Crayon Physics Deluxe

App review by
Jonathan H. Liu, Common Sense Media
Crayon Physics Deluxe App Poster Image
Wonderful physics puzzles, poor level selection interface.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

You draw objects, hinges, and ropes with your finger, and double-tap on an object to erase it. The controls are simple, but on a small screen it's easy to erase the wrong object and difficult to draw very small objects. The level selection offers no indication of which levels have been completed and no preview of the levels.

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There is a link on the menu page that says "To Web," which takes you to the developer's website.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Crayon Physics Deluxe is a hand-drawn physics puzzle game based on the award-winning indie PC game of the same name. The puzzles go from easy to extremely difficult, and later puzzles will not be appropriate for young children. There is no objectionable content, though. The controls can be a little tricky to use, especially on an iPhone or iPod touch -- the iPad's larger screen is easier to work with. Level selection is difficult since there is no preview for what you are selecting. The game is good at letting players learn by experimenting as they use their mind and creativity to construct objects that can help them within the environment of each puzzle.

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Is it any good?

CRAYON PHYSICS DELUXE is an outstanding physics-puzzler. Unlike many similar games that provide you with a limited set of tools, this game lets you draw any object you choose, including hinges and ropes, to help you get the ball through the environment to the exit star. However, this incredible freedom comes at a price: very difficult puzzles, like how to get the ball from a tiny floating platform to the star that is far away and much higher up. The game offers no hints, so it is up to the player to come up with clever solutions. The graphics are made to look like crayon on newsprint, and have a child-like feel to them, which belies the difficulty level.

On a small screen it can be easy to erase the wrong object, but the controls mostly work as designed. The level selection screen is poor, with just a row of numbers, no preview of the level selected, and no indication of whether you've completed the level already. With a better interface, and perhaps a lower price, this would be five star app.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release date: December 15, 2010
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Publisher: Hudson
  • Version: 1.2.0
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.

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