Fetch - A Boy and His Dog

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Fetch - A Boy and His Dog App Poster Image
Utterly charming adventure story with a dark premise.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Fetch - A Boy and HIs Dog wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of Play

The app appears to be geared toward children and is not overly challenging, though it's not simple enough to bore older kids. When games prove too difficult, players can skip them without penalty. 

Violence

Several of the arcade games within the app task the player to shoot aliens, robots, or other objects. The violence is minimal, however. The theme of a boy's dog being kidnapped could be too intense for young kids. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism

A free downloadable version of the app allows players to complete a portion of the game, but it won't go further until they pay to unlock the complete title. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fetch - A Boy and His Dog is an action/adventure game that lets players explore an interactive world on a quest to retrieve their kidnapped dog. Along the way, they'll play a series of arcade-like games that help them progress in the world. There is violence in these games, where players shoot robots and monsters, but it's minimal. Because the game deals with the loss of a beloved pet, though, it might be inappropriate for younger players. A free version of the app lets players play a short portion of the game before stopping and asking them to pay for the full app. Under the developer's privacy policy, kids under 13 need a parent's involvement to use the app. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

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What's it about?

Players attempt to rescue their kidnapped dog through a series of puzzles and arcade games. The method of achieving both varies depending on the puzzle or game (some arcade games are Space Invaders-like shooters, whereas others have you in a spaceship dodging obstacles). Puzzles can largely be solved by exploring the environment, which is done through touching anything of interest on-screen. Once puzzles and games are solved, animated cut scenes move the plot along.

Is it any good?

Although the subject matter of FETCH - BOY AND HIS DOG might seem a bit dark (a boy whose dog is kidnapped by a seemingly evil CEO), the game itself is one of the more charming titles to come out in recent memory. Players are in the role of rescuer and get the chance to explore a wildly interactive world, where virtually everything they encounter can be manipulated.

The story itself is full of hope and joy, even as the hero jumps across a bridge of skulls and battles evil robots. The arcade games aren't especially challenging, but they're still fun and offer a degree of replayability. They also elevate the game from being a simple "touch all over the screen until you move on to the next" app. What's especially surprising is the emotional reactions the app generates for older players. It's a winner on all counts. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pets and their roles in families.

  • Families also can talk about storytelling and the emotions it can invoke. Does this story have an emotional impact on players?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free-$.99
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid, Free (In the free-to-try version of the app, you'll need to pay $.99 via in-app purchase to unlock the full game.)
  • Release date: August 8, 2013
  • Category: Adventure Games
  • Size: 808.00 MB
  • Publisher: Big Fish Games, Inc.
  • Version: 1.3.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later

For kids who love arcade and adventure games

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