What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Apparatus is a physics-based puzzle game where players build simple machines to solve level goals. Optionally, players can register for the Apparatus Community, where they can upload their own level designs, or download, rate, and comment on levels created by other players. Some user-created levels resemble sexually explicit body parts and sexual positions, and user comments occasionally contain strong language like "s--t" or sexual references.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- part-whole relationships
- analyzing evidence
Engagement, Approach, Support
Players who enjoy tinkering with machines will find an enjoyable outlet for their creativity but most others will find the challenges a bit too difficult and the graphics kinda clunky.
The puzzles go beyond the relatively simple physics concepts of other games and challenge players to create real, moving machines, yet no terminology is used and help is fragmented.
Tutorials, help, and hints aren't well integrated. While players can upload their creations to the community, occasional iffy content might be a turn off.
What's it about?
Kids are presented with a collection of objects: the ever present marble and catch box, immovable objects (metal), and movable objects (wood). Kids tap then twist movable objects to rotate, and then drag and drop them into place. Kids can connect or disconnect objects using a hammer or wrench, but connections bear little resemblance to real-world carpentry or machining. Kids can create their own puzzles and share with a community in the Sandbox mode.
Is it any good?
The puzzles in APPARATUS go beyond the relatively simple physics concepts of games like Angry Birds and Cover Orange. Instead, each level challenges players to connect planks, wheels, ropes, and even batteries and cables to create real, moving machines that can transport a marble from one part of the screen to another. Players can also create levels in Sandbox mode, and upload their creations to the app's community for other players to play and rate.
Players who do not want to risk being exposed to iffy content should steer clear of the community, which means they will not be able to upload their own levels. Casual players might find Apparatus's gameplay a little too complex, but players who enjoy tinkering with machines will find an enjoyable outlet for their creativity.
Families can talk about...
Teach your kids some basic carpentry, in particular, ways to connect materials.
Encourage your older kids to build a ramp system for a marble, a younger sibling's toy car, or for skating.