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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In the logical puzzle-solving game BUSY WATER, a tricky cat has unplugged Archie the fish's tank. Through over 100 levels, kids put together pipes, experiment with water in its various states, and use wheels, ropes, rotating planks, and gravity to direct Archie through various adventures until he's safely back in his aquarium. Since the tag line is "Think outside the tank," kids are encouraged to come up with original solutions and try new things, so they don't necessarily have to link pipes together to solve the puzzle. Play earns "algae," which kids can use to unlock special outfits for Archie. Though fewer attempts earn more algae, kids have unlimited chances to keep trying each level until they can pass it. The build mode allows kids to design their own levels and share them with friends through a special code.
Is it any good?
There's a lot that encourages kids to discover, experiment, and stretch out their logical problem-solving skills in this set of reasoning puzzles that touch on engineering and other STEM concepts. Archie the fish is a great, kid-friendly protagonist whose adventures are accompanied by sweet graphics and realistic sound effects. In fact, the gasping noises Archie makes when out of water might freak out some kids. Except for the very earliest levels -- which are a little slow to build in complexity -- there are often multiple ways to solve each level, so while kids never "fail" a level, there's also room to improve or try something different. It can be frustrating when kids get stuck, and it would be nice to see some help or hints at some point, even if it's just a clue and not an answer. The build mode is especially interesting because it puts kids in the driver's seat and lets them experience gaming, logic, and reasoning from a completely different perspective and then share their creations with friends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the real-life properties of the materials and tools represented in the game. Discuss and experiment with the states of water, and build water-transfer contraptions.
Help kids organize their problem-solving process by having them talk it though. Why are they arranging items in a certain way? What might be the next step? Why do moves need to happen in a certain order?
Work with your kids to create custom levels together, or make them independently and challenge each other to complete the level.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Science: engineering, gravity, motion, physics
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy, thinking critically
Creativity: making new creations
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Price: $3.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: July 25, 2016
- Category: Education
- Size: 98.60 MB
- Publisher: EDOKI ACADEMY
- Version: 1.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
For kids who love engineering and STEM apps
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.