BallFallDown Deluxe

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
BallFallDown Deluxe App Poster Image
Incredible construction toy for open-ended play.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about momentum, velocity, trajectory, and more by constructing and playing with their creations on BallFallDown Deluxe. Kids also can learn experientially about design and engineering. BallFallDown Deluxe is an innovative digital translation of the marble-run concept that can help kids learn to experiment with construction and motion.

Ease of Play

There are no rules; you just build things and watch them work. The building controls are explained quickly and simply, and they work pretty well.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that BallFallDown Deluxe is a virtual construction toy. It's not really a game, as there are no rules and no objectives. However, there's a lot about physics that kids can learn from the open-ended play with this varied and entertaining app.

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What's it about?

Pull down the tab at the top of BALLFALLDOWN DELUXE's screen to view the pieces options. Choose a piece, and place it where you want it. For some pieces, use two fingers to rotate or stretch. Once you place a number of pieces, choose a ball or balls, press the Play icon, and then tilt the screen to move the balls around. Reorganize obstacles as you play. Simply press the reset button to clear the play area completely. Save as many play areas as desired.

Is it any good?

Although older kids can use BallFallDown Deluxe to create complex Rube Goldberg machines, and younger kids are more likely to simply giggle as they see how many balls they can keep bouncing on the screen at once, children of any age can without doubt have fun with this app. You can choose and set all sorts of pieces -- ramps, tubes, gears, flippers, teleporters -- and then set loose all types of balls upon your creation. Also, all the balls -- bowling balls, golf balls, Ping-Pong balls, marbles, and a slew of other types -- all behave differently, as they would in real life. It's great for experimenting or just having fun by creating a chaotic mess of motion. Either way, BallFallDown Deluxe is a super app.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Ask kids why they chose to use the pieces they did and discuss how different pieces cause the marbles to move in different ways.

  • Create a marble run with your kids at home, using recycled items.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Science: engineering, measurement, momentum, motion, physics
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, defining problems, hypothesis-testing, prediction
    Creativity: making new creations
    Self-Direction: self-assessment
  • Price: $0.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: March 24, 2011
  • Category: Entertainment
  • Size: 20.50 MB
  • Publisher: FlatPack Interactive
  • Version: 1.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later

For kids who love physics- and science-based apps

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