Play Date Time!
In Sago Mini Friends, little kids visit five friendly characters in their homes and play ten mini-games, including unwrapping presents, connecting trains, taking naps, and having snacks. While certain actions will make the characters giggle or frown, there is no right or wrong way to participate in this open play space.
How to Play
Kids begin by choosing to be one of the five characters (they are all from the other Sago Mini apps): a rabbit, a dog, a cat, a bird, or a bear. The character will then be transported to a street full of houses, with friends peeking out the windows. Kids tap to walk along the street, and when they stop in front of a door, a doorbell icon appears. Ringing the doorbell produces giggles of glee from your character and the friend you're visiting, while a random game loads. (Note: if you hold down two fingers on the screen, the balloon game will load, or hold down three fingers for dress-up.) Once inside, kids drag items in the game to involve the characters in play, perhaps building a birdhouse or watering a plant. When the object of the game is complete, the friend might high-five or wave goodbye, and then your character can choose another friend to visit. Kids can also ride on a balloon swing back to the home screen to choose a different character.
This app uses "multitouch" -- which means that two players can interact with the characters on the screen at the same time.
What makes Sago Mini Friends fun is the variety of activities to play with the cheerful and engaging characters. Their funny reactions to the games and to one another encourage kids to explore. Try something silly, like watering your friends instead of the plants, or releasing a balloon before it's fully inflated, and see what happens! Some of the games have a lot of room for creativity -- such as dress up, while others reinforce good helping behavior -- as when characters wash dishes.
Also good is Sago Mini Friends ability to be played with a friend, sibling, or a parent where both players can interact with the screen at the same time.
We wish the characters had slightly better manners and ate slightly healthier foods, but their loud belches will probably get your little one giggling. Their frowns, when you feed the other character at snacktime, can also elicit good discussions about sharing and empathy. Check out the "For Parents" section for tips, otherwise your child won't get these important lessons from the game. The open-play set up of the game also means that kids don't get any guidance, so you'll have to show younger kids how to play at first.
Sago Mini Friends is best for kids who like to explore independently, without rules or guidance. The app is made for kids ages four and under, who love to play "again, again!" This is also a good app to explore with a friend or sibling. Older kids might find it fun at first, but they will want more variety. While most of the games are simple, little fingers may not have coordination for some of the tasks, such as dragging a hammer to four nails to finish a bird house. If kids get frustrated, show them how to tap to leave someone's house so they can visit a different friend and play a different game.
This Sago Mini Friends app review was written by Liz K. McKinney.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.