What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while it lacks any denotation like "Lite" or "Free" in its title, Isaac Newton's Gravity HD is essentially just a trial version for iOS that has an in-app upgrade for $1.99. On Android, the game is offered as "Lite" for the free version or a full version for $.99. With the free iOS version, you can use the Level Editor to create your own puzzles, which is arguably the game's best aspect. This feature is only available in the paid Android version. The included puzzles are very challenging, and may frustrate younger children.
What kids can learn
- historical figures
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- solving puzzles
- analyzing evidence
- combining knowledge
- achieving goals
Engagement, Approach, Support
Graphics are a bit dark, clunky, and overly busy. While some kids will have fun creating their own mazes with the Level Editor, others will get frustrated trying to solve these difficult puzzles.
As with similar physics apps, kids manipulate objects trying out various configurations and making deductions about behavior. No terminology or information is given about simple machines.
Players can use the points they earn through successful gameplay to purchase a limited number of hints for each puzzle. Isaac Newton tour guide/tutorial is interesting but actually a lost learning opportunity.
What's it about?
The goal of each puzzle is for a chain of events to end with the pressing of a red button. Kids have a bank of objects such as marbles and blocks that they rotate and drag into place. Kids tap to release a ball, which rolls down a ramp and sets the objects in motion. They can place objects with somewhat reasonable accuracy. Players earn points through successful gameplay and can use those points to purchase a limited number of hints for each puzzle. The Level Editor feature lets kids create their own puzzles.
Is it any good?
ISAAC NEWTON'S GRAVITY HD is an absolutely beautiful physics puzzle game with some very challenging braintwisters. As a trial version, this seven-level package offers a great representation of what you get for the full price. It's a bit disappointing that Namco didn't label the iOS app as a "Lite" version, but at least you can still get free access to the Level Editor, which is the app's highlight. You can build some pretty amazing Rube Goldberg-type mazes complete with buttons and gears, which can be loads of fun even if the pre-existing puzzles are too tough.
Families can talk about...
Encourage your kids to experiment with momentum and gravity by setting up a chain of events using everyday objects. A classic example is to set up a chain of dominoes.
Research Isaac Newton or Rube Goldberg with your kids.