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Dumb Ways to Draw

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Dumb Ways to Draw App Poster Image
Clever, physics-based puzzle game for all ages.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Game uses simple touch controls but gets tricky very fast.

Violence & Scariness

If you fail, your little bean person explodes and goes splat, though in a rather cartoony way.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Players earn in-game currency by playing, watching video ads, or by buying them. This currency is then used to buy hints or new colored pencils. There are also ads that run randomly between rounds, though an ad-free version is also available for sale.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dumb Ways to Draw is a puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. By drawing lines on the screen, you not only create bridges but also barriers that prevent hazards from harming your little bean person, who's just trying to get somewhere. As far as objectional content is concerned, failure to get your bean person where they need to be results in them exploding all over the place, though it's all very cartoony. The game also has players earning coins for completing levels, or for watching video ads, and these coins are then used to purchase hints and different color pencils. Players can also buy the coins outright. There are also video ads that run randomly between levels, though (not surprisingly) an ad-free version that prevents this from happening. 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.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

In DUMB WAYS TO DRAW, you have to help some little bean-looking people get from point A to point B without getting killed. While you're never told why you're helping them, or even if you should,  it still gives you good motivation to draw lines on the screen that help them get around and prevent anything from falling on their soft heads. As you go forward through levels, the challenges get tougher, forcing you to figure out the best way to move them through levels in a safe and quick manner, just in case a mysterious object falls from the sky at the last minute and snatches victory from this bean person.

Is it any good?

Though it has a simple premise, this physics-based puzzle game gets increasingly challenging -- and thus more fun -- as it progresses. In Dumb Ways to Die, you have to draw lines on the screen that fall in accordance with the rules of gravity. But your goal isn't to be neat or draw well; it's to help a little bean person get from point A to point B safely. Along with drawing lines to create bridges and walkways, you also have to form barriers that will prevent things from falling down on your bean person's head. Do it well, and you'll be rewarded with coins and the chance to do it all over again in an even more complicated space. Fail, and your bean person will be splattered like they've been refried and served with two tacos on a Tuesday.

Suffice it to say, this physics-based puzzle game gets increasingly more complicated and dangerous, requiring you to retry levels repeatedly until you get it right. Which isn't a bother since the game is so clever that you'll appreciate the challenge. Assuming, of course, you have a basic knowledge of how gravity influences the movement of objects in a world, and you're willing to do some levels multiple times. Which is why really little kids will find the later levels frustrating. But for older gamers who have a very basic knowledge of physics, and the desire to help cute characters from going splat, Dumb Ways to Draw is anything but dumb.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can also talk about advertising. Do the ads between rounds of Dumb Ways to Draw bother you? Do you think that's why they have an ad-free version?

  • Does it make sense to spend money on Dumb Ways to Draw if you can earn these coins by playing or watching ads? On the flipside, is it bad to spend a little money on a game you like to support the people who made it, so they'll make more games like it?

  • What have you learned from playing this game? Has it taught you anything about how gravity influences the way objects move in a world?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with microtransactions and ads
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: May 9, 2019
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Size: 260.70 MB
  • Publisher: Metro Trains Melbourne Pty Ltd
  • Version: 2.2
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 10.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up

For kids who love puzzles

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