Monster High Ghouls and Jewels

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Monster High Ghouls and Jewels App Poster Image
Monstrously addictive match-3 puzzle fun for kids, adults.

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of play

You can get help in the puzzles, so even new puzzle players can catch on easily, and it's very playable even without the need to make in-app purchases.

Violence & scariness

The path is set in a graveyard, with each level opening a coffin, and the characters all are monsters. It's presented matter-of-factly and isn't really spooky or scary.

Sexy stuff

The Monster High girls wear some outfits that probably would not meet the dress code at most human high schools.

Language
Consumerism

The app ties in with the Monster High toy line, and the game includes in-app purchases, but the game is playable without the need to make purchases. The characters do push visits to the "maul," but not all maul purchases cost real money. 

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monster High Ghouls and Jewels is a match-3 puzzler featuring themes and characters from the Monster High line of shows and toys. The Monster High crew is vain and dramatic and a bit dark in an undead kind of way, but there's nothing really scary. Though in-app purchases are available, they aren't pushed obnoxiously, and kids must pass through a few verifications (one asking if kids would like to buy the item, another requiring entering numerals to match written number words, and, finally, if it's enabled, entering the password for the app store) to get to the store. The in-app purchases range from $0.99 all the way to $59.99, so parents may want to read our article "4 Ways to Curb Kids' In-App Purchases" to make sure they're protected.

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What's it about?

Clear instructions introduce each level and model the moves for the new challenges. The objective is to match three of the same item in a row, but each level adds new twists and ways to earn bonuses. If kids don't make a move right off, hints are offered. Kids can earn up to three stars for each level, depending on their scores, and they can use the points they've earned to buy items at the "maul" for their avatars and pets. Kids can chose their avatars from several boy and girl options and can take pictures of them in different outfits.

Is it any good?

MONSTER HIGH GHOULS AND JEWELS is ironically delightful all around. The main part of play, the match-3 puzzles, are additively fun and playable even for kids new to the genre, with clear explanations of each level, hints when needed, and new challenges at each level. The monster theme carries throughout the app, from the coffin-lined paths and spooky objects in the puzzles to the monster-themed wordplay (such as the shopping "maul"). Kids earn coins through gameplay that can be used to buy outfits for the monster or food for the pet, and kids can easily earn enough to buy several selections. Of course, the in-app purchases can give kids a boost if there's a must-have outfit in the "maul" but that could prove to start a great conversation for parents and kids about shopping within one's means.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can review their guidelines for in-app purchases so kids have clear expectations about what they can and can't buy.

  • For kids unfamiliar with the Monster High toy line, parents may want to introduce kids to fantasy characters such as vampires, werewolves, and monsters.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • Pricing structure: Free to Try, Free (In-app purchases of bundles to improve performance and scoring range from $.99 to $59.99.)
  • Release date: July 24, 2014
  • Category: Kids Games
  • Topics: Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
  • Size: 92.20 MB
  • Publisher: Mattel, Inc.
  • Version: 1.252
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android 2.3.3 an up

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love puzzles

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