A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hovercraft - Build Fly Retry is a free download supported by advertising and in-app purchases. It's totally playable without in-app purchases, but kids will sit through frequent ads for other apps, some of which are rated for teens and older. As the name suggests, kids build a hovercraft, fly it, and then retry their race or rebuild their craft after it crashes. The crashes cause the craft to totally fall apart into tiny pieces and sometimes knock over other vehicles in the process, though it's all pixelated, cartoon-style destruction. Kids can optionally connect with Game Center.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In HOVERCRAFT - BUILD FLY RETRY kids can fly an existing hovercraft, create their own, or purchase a specialty craft in-app. Then they fly through traffic, weaving through obstacles by tapping left and right or collecting coins until they crash, sometimes causing massive chain reactions. Races are recorded so kids can replay their last race. To customize a craft, kids piece it together, block by block, and must include a power source and thrusters. Kids can create and save multiple crafts. As they play, kids earn coins to use for getting more hovercrafts and can share their point achievements via email or social media.
Is it any good?
Putting aside the barrage of ads, Hovercraft - Build Fly Retry is a fun and educational experience for kids. The races -- including the crashes -- are fun, and kids can review the video of a race and try again to improve their distance. The track doesn't change, though, which may get boring, but kids can keep it fresh by trying it out with other hovercraft. Also, the controls and speed are challenging enough that they either will keep kids enthralled or frustrate them. Unfortunately, the ads and "free gifts," which are earned for playing for certain lengths of time (kids see a countdown showing how much longer they need to play to earn another gift) or watching ads, make it feel really gimmicky and distract from what could be a real gem.
Talk to your kids about ...
Talk to kids about your guidelines for in-app purchases and explain to them how advertising in apps is used to make money. Check out What's the best way to talk to my kid about advertising? for ideas.
Take the hovercraft building process offscreen and create with Legos. Kids then can recreate their ideas in-app and test them out on the virtual road.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Science: engineering, gravity, motion, physics
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, logic, problem solving, thinking critically
Creativity: imagination, innovation
Emotional Development: developing resilience, moving beyond obstacles
- Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Free (Additional vehicles available for purchase in-app)
- Release date: May 27, 2015
- Category: Racing Games
- Topics: Cars and Trucks
- Size: 89.70 MB
- Publisher: High Score Hero LLC
- Version: 1.4.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.