Burn the Rope

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Burn the Rope App Poster Image
Fun, original puzzler challenges you to play with fire.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to make decisions about where to begin burning the rope, strategize about where to send the flame, and investigate with as many tries as they wish. They learn that fire generally burns up and develop manual dexterity rotating the device to keep the flame going. The various designs are entertaining -- pineapples, snails, leaves –- but the developers could have chosen something besides cute and colorful insects to burn. Designs are endlessly challenging and no burn happens the same way twice. Burn the Rope is an engaging way for kids to practice using a bit of strategy as well as dexterity to solve puzzles.

Ease of Play

The difficulty of the puzzles increases rather quickly (Puzzle #2 is actually a bit of a challenge), but while it's tough to get a gold medal, it's usually not too hard to score bronze and, thus, move on in the game. Since you control the game by turning your device, it's easier to play on a small phone than a bulkier tablet.

Violence

The burning of the ropes isn't necessarily violent, but your flame will also burn up little colorful bugs that are climbing on the rope (for which you get bonus points).

Sex
Language
Consumerism

The game has both ads and in-app purchase options for things such as removing ads, flames, and level packs, depending on the version of the app and which device you own.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Burn the Rope is a challenging but fun and unique puzzle game in which you are presented with an intricate rope design and asked to burn up as much of that rope as possible. You need to choose where to start the flame, and -- since the flame will only burn upwards -- twist and turn your device to keep the fire moving. Kids are figuratively "playing with fire" here, so make sure younger children understand the dangers of a real flame. Also, be aware that points are awarded for burning up cartoony insects that crawl along the ropes.

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What's it about?

Tap any place on a design to start the flame burning, rotate your device to keep the rope vertical for fast burning, rotate again to slow down or turn a corner. Kids have to decide when to burn up ants to best burn matching color rope, beetles to best burn in a radius, and lightning bugs to ignite a nearby buddy. Kids can retry as many times as they wish, trying different approaches and paths. There are ample levels, and it can take endless tries to get every last bit of rope on some of the harder designs.

Is it any good?

BURN THE ROPE is both a brainy logic puzzle and a challenging test of manual dexterity. The premise is that you are provided a rope design and you need to work out the best place to start your flame -- and the best path you should make it take in order to cover the entire length of the intricately twisted rope. Plus, at the same time, you need to have quick and steady hands to turn and twist your device and keep the flame on your chosen path. There are all sorts of new strategies to try out when you realize that intersections will split the flame and send it off in multiple directions at once. It's very entertaining and thoroughly original.

Scoring 100 percent becomes a major challenge right from the get go -- we would have liked a few more "beginner" puzzles. Also, the frying of insects feels gratuitous. They add more challenge when you need to use them to change the color of the flame and burn colored ropes that correspond with them, but it still feels a bit sadistic.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Talk with kids about ways fire can be used safely -- cooking, candles, fireplaces, campfires, etc. -- emphasizing that it's important for them to follow your family's safety rules for matches.

  • Visit entomology museums, collections, or websites to gain a true appreciation of these incredible and resilient creatures.

App details

For kids who love puzzles and action

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