Landra Review: ChoreMonster Grows Up

This a review from Rich Richmond on his family’s use of Landra and Mothershp. Rich is a father to two intelligent, interesting and hilarious children, and author of RaisingTheDad.

ChoreMonster spent the last few years bringing parents and children together through technology. The concept was simple; “gamify” household chores and kids will actually want to do them. It worked. What the app got right was a careful balance of fun but simple design that virtually “hid” the work of chores behind a Pokémon style collection game. Add to that a simple, customizable reward system and you have a hit.

My kids started using the app at ages 11 and 7 and had a blast. Tying rewards and allowance to completion of daily, weekly, and monthly chores made things easy for the entire family. My daughter would often rush through folding her laundry so she could unlock a new monster or get a few spins on the wheel. But two years later, my kids are older and chores have become an expectation and a habit. The quirky youthful fun of ChoreMonster has largely been abandoned.

Enter FamilyTech.

Likely noticing a changing digital landscape and an aging installed user base, ChoreMonster pivoted to become FamilyTech and added two new apps to its portfolio. Mothershp, an app for parents to manage their children of all ages, and Landra, a grown up version of ChoreMonster aimed squarely at the teenagers that grew up, and possibly outgrew, ChoreMonster.

The first thing to know about these multiple apps from FamilyTech is that they are companion apps. While ChoreMonster existed as its own entity with different log ins for parents and children, Landra requires the parent to have Mothershp.

Once logged in, the differences between ChoreMonster and its new big brother are obvious. First, the color palette of ChoreMonster was reminiscent of the Disney XD TV show Gravity Falls. Khaki, greens and oranges dominated the app giving it a whimsical, outdoorsy look. Landra has a more mature look using various shades of blues and greens to match the appearance of the companion Mothershp app. The other big difference is in the focus of the app. Where ChoreMonster depended on gamification, large colorful icons, and cartoon characters to inspire and engage children, Landra takes a more mature stance, looking and acting like a more traditional task list. All of my son’s chores from ChoreMonster were automatically populated into a checklist on the “Do Things” tab in Landra. “Oh cool,” he said. Teens are used to checklists and task lists from school, sports, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs. Seeing his familiar chores present in a checklist format just made sense to him.

Landra is laid out simply and cleanly. In many ways it looks very similar to the previous version of Apple Music. Category buttons line the bottom of the app. Do Things, Get Stuff, Add Items (+), Read Words, and Your Info. A dark blue indicator light under each button lets you know what tab you are in while the category name for that tab is at the top. If you are migrating from ChoreMonster you will see your current chores in the Do Things area. My son instinctively swiped to check off the items he had already completed that day. A swipe to the right brings up a green check mark. A swipe to the left deletes items. Once an item is checked off parents receive a notification in Mothershp.

Landra abandons the collecting aspects of ChoreMonster; there are no characters to collect, no side games to play. In their place is “Stuff”. And it’s stuff teens want. Hit the “+” sign at the bottom of the screen to access the main action screen. Here is where you add tasks and rewards. Click on the “Do” tab and there are tasks such as “clean bedroom,” “do laundry,” “sweep floor,” and “babysit” laid out in block icons. You can also add custom tasks as well. The “Get” tab reveals the rewards. Suggestions like “computer time,” “movie night,” “buy clothes,” and even “buy a new phone” are listed here, each with an assigned number of required points to unlock each reward. FamilyTech has partnered with Amazon so you can actually search for and add items from the Amazon online store right into Landra as a custom reward. This search was fast, accurate, and fun. Within minutes my son was adding Lego sets and video games to his rewards page and more importantly, we were discussing how he could earn these rewards.

Landra is more than simply a grown up version of ChoreMonster. Together with Mothershp, it’s a new collaboration platform for parents and teens. It smartly builds on the familiarity of completing chores in ChoreMonster, but aggressively moves away from the cartoon style presentation of its predecessor. The layout is simple and intuitive, so it is easy for new users or ChoreMonster veterans to start building task lists and creating rewards. The idea of using two apps to get this new platform to work takes some getting used to, but it makes more sense than having different parent and children logins like in ChoreMonster.

Despite a few minor quibbles with our initial login, Landra is a solid app that can not only help teach kids responsibility, but also teaches them organization. Both are important skills every parent wants to instill in their children. Even if you haven’t used ChoreMonster in the past, Landra is an excellent tool to communicate with, teach, and reward your teenagers.

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