App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Circlify App Poster Image
Without intense precision, casual game will frustrate-ify.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Can be very difficult to play and nearly impossible for the developer's suggested age (5 and under); requires anticipating before tapping.


Banner ads at the bottom of the game screen. Pop-up ads appear between games. Tap on the “+” icon on the main screen, and a “More Games” screen appears. There’s an in-app purchase option to eliminate ads, but price isn't listed in the store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Circlify is a moving maze game that requires kids to have a remarkable amount of timing and precision; otherwise, playing likely won't be an enjoyable experience. Players have to tap a searchlight at exactly the right time to shine it on a small exit spot in a circular maze as it's moving. Given the high level of challenge (and potential frustration) of this deceptively simple-looking game, the developer's recommended age of 5 and under isn't realistic. Also, the extensive banner and pop-up ads make this inappropriate for younger players. Read the privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Watch the brief tutorial that appears when you open CIRCLIFY, and then tap "Got It" to signal you're ready for gameplay to begin. Track the spiraling circles and look for an open space to shine the searchlight through that space at just the right moment by tapping it. Then, the next layer of circle will create another open spot as it's rotating, and you shine the searchlight there, and so on. Miss, and the game kicks you back to the start. A stats page keeps track of best score, number of games played, total score, average score, and time spent on the app. Pop-up ads interrupt play unless they're disabled through an in-app purchase, but no dollar amount is specified.

Is it any good?

While this puzzle game may be fun for older, adept players who can master the timing, most kids will find it frustratingly difficult. It's not at all easy to tap the searchlight at just the right time: The app's description of the game says it's made to "throw you off and even confuse you," and that seems to be true, since it's almost impossible to gauge the right time to tap. For some, this will be an addicting time-waster while others will try once and promptly delete. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why some games are not really appropriate for the suggested age, even if the developer says they are. What makes a game best for certain ages?

  • Talk about the ads' purpose and content; why are they in the app, and why have the option to get rid of them?

  • Since there's no clear stopping point, talk to your kid about using this game in balance with other activities.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: January 16, 2016
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Size: 48.10 MB
  • Publisher: WebAlive
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android 3.0 and up
  • Last updated: July 26, 2016

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