Isoland

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Isoland App Poster Image
Artistic, atmospheric, tough puzzle adventure.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Not intended for learning, but puzzle solving requires problem-solving skills and perseverance. Most puzzles engage logic and deduction.

Ease of Play

While this has simple point-and-click controls, the puzzles can be really tricky.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Option to watch ads in return for partial hints, and user can buy full hints for $0.99 without parent permission.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Isoland is a beautiful but mentally taxing point-and-click puzzle game. There's no sex, violence, or gore, and the only naughty words are the ones you'll yell when you can't figure out one of the game's tough puzzles. While it's generally appropriate for all who are up for the challenge, the hint section does contain ads to watch in return for partial clues and offers in-app purchases for full hints without a parent gate. Note: There's no privacy policy available in the game or on the developer's website at the time of review to indicate how information about players may be collected and shared.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

ISOLAND begins as you arrive on a mysterious island; you have to not only figure out what's going on but also how to get around. That's because instead of doorknobs and keys, every door seems to be locked by an intricate puzzle, the clues for which are scattered nearby, often in plain sight. This also plays with the way you interact with your tablet, as nearly everything -- not just the obvious things -- may be interactive and thus a clue to help you move on to another part of the island ... and the mystery within. There are hints available, but only through ad watching or in-app purchases, though players can go online to find a walk-through easily enough.

Is it any good?

Thanks to an endless parade of difficult picture puzzles, this challenging adventure game is -- depending on your disposition -- a marvelous intellectual challenge or an exercise in frustration. Driven by beautiful images that recall the dark art of the original Addams Family cartoons and Tim Burton's movies, Isoland is a puzzling adventure game in the vein of Myst. What makes this especially clever (or frustrating, as the case may be) is how it sometimes messes with convention by, say, not giving you the knob to a drawer until you (spoiler alert) poke a plant three times. Then again, with the game using classic point-and-click controls, you'll probably end up (spoiler alert) poking that plant three times anyway. It also throws you for a loop by sometimes giving you the answer ... provided that you go back a couple steps and ask the right person. Which is why, in a perseverant puzzler's hands, Isoland will give players a really good run for their money.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about ads and in-app purchases. Since the puzzles in Isoland are tough, kids are bound to want a hint from time to time, so parents will want to set some limits around watching ads and buying clues. Parents can also help kids find a free walk-through online when they get really stuck.

  • Talk about problem-solving. What does this game show us about problem-solving and thinking things through? How does being observant help solve the puzzles?

  • Discuss strategy. Did you notice how much easier this game got, relatively speaking, after you started taking notes?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love puzzles and problem-solving

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