Flux Family Secrets: The Ripple Effect HD

App review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Flux Family Secrets: The Ripple Effect HD App Poster Image
Entertaining adventure/puzzle hybrid for iPad gamers.

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

Ease of Play

This hidden-object game is easy to pick up thanks to a mandatory tutorial, plus there are hints you can activate if stuck. Harder mini-game puzzles can be bypassed altogether, if desired, though you'll need to wait a minute or two.


There's no violence in the game but there are pictures of a sword, dagger, and cannon (and you must add gunpowder to it).


One hand-drawn image, a woman shows a lot of cleavage in her white dress (see screenshot).


While the first three locations in the game are free to play, you'll be prompted to pay $6.99 to continue playing the story. As with many other Big Fish Games (BFG) apps, there are plenty of intrusive ads, links, and promotions to other BFG titles. At the top of the main "splash" screen (when you first boot it up) you'll see six icons you can click on that lead you to six other games in the iTunes App Store. At the bottom of this page is a large banner that advertises another game and a countdown timer to get it for half-price. On the main game menu page there is an ad at the bottom for another BFG game ("Felix Recommends"...based on the BFG fish mascot), a tappable icon on the top to sign up for the iSplash newsletter, and an email link to send a recommendation to a friend. Whew!

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There is an image of a bottle of wine, which you must place on the table with a chalice.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Flux Family Secrets - The Ripple Effect HD is a hidden-object game with a heavy consumerism presence, a minor reference to alcohol, and a character displaying cleavage, but otherwise no inappropriate content. Tweens, teens, and adults will get more out of all the historical references and challenging mini-games than younger kids would. A non-HD iPhone and iPod touch version is also available.

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Is it any good?

Jesse doesn't know much about her past, so when she receives a cryptic letter that promises some answers, she eagerly accepts the invitation to the Flux family mansion. Except she never expected she'd be asked to travel through time to fix a few mistakes that could alter the course of history. Such is the premise behind FLUX FAMILY SECRETS: THE RIPPLE EFFECT HD. Flux Family Secrets is a cross between a hidden-object game (that challenges you to find well-hidden objects in a busy scene) and a traditional adventure game (where you'll collect items in your inventory and use them on the environment to solve a puzzle, such placing a key in a lock).

From Confucius, the Wright Brothers, and Albert Einstein, this game has you bouncing around time to solve all the puzzles -– with great graphics and relaxing music. In some cases, the objects didn't look like the way they were described (a "green blanket" looked like a black rock), which might be frustrating. There are also more than 20 mini-games to play –- but if you get stuck on a head-scratching puzzle you can skip over it. Flux Family Secrets: The Ripple Effect HD should provide many hours of time-travel fun for those on the go this summer.

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