Astroblast Rocket Rush
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Astroblast Rocket Rush is a free spaceship-flying game for preschoolers. Connected with the Sprout channel's series Astroblast!, this game sends kids on a mission flying spaceships through obstacles while collecting orbs of energy to power up each spaceship. Kids can earn upgrades and new parts for different spaceships (such as magnets that attract more energy). They also can choose the different Astroblast characters as their pilots and see their personal high scores. Intended for preschool-age Sprout viewers, the app includes no in-app purchases and no end goal, and kids don't compete against others or "win" the game.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Engagement, Approach, Support
Speeding through space on the spaceship as you avoid obstacles is tons of fun. Moving among the hangar (where kids upgrade their ships), the character-selection page, and the game would be easier if it were more simply designed for preschool users, perhaps with more audio instructions.
Preschoolers can learn how to navigate a fast-paced app game with just a few swipes and taps as they avoid obstacles. With guidance, kids can also learn and practice some vocabulary.
Some visual and audio prompts help kids learn the game's basics. Tap on ? for further instructions. Adding a parent section with questions and extension ideas could help boost the app's learning potential.
What's it about?
Kids tap "play" on ASTROBLAST ROCKET RUSH and enter the space station, where they're prompted to choose a character for the mission. When the game screen appears, begin to tap or swipe the spaceship up and down to collect the colorful energy orbs. Avoid the obstacles (if you run into an obstacle, a bright light flashes and noises sound, but the ship doesn't crash). Arrive at the checkpoints to tally points and get upgrades. Switch screens to the hangar to add cool stuff to your ship. This flying spaceship game is easy fun for preschoolers.
Is it any good?
Astroblast Rocket Rush's cute characters, customizable spaceships, shiny energy orbs, and funny obstacles make it an all-systems-go choice for preschoolers, especially those who like the related Sprout show, Astroblast!. Little players can earn points without the worry of crashing their ships, a definite plus for kids new to games. At first, the app could be frustrating for some kids on the younger end of this app's age range because it takes a few tries to get the hang of how to move the spaceship, as well as how to move in and out of the game screen and onto the character-choosing and spaceship-decorating screens. There's a bit (but not a lot) of audio help. Once kids understand the basics, gameplay is easy.
The especially great thing about this app for preschoolers is that the game doesn't expect their hand or finger motions to be very precise to grab the energy orbs or fly the spaceship in any direction. For parents who are expecting the game to include lots of traditional educational content, this may disappoint. But for kids looking to zoom around galaxies with familiar characters for fun, this app can be a blast.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about and name the obstacles as they pass -- meteors, rubber duckies, a satellite dish, a fish bowl -- for some silly vocabulary fun.
Is your kid frustrated with navigating this app? Tap the ? tab for more help.
Even though this game isn't about winning and losing, it does provide a score at various intervals. Encourage your preschooler to focus on fun, not the score.