Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2017 Mobile Apps
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

iBiome-Ocean introduces a world of ocean life. Children visit four different ocean biomes to learn about a selection of the species there: kelp beds, coral reefs, tide pools, and the open sea. The app presents a summary of each species, then invites the user to try to fit the species into the web of life (the "crazy web") in the biome, identifying it and all previously-learned species as producer, consumer, predator, prey, or some other role in the biome. Finally, the app adds the species to the user's journal with a description and a photo that can be revisited later.

Along the way, players can see what happens if a species is boosted within the biome and how it may benefit or harm other species, and players can build technology to see how it impacts ocean life (almost invariably negatively). Players earn badges for boosting species successfully or for revisiting the photos in the journal and can work their way up from "Novice" to "Master" of the ocean biomes.

iBiome-Ocean is dense with information and kids may be overwhelmed if they try to absorb too much in a single sitting, but like a good interactive e-book, this app invites many return visits in which enthusiastic young marine biologists continue to learn more about their favorite species. When players have earned all the badges and mastered all biomes, the game can be reset to try out the crazy web again; it would have been fun to be able to go back and see the web without having to restart, but play is quick on a revisit and there is usually something to see that a reader missed on an earlier pass.

Emily Crawford   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
Springbay Studio Ltd.
Available on iTunes

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