Design and Play – Monster Cute Jewels is a universal app from Croco Studio. It features a cast of cute monsters and lets you make necklaces for them and for yourself. It has two modes – “play” and “design”. The “play” mode has all monsters and bead sets unlocked, the “design” mode includes the Christmas monsters and Christmas bead set, and has in-app purchases for more monster and bead sets. Currently there are 2 IAPS costing 99c each. The app has sound effects and music which can be switched off independently.
Play mode is a type of matching/ memory game. A monster appears wearing a necklace, the child gets to see it for a short while, and then they need to re-create it. A shadow outline of each bead remains to help them with their task, and the child drags and drops beads into the right spot. As they try on different beads the monster responds. All the beads in a necklace are from one bead collection, and to get to all of the beads in that collection the child needs to swipe. When swiping it is easy to accidentally select a bead, so it would be nice to have another option, e.g. an arrow or button to switch between pages of beads. The app times how long it takes to complete the necklace, and awards from 1-5 stars (this information is not recorded). Next time they will get a different monster and necklace combination.
The Design mode comes with the Christmas set included. This consists of 4 Monsters- a Snowman, a Grinch, a Reindeer and a Santa helper, plus a Christmas Bead set. More monsters and bead sets are available for purchase: the Cornucopia (99c) includes 7 more monsters and 7 more bead sets, the Halloween set (99c) includes the remaining 3 monsters and the Halloween bead set. The IAP’s require a math question to be answered to activate the link. There are 4 small tabs one on each edge of the screen which let you: pick the monster, choose a bead set (if you have more than one), access saved necklaces and take pictures.
Creating the necklaces is fun – you can get really creative within the bead sets, or if you have purchased extra sets you can mix and match between them. The monsters respond to your creations too- some talk to you others just grunt or make noises. The Grinch’s favorite sayings are “we have shiny” and “give me more.” All of the monsters have different personalities and different likes and dislikes and the child can try their creations on different monsters to see how they respond.
Once you have created a necklace you can save it to use again later. You can take photographs of one of the monsters wearing your necklace or use the iPad camera to take a photo of yourself or a friend wearing it. Whenever you take a picture of anyone wearing a necklace the app suggests sharing it via email or Facebook. You do need to answer a math question to be able to do this, but I would like an option to switch this off entirely.
This app is really 2 different games in one. Play mode will appeal most to pre-school and Kindergarten-age children and helps work on matching, visual-motor skills and memory. Design mode will appeal to the same children plus slightly older ones, and lets them use their imagination and creativity. I really like being able to mix and match between bead sets to let children make their own unique creations. The different personalities of the different monsters is fun, and I like the option for the child to take pictures of themselves or their friends, dolls or teddies wearing the necklaces. The one area I would like to see changed is the app’s child friendliness, all external links are child-locked, but they are too visible to the children in my opinion. I would like all external links: social media, email, in-app purchases and app store links, removed or moved into a locked parents area. I don’t think apps targeted at young children should be encouraging them to share via Facebook or email. It would also be my preference to have a slightly higher purchase price (e.g. $1.99 instead of 99c) and have all monsters and bead sets included.
Overall, a fun app with 2 modes which let children practice pattern matching and express their creativity; however it needs some modifications to the external links to achieve a higher star rating.
If you would like to download this app please use this link: Design and Play – Monster Cute Jewels – Croco Studio
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.