This app doesn't offer a mind-blowing take on crossword puzzles -- players essentially just fill in smaller, digital versions of them, but it can be fun to play. The clues in Crossword Pie range from partial quotes that are missing a word, such as "What ___ you, masters you," to hints like "Red white, rose, sparking, fortified," for wine. (The bubbly pastel candy design may make the app look like it was created for younger users -- not all topics are entirely kid-oriented, though.)
Younger kids may come across some terms they aren't familiar with -- so some puzzles may take a bit longer than the three minutes the app's description suggests. At least initially, they have some options if they get stuck. The app provides a few free extras that will reveal a letter or an entire word. You can also buy additional ones using coins you earn. But it isn't hard to run out of free items and coins fairly quickly. Players will then have to try to figure the unknown word out by filling in the other words around it -- a classic crossword move -- or may need to resort to Googling the answer separately, coming back to the app, and entering it. If they quit out of the level, to advance to the next one and continue playing, they'll need to come back and try to beat the level again -- and will just end up on the same partially completed puzzle. Some puzzles seem to contain one answer that's much more difficult than the rest. Having to open another app on your phone to find out what the national animal of Somalia is can slow down the gameplay -- which may be a dealbreaker for some players. If they're OK with doing a little extra research, though, the puzzles can supply a slightly more cerebral experience than some apps. In addition to whatever in-app currency they earn to spend on clues, players may also amass some new -- and occasionally interesting -- geographical, literary, and other facts as they play Crossword Pie.