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Parents' Guide to

Mystery Coast: Treasure Hunt

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Repetition, delays may make kids want to stay on dry land.

Mystery Coast: Treasure Hunt Poster Image

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This app's premise, which involves kids going on an archeological sea journey, is promising, but its repetition and slow progression hinders its enjoyability. The visual quality of Mystery Coast: Treasure Hunt is impressive. Kids will see periodic live action scenes featuring characters who provide instructions and an ongoing narrative. There's also some interactivity when mud dramatically splashes off a helmet, bird figurine, or other items to reveal their original grandeur as you clean them by swiping your finger on the screen. Players can swivel the items to scrub all sides, and a meter shows how clean an object is, marking kids' progress and encouraging them to be thorough.

Unfortunately, the interactive elements are fairly repetitive. Aside from watching occasional videos, kids basically just clean a succession of objects, using the same motions, which are boring. The items also aren't always unique. Kids may clean the same item repeatedly, making the work time consuming, unless kids earn enough gems to purchase a wider brush (and earning gems can take some time). After restoring some items, players will need to sell at least one to make room for more, but this is a simplistic process. You earn coins, which can't be spent on anything, and these are earned at a faster rate than gems, which are much more useful. Why this happens is never explained. Worse, the app will eventually run out of time, and kids then have to wait, watch an ad, or use gems -- they'll likely need to buy more to have enough -- to continue, which slows the pace down further. Between those delays and the slow overall progression speed, kids may not be all that eager to keep continuing the game. They don't, after all, get to participate in or even see the actual dives that are conducted to find items; they just get to clean them. The app may be called Mystery Coast: Treasure Hunt, but kids who play it will end up doing more tidying up, though, than actual treasuring hunting.

App Details

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