App review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2015
Star Gurus
Get it now

Star Gurus

Connect numbered stars in simple but repetitive counting game

Get it now
Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Not yet reviewed Write a review
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Pre-K–K This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: Tons of settings and customization options (including 10 language options) make for flexible, engaging play.

Cons: Gameplay can get repetitive; there's little variety and no real connection to constellations.

Bottom Line: Though it's light on learning, this counting game offers short bursts of astronomical fun.

Teachers can use Star Gurus as a free-play option that can give kids some extra practice with counting. Kids can play for about 10 to 15 minutes and then pass the game on to another kid. Set the counting to whatever the class is currently working on. That is, if teachers recently introduced skip counting, set the game to present only even or only odd numbers. Teachers could also choose one of the foreign languages and present the game to the whole class. Together, the class can learn how to count to 10 in another language. Present lots of opportunities to count and talk about numbers in everyday and hands-on activities. Teachers can also use the star theme as a launching pad for exploring astronomy.

Continue reading Show less

Kids tap numbered stars in order to draw lines between them and form a constellation-like image such as a panda, camel, or witch. With each tap, kids hear the number's name; when kids complete the image, they also hear the image's name. There are 30 images in all. Adults can adjust how numbers are presented; for example, they can view numbers from 1-20, 1-10, by twos, or by tens. Adults can also choose whether the app will offer kids hints in finding the next number. Kids can choose to play in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, or Spanish.

Star Gurus is a simple, easy introduction to numbers, counting, and numerical order. This digital version of the classic connect-the-dots game offers some extra flexibility and customization options. For instance, kids who have mastered counting to 20 can practice focusing on even or odd numbers. It's also neat to try out different languages and learn number names and a few new words. Overall, the graphics are good -- though, like real constellations, the dot arrangements don't always make a convincing image.

It would be nice to see a more purposeful learning connection to the constellations theme. Even with the great language and customization options, there's limited opportunity for depth. Check the developer's website for upcoming off-screen activities to complement the digital game; though the developers say they often add new images, there's little variety. That being said, the app was designed to be played in short chunks; as such, it can be a great option for safe, appealing gameplay with light educational content.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

The app was designed to be played in 10-15 minute chunks, and that's exactly how long it will likely hold kids' interest. Changing languages will intrigue some kids.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Kids work on number literacy through number names and counting, and settings allow kids to practice skip counting or focus on particular numbers. Ten language options also introduce kids to number vocabulary in foreign languages.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Play is highly visual, easily accessible, and customizable, making this a good fit for a wide range of kids and ages. It might be nice to have more purpose in creating images, like letting kids save them or choose which ones to complete.

Common Sense reviewer
Mieke VanderBorght Researcher

Community Rating

No one has reviewed this tool yet. Be the first to share your thoughts.

Add your rating

Privacy Rating

This tool has not yet been rated by our privacy team. Learn more about our privacy ratings