Astroblast Rocket Rush

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Astroblast Rocket Rush App Poster Image
Preschool-friendly, fast-moving fun for fans of Sprout show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to navigate a fast-paced game by playing Astroblast Rocket Rush, yet only if it's at the right speed for preschoolers. As kids watch their energy meters go up when they collect energy orbs and then reduce as they use the energy to propel the spaceship, they get a tiny glimpse into the basics of energy input and output. With some help, kids can increase their vocabularies by naming the different obstacles (some space-related, some everyday objects). As kids view their high scores, they can name the number and watch it increase. With parent prompting, preschoolers may be able to identify how much the new high score has increased from the last high score. Astroblast Rocket Rush is fast-paced fun with a stardusting of learning.

Ease of Play

Although there's no beginning tutorial, this app is quite easy to play. Once kids tap on something, the app prompts them on what to do next or what the options are. Tap ? for some instructions. Swiping and tapping to navigate the ship is very easy and not about precision. Kids can either swipe or tap to move the rocket ship up or down and collect energy orbs. It may be confusing at first for younger kids to move back and forth between the screens where they choose characters and rocket ships and return to the gameplay screen. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

This free app has no in-app purchases. Its characters are connected to the Sprout channel show Astroblast!; the Sprout logo appears each time the game is opened.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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. 

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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.

Talk to your kids 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.

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