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

Homes by Tinybop

Homes by Tinybop

Spring 2015 Mobile Apps
Ages: 4 & Up
Developer: Tinybop
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

Players explore the homes of families in four different countries (Guatemala, Yemen, Mongolia and the United States) choosing from both exterior and interior views and day or night. Each home is a digital dollhouse with the potential for hours of play, all the while learning about the culture of the inhabitants.

A thumbnail illustration of each home is identified by its country and placed appropriately on a world map. For example, tap on Mongolia and a scene emerges, in this case a daytime exterior view of a tent in a yard detailed with a horse, a motorcycle, an outhouse, dishes to wash at the water pump, a satellite dish and a solar panel. When the bar on the left side of the screen is moved across the scene and the inside of the tent is revealed. Tapping on that image opens up a full screen view. Tap the plus sign in the upper right corner to see the clock (yes, in real time), turn on or off either one or both stacked TVs, or check your reflection in the mirror. Add wood to heat the stove, cook soup, boil potatoes, or put the kettle on for tea. The understated sound design is thoughtful and intriguing. It adds another layer of play.

Homes by Tinybop is imaginative, informative and well designed. This un-game is not about scores or challenges. Here, players are encouraged to explore the homes of four diverse cultures, prompting questions Why do they wash clothes and dishes in the same sink? Why do the electric lines crackle? Are they camping? Does everyone sleep on the floor every night? and hopefully answers to inform emerging global citizens.

Parents' Choice   ©2015 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
Available on iTunes

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