Pocket Climber

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Pocket Climber App Poster Image
Mild violence, in-app purchase push in Temple Run-style app.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Pocket Climber wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of Play

The game consists of swiping from side to side, which is easy to manage, but the controls aren't especially responsive, and mastering the timing takes a while to learn. 

Violence

When the climber is hit by things thrown at him from above, descending platforms or misses a ledge, he will fall to his death screaming, but no blood or impact is shown. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism

The game aggressively pushes the in-app purchase of in-game currency, for rates between $1 and $60. It also promises players a large amount of coins for a five-star review in the iTunes App Store. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pocket Climber is a "dodge the obstacle" game in a vein similar to the hit Temple Run app. Players scale a building, but must avoid falling couches, etc., at the risk of falling to their doom. There's screaming, but no blood or impact shown. And players can start again at the same point by paying in-game coins. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

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What's it about?

Players attempt to scale an infinitely high building as tenants throw things out their windows and machinery moves up and down the side. Certain floors are covered in rubble or have metallic blinds which make them impossible to grasp. Players move side to side by swiping in that direction and \"jump\" up by swiping upwards. Along the way, they'll collect coins, which can be used for power-ups (such as a helmet that protects against falling objects) and to resume climbing when they fall (for a fee).

Is it any good?

As a game, Pocket Climber isn't bad. It's repetitive, certainly, and something of a one-trick pony, but there are plenty of coins to gather and plenty of hazards to avoid. The controls are simple, though sometimes sticky. And the power-ups you can purchase are fun. 

But there are some things about the game that feel wrong. There's heavy in-app purchase pressure (though you can certainly play just fine without buying coins). And the game offers 1,000 coins for a five-star review -- a deal that thousands of players have seemingly taken advantage. That skews honest feedback on the game and could trick some people into playing. 

App details

For kids who love action and arcade games

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