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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What Parents Need to Know
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What’s It About?
FROTZ is a platform that allows users to browse and download interactive fiction (IF) games and stories. Frotz comes with a couple dozen games included, including the MIT version of Zork, one of the classic text-based games -- and one of the tamer ones. Most of these games are text-only adventures where users enter simple commands to navigate an imaginary world and solve puzzles. Frotz also links to the Interactive Fiction Database (IFDB), where there are thousands of games, most of which can be downloaded into the app or played in the included browser. Frotz itself is a simple platform that displays the games and allows you to interact with them via the keyboard. The IFDB, for which Frotz is just a portal, is a user community with little moderation. You can download games without logging in to the community, but those who want to leave feedback will need to create an account.
Is It Any Good?
Former '80s kids might remember text adventures such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Zork. So this app can be a fun way to share them with kids, but some of the games are very mature. Frotz is a simple tool, but it does exactly what it needs to do with no frills or distractions. There's a wealth of free content at your fingertips via the IFDB, and while much of it is low quality, there are gems to be found. And it's a great way to introduce kids to some graphics-free games. Frotz isn't an app to let your kid explore alone, but it can be a good access point to games you already know and love or games you've previewed.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about interactive fiction like the games in Frotz. What is it? What is fun about a game with no or limited graphics?
Talk about safety online. What are your rules about joining online communities? What are you allowed to share online?
Discuss mature content and what your rules are. Are there certain categories -- like violence or drug use -- that carry more weight than others?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: October 3, 2017
- Category: Puzzle Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Publisher: Craig Smith
- Version: 1.8.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
- Last updated: March 11, 2019
Our Editors Recommend
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Terrifically imaginative game uses text, not graphics.
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For kids who love puzzle and adventure games
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