There are no ‘wrong turns’ in the game, so she hasn’t needed help to go through the menus or work out what she’s doing and the fact that you can take snaps of your dog from within the app means she doesn’t have to agonising over losing all of her work whenever she’s ready to create a new pooch.
Both Husband and I have sat with Sausage while she’s been playing and here’s what he and Sausage had to say about it:
“I liked the spray can and I like the hats and necklaces for the dogs. I thought the app was interesting and fun!” – Sausage, age 5
“The app looks quite enjoyable, novel and fun for kids. The accuracy could do with some improvement when using the tools, but it’s still a good kids app” – Husband
All in all, we really liked the Pupstars app. I like the fact that it brings out the creativity in kids in a fun and engaging way and the user interface is super easy to get to grips with.
It would be nice to see more breeds of dog and more customisation options available in the next update, but overall it’s definitely a good app for both boys and girls alike and we’d all recommend it highly.