Krystopia: A Puzzle Journey

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
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All-ages puzzle game is clever but tough.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Game uses simple touch controls, and mechanics will be familiar to fans of similar games, but people new to this kind of puzzle game will find it doesn't explain itself well.

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Consumerism

While the beginning of the game is free, it costs $2.99 to enjoy the whole game.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Krystopia: A Puzzle Journey is a puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. It has no objectionable content; players simply solve a series of brain-teasing situational puzzles. But they can be difficult, and the game doesn't explain its mechanics at all. Also, while people can play the beginning of the game for free, it costs $2.99 to play the entire adventure. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

In KRYSTOPIA: A PUZZLE JOURNEY, a space pilot and adventurer named Nova Dune receives a distress signal, so she lands on the planet of Krystopia in the hopes of being a good Samaritan. But when this leads her into a mysterious structure, she has to solve a series of situational puzzles if she wants to find the person in distress ... and escape. Players will have to solve puzzles to uncover what happened to the people who once lived here, and many of the puzzles increase in difficulty as they explore the world.

Is it any good?

While this puzzling adventure puzzle game could do a better job explaining itself to newcomers, fans of similar games will find it clever and engaging. In Krystopia: A Puzzle Journey, you are space ship captain Nova Dune, who lands on the planet of Krystopia to investigate a distress signal coming from the surface. This leads Nova into a mysterious structure, where she has to solve the kind of clever, situational puzzles we've seen in the Tomb Raider games, the game Myst, and even in the Indiana Jones movies. These include following patterns, moving things into the right position, and similarly visual mental exercises.

Now, this does have one fatal flaw for people who've never played a game like this: It doesn't explain its mechanics. That's why newcomers to the genre will probably spend 10 minutes poking at the opening screen before eventually giving up and playing something else. But if you've played this kind of game before, and are thus familiar with the mechanics, you'll find this provides a nice cerebral challenge. While some of the puzzles are tough, especially later on, they're never unfairly so, and always follow a sort of internal logic (even if it's not always obvious). And while the game does have some technical glitches that cause it to react slower than it should, the thoughtful, clever puzzles make Krystopia: A Puzzle Journey an engaging good time for any adventurous space captain.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about spending money. Krystopia: A Puzzle Journey starts out free, but you have to pay if you want to play the whole game. Does this seem fair to you, or a good idea? Did playing the free part give you a sense of whether or not you wanted to buy the whole game?

  • In Krystopia: A Puzzle Journey, Nova explores a mysterious structure on her own. Does this seem safe to you? Do you think she would have been wise to bring along some help? Like a plucky droid?

  • In Krystopia: A Puzzle Journey, Nova goes to the planet to help someone in distress. Do you think this was the right thing to do? Why do you think it's important to help people who need it? What if you were the person in distress?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: August 14, 2020
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Size: 585.30 MB
  • Publisher: Antler Interactive
  • Version: 1.10
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later; Requires Android 8.0 and up
  • Last updated: September 1, 2020

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