Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition
Brooding, atmospheric tale with an emotional takeaway.
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Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition
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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 Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition is a puzzle game for iOS devices. This is the sample version of the full game, which kids will have to purchase for $4.99 for the entire experience. The story deals with some serious themes, including losing loved ones and the world ending, although they're handled in a respectful way. The main character has flashbacks to past trauma, and other characters' state of being is described in a similar way to depression. A tutorial is available, and figuring out how to move and perform other actions isn't too complicated. The sentence or two introduction to the mini-games kids play to advance, though, sometimes may not be enough for kids to fully grasp how they work.
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What’s It About?
Kids explore an island Evelyn's ancestor created that's able to rebuild the world if necessary in ROCCO'S ISLAND: POCKET EDITION. After ringing a large bell, Evelyn triggers the island's and universe's impending destruction. To prevent that, she needs to get a key from characters based on the four elements. Kids direct Evelyn, followed by Eva, a six-year-old who helps guide her, to walk to points on a path by clicking on them. Evelyn collects items, answers riddles, and must complete matching and other puzzles to continue on the course.
Is It Any Good?
Despite some moments being excessively drawn out, the main character's journey offers impressive visuals -- and a sensitive look at dealing with challenging feelings. In Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition, a teenager named Evelyn wakes up on an island created by her ancestor as a back-up system so the world could be restored if it ever collapsed. Shortly after, she finds a large bell marked with the words "Ring to End the Pain." After a brief flashback of an incident that possibly involved bullying, she rings the bell. Soon after, a six-year-old named Eva arrives and tells her, in a panic, that she's just set the destruction of the island, and probably the world, in motion. Evelyn sets off, with Eva floating behind her, to visit the physical versions of the four elements, who live on the island, to get keys from them. Failing to complete a puzzle will subtract from the Doomsday Timer on the screen, and kids are told all will be lost and the game will end if it reaches zero. As they explore, they'll meet quirky characters that will ask them riddles, and will attempt to solve puzzles and mini-games, some of which can be a bit confusing to figure out because kids aren't given too much detail or assistance.
Pacing can feel slow at times, and the decision to have characters grunt instead of speak doesn't add much to the written dialogue. Although some humor is woven into the story, which helps keep the mood from getting too gloomy, younger kids may find the emphasis on the world ending, including Evelyn's role in initiating it, unsettling. Other parts of the game, though, work well. The graphics are excellent, and the flashbacks allude to a larger issue Evelyn's struggling with -- and she may not be alone. The underlying emotional theme is probably Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition's standout feature, elevating it from being just another story-based game to a thoughtful experience kids may find truly valuable.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about some of the emotions and issues characters are dealing with in Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition. When kids feel lonely or uncomfortable in a situation, how can they resolve those feelings?
Loss, specifically, is mentioned in the story, but what kinds of things can you do to cope with losing someone you love?
The app features a very visual form of storytelling, but can your child create a story using just drawings? Does that make any of the information more or less clear than if words were used?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid (The full game is $4.99.)
- Release date: January 21, 2023
- Category: Simulation Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- Publisher: Cogoo Inc.
- Version: 1.02
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 11.0 or later.
- Last updated: February 13, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Compelling, stunning tale handles identity stories well.
Choose Your Own Adventure grows up, goes tech, is great.
Moving look at grief can be sad, but has a positive message.
For kids who love puzzles
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