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Drag n Merge

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Drag n Merge App Poster Image
Math puzzle game subtracts fun because of heavy ad promos.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about strategy and logic when playing this fairly simple matching game. To clear the maximum number of blocks, they'll need to think ahead and analyze what moves would be best. The timed element may also help strengthen their time management skills, and the numbers listed on each block, along with the points they gain, offer counting practice. More guidance while playing, including ongoing directions and potentially hints, might make the app more of a learning experience, and providing kids with a big-picture view of how many levels there are or what challenges will come next would also provide more value.

Ease of Play

Players get a brief rundown on how to play, but more detail would help them understand the ins and outs of gameplay when things get more challenging.

 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Players will see frequent ads, which slows down the playing experience considerably, unless they pay $3.99 to remove them.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Drag n Merge is a puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. The game is kid friendly and doesn't highlight any offensive content -- except for the fact that players will be berated with ads in between rounds. It's not uncommon to see two in a row after playing, or when trying to return to the home screen. In addition, while there's some initial instruction, it could be more detailed, and players don't get much guidance later on when new elements are added. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Players pair blocks that are the same color in DRAG N MERGE. There are few restrictions on how blocks can be moved; gamers can pull them next to a matching one that's across the board. There's a set time amount to make matches before the clock rests and there's a new row of blocks to work with on the screen. The goal is to earn enough points to get 20 diamonds; although it's unclear if that’s the goal for each round, or something else. The game gets more challenging over time, with twists like being asked to match two-block sets, instead of single blocks.

Is it any good?

While this block matching game can be entertaining, the heavy reliance on ad promos really subtracts from the game's fun. Drag n Merge lets players swoop blocks left, right, up, and down across the entire screen, and they don't have to be stacked or otherwise arranged in a certain way to clear them from the board and get points. In fact, players just need to tap two exposed sides of the blocks together.

While that makes Drag n Merge fairly easy to play, rounds get more challenging as players progress, which helps keep things from getting boring. They might find alike blocks are farther apart, requiring them to move more things around to pair them, for example. They may also have a chance to earn more points by matching a set of two blocks that are attached with another two-block set. Incorporating more comprehensive instructions to explain features of gameplay -- such as how the timing system works, or why you need the diamonds you're trying to earn -- would be helpful. What's more, the overwhelming amount of ads is a major drawback. Players are almost constantly interrupted when they're playing or moving between rounds. The developers need to significantly reduce the amount of ads players see because right now, there are just way too many for Drag n Merge to be an enjoyable experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about guessing before you make a move and using logic to create a strategic plan. What’s the difference between guessing and logically planning your moves? Which feels best for you?

  • If you don't get clear instructions in a game, how can you determine what to do? Can you take these lessons and use them in real life?

App details

For kids who love puzzles

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