Fluidity: Spin Cycle

Common Sense Media says

Fun, downloadable 3DS puzzler lets kids play with physics.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids will get a bit of a brain workout as they experiment with the effects of gravity on liquid and figure out solutions to physics-based puzzles.

Positive role models

The game's water spirit protagonist is a noble little guy compelled to slog around mazes in search of kidnapped rainbow spirits.   

Ease of play

In-game instructions explain everything, and the puzzles aren't terribly difficult. However, spinning the 3DS to pour your water spirit through mazes makes it easy to get a bit disoriented and lose track of the system's buttons, which are occasionally required to perform actions.     

Violence & scariness

Players can make sentient bits of dark goop disappear with a flash by having their water spirit wash over them.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Fluidity: Spin Cycle is a physics-based puzzle game without much in the way of iffy content. Players get to experiment with the effects of gravity as they spin their 3DS system around to pour a water spirit through various mazes, solving little navigational puzzles along the way. Just be sure your kids are careful about where and when they play; it's easy to lose grip of the console while turning it around, which could result in a tumble or two. This game is a download only game for the Nintendo 3DS.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • gravity
  • physics
  • substance properties

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • deduction
  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Fun and highly intuitive, most players should have little problem getting the hang of the motion controls that govern Fluidity: Spin Cycle's gravity-based conundrums.

Learning Approach

The physics at play are lifelike enough that they'll make kids think about how water and gravity behave. Plus, kids will likely appreciate that they can experiment in the digital realm in ways that are impractical in the real world.

Support

The score players earn at the end of each level doesn't correlate to what they may have learned while playing, and there are no supports outside the game.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • gravity
  • physics
  • substance properties

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • deduction
  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Kids can learn a bit about simple physics and puzzle solving in this enjoyable collection of quick gravity and water-based conundrums. Players will experience a digital simulation of liquid flowing over rough terrain, and watch what happens to it as they spin their 3DS -- and the game world -- to alter the direction of gravity's pull. They'll also get to practice their puzzle solving skills as they work out how to use gravity and switches to open gates and move environmental obstacles.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

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What's it about?

Available only as a download for 3DS, FLUIDITY: SPIN CYCLE puts players in control of a water spirit who needs to splish and splash its way through a variety of mazes in a storybook brought to life. His goal: rescue rainbow spirits that have been locked away by wicked black goop. Players control the water spirit's movements by tilting and spinning their 3DS, in effect pouring him up and down hills and through tight passages. They'll also get to combat the dark goop by washing over it, throw switches to open doors, alter gravity in limited ways, and search out collectibles, including a golden puzzle piece hidden in each level. 

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This highly playable puzzler grabs hold quickly with its highly intuitive motion-based controls. Spinning a 3DS to control the flow of the game's water spirit just feels right, and the difficulty of the puzzles grows so gradually that kids are unlikely to become too frustrated. Plus, setting the action inside a book brought to life -- you'll actually pass by passages of prose in the background describing, say, the dinosaur bones you're washing over -- invites players to take interest in not just the action, but also the world. It's a little short, but lots of collectibles means there's plenty of reason to go back and replay each maze multiple times. A great pick to kill a few minutes on a bus or an hour while nestled on the couch.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about gravity. How does gravity work? What would our world be like if there was no gravity? How is gravity used in other games?

  • Families can also discuss the physics of liquid. Do you think the fluid in the game accurately mimics the behavior of real-world liquids? 

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Price:$10.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:January 13, 2013
Genre:Puzzle
Topics:Dinosaurs, Fairy tales
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief, Mild Fantasy Violence (Nintendo 3DS)

This review of Fluidity: Spin Cycle was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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