A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
A number of the police officers in the game are women.
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Ease of Play
The game tutorial is detailed and hands-on.
Violence & Scariness
While nothing explicit is shown, blood, death, and weapons are mentioned.
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Products & Purchases
Players will see ads, and in-app currency packages are sold.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Crimo is a mystery game for iOS devices. The gameplay involves murder -- although players won't see gory images or get much specific detail about crimes. The somewhat lengthy tutorial does a good job of explaining how to play and lets gamers try it out. But once they advance to the actual game, they'll start seeing ads fairly frequently, and incorrect answers have a greater penalty that quickly eats up your available lives. If players randomly click on an item on the game board that happens to have food underneath it, they can consume it to replenish their energy. Otherwise, they'll have to keep spending coins and can burn through what they have pretty fast. Players may then feel like they need to buy a currency package -- some of which contain coins, safety cones, and unlimited energy and range from $1.99 to $48.99. They can also pay $2.99 to remove ads from the experience, and a $2.99 weekly subscription package is sold that will speed up the evidence analysis process.
Is It Any Good?
The app's gameplay has promise, but really focuses on paying for progress, which won't appeal to everyone. While Crimo doesn't provide a lot of detail about the crimes players try to solve, its logic puzzles -- which combine elements of a crossword puzzle and sudoku -- are fun to play. They're also primarily the only interactive exercise. There aren't any other types of puzzles -- but because they get increasingly more challenging, the number puzzles don't really feel routine.
But there isn't a ton of actual detective work -- or engaging elements -- involved in solving cases. Clues pop up periodically when you correctly guess a row's content, but players then just click on the clue to submit it for analysis and wait for the results to come back, which will indicate if the suspect, weapon, or motive is a false or valid lead. You don't even really get to make a guess as to who the killer is -- the game does it for you by process of evidence elimination. While the introductory tutorial is paced well, the gameplay's different. Players are gently chastised if they click on an incorrect square in puzzles in the tutorial, but in games, that rapidly depletes their energy -- and coin reserves, if they need to tap into them to replenish it. They can also snack on something for an energy boost, but finding something to eat depends on chance -- a food item might be hidden in the board, but there typically aren't any clues to help you find it. That could drive gamers to get locked out of play and feel like they have to buy in-app currency to keep playing, unless they're willing to wait for their lives to replenish. But even the gameplay is broken up by lengthy ads that appear shortly after you finish the tutorial, and you have to wait for each one to end before you can proceed. Because the analysis process can take some time -- a half-hour for some items -- you also may end up moving on to the next case while you're still waiting for another one to be solved. That can be sped up, of course, by spending more real-world money on currency packages. Crimo starts to feel like a cash grab fairly fast -- which is disappointing, because even with the somewhat passive crime-solving system, mystery fans might otherwise get a kick out of trying to beat the puzzles and watching the cases' conclusions unfold.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.