Fairly humdrum, due to trivial tasks and pay-to-play limits.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Puzzle Adventure is a mystery puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. the game has some mildly spooky elements, including visuals like coffins and blood on a floor, and the plot involves supernatural creatures. There doesn't seem to be a lot of jump-scares or excessive gore, though. The central characters include two women, and older and younger ages are represented, but they appear to mostly be White, including the default character kids may select. But players can go back and choose from about a half-dozen other options, which include some Black and brown-skinned characters. The exercises kids complete to advance in the game require observational skills and following directions more than critical thinking. Other characters offer some information about what kids are looking for or should do, although if they get confused, there doesn't seem to be much additional help available. The expectation you'll spend money, though, is consistently clear. Kids are frequently encouraged to watch ads, and reaching a point fairly early where you're out of energy and have to stop playing isn't difficult.
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What’s It About?
Kids explore an abandoned house, look for an alchemist, and uncover clues in PUZZLE ADVENTURE. After finishing boarding school, they meet up with their Uncle Mort, a paranormal detective, and his assistant. Tapping on the screen directs the main character to walk there, and you can push or pull objects when standing behind or in front of them. Kids also bust blocks and deploy levers to clear walkways and advance -- which costs energy. When it runs out, they'll need to buy more, using gems, or wait for some to replenish before playing again.
Is It Any Good?
After a promising start, this puzzler swiftly descends into repetitive activities that could cause kids to burn through their resources -- and their ability to play. In the initial scenes of Puzzle Adventure, kids learn the main character has just finished school and is about to embark on an adventure with their uncle, a paranormal detective. He takes a more passive role in the investigation, directing you to check out parts of a room, locate objects, and otherwise discovering and delivering a possibly magical mirror to a client. Items that kids can interact with in scenes are highlighted, which makes some of the navigation simple. There may be instances, though, where kids aren't sure what to do next, or where to turn for help. Boxes you need to get past are marked with numbers, indicating how much energy will be subtracted when you smash them. Since poking around a room can potentially be costly, a lack of direction can be frustrating. Kids can shift the screen perspective slightly by swiping on the screen, but the viewpoint really doesn't tilt up or down too much, so it isn't very helpful.
The game urges kids to watch an ad to receive twice the amount of rewards they'll be given after opening a treasure chest or completing other tasks. If they don't watch the additional ads, they may not get far before they run out of energy and are locked out. Their reserves will replenish in time, but it's not a fast process. The pay-to-play structure, which can substantially interrupt gameplay, is definitely a detriment. The most disappointing aspect of the game, though, may be its somewhat surprising lack of puzzles. Often, though, it feels like you're just wandering aimlessly in pursuit of a vague goal, such as finding an entryway. The gameplay may get better -- and it's possible the mystery might be intriguing -- but having to sit through so many pauses, unless you're willing to buy a bunch of in-app currency, makes Puzzle Adventure feel like a pretty tame way to spend time.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the process kids use to figure out what they need to do in each room in Puzzle Adventure. How can observational skills and logic help?
How could kids utilize a similar investigative approach to unfamiliar situations in real life?
Kids work toward goals in Puzzle Adventure, but how can they determine and work toward objectives at home?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Android
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: February 12, 2023
- Category: Role-Playing Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Publisher: Pixel Federation Games
- Version: 1.28.2
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 11.0 or later, macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with an Apple M1 chip or later, or Android 5.1 and up.
- Last updated: February 27, 2023
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