Blow Up

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Blow Up App Poster Image
Angry Birds-like toppling with more control over strategy.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

The game mechanics are simple drag and drop, but the interface is occasionally finicky. It won't always zoom in/out as expected, and placing the bombs often takes more than one attempt.

Violence

The game involves placing bombs on a building and blowing it up. There is a panda character that appears to be a stuffed animal. If you place a bomb on the panda, it's blown into pieces. You lose points for blowing up the panda.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

There is a link from the main menu to the publisher's other apps on the Android Market.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blow Up is a puzzle game where the goal is to blow up a structure using an allocation of bombs so that the building materials land below a dashed line. The bombs, which come in three varieties, can be set with a time delay to form a chain reaction. As the game progresses, the structures become better engineered and have obstacles on either side. There is a strange, gangly panda on each level and bonus points are awarded for knocking down a building in such a way that the panda hits a target. Points are lost for blowing up the panda who, rather like a rag doll, explodes into pieces. 

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What's it about?

The short tutorial at the beginning of the first challenge states the simple objective: blow up the building and try to make the pieces land below a dotted line. Kids drag and drop dynamite, set millisecond time delays, and hit the red button. If the dangly panda falls on the star in the process, kids get a bonus. Wood blows up easily but steel girders don't. Players earn stars for different levels of success and kids can choose from easy, medium, or hard.

Is it any good?

BLOW UP is strategic, challenging, and engaging. While it lacks some of the silly humor of Angry Birds, it makes up for it with more control over the strategy. You aren't guessing at trajectories here. Even if you guess where to place the bombs and fail, you are returned to the structure with the bombs in the same location. This allows you to move them around, test theories, and experiment. Precise bomb placement occasionally takes more than one try as they don't always snap into place as you would like, but even younger kids will be able to drag a bomb and place it on the building. Blow Up has 90 levels and three difficulty settings.

App details

For kids who love physics-based games

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