Drift Away

App review by
Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Media
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Guide bubble through nature obstacles in soothing app.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Gameplay is intuitive, but controlling the bubble can be a challenge in tight spaces and with quick direction changes. The pause feature works well, even with multitasking apps.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

On the options screen, kids can tap on links that open the publisher's website in a browser window.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Drift Away is a family game in which players guide a bubble through an obstacle course of nature, gaining extra points, merging with other bubbles, and avoiding dangers like tree branches, rocks, bugs, and waterfalls. Drift into special bubbles to earn extra points, to freeze time, or to obtain collectibles. Kids can also split their bubble into two halves to get through tighter spaces or to confuse the bugs that try to thwart their advance. Each level has several waypoints, so that if the bubble is burst later in the level, players don't have to start from the beginning each time. If the three allotted bubbles are all popped, players can choose to continue their game, but lose their accumulated points.

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Is it any good?

DRIFT AWAY is a soothing and relaxing game in which players continually swipe their finger on the screen, pushing the bubble where they want it to go. The bubble doesn't change speed or direction quickly, so it's sometimes a challenge to avoid obstacles. The app is meant to help you relax, including soothing background music. There's also an option to play your own iTunes music while you play. But for an app meant to relax, the fear of popping the bubble slightly detracts from the experience. If the game had a "no pop" mode where players could just explore nature with their bubble, it would be a more meditative experience. Being able to continue the game after losing, even by sacrificing accumulated points, however, helps players keep a forward progression in the game. The game's pause feature is valuable because the app also works well with the multitasking built in to some iOS versions.

App details

For kids who love games for kids and families

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