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Polysphere

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
Polysphere App Poster Image
Colorful, challenging, confusing 3D puzzle game with ads.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Play to practice logical thought process, coordination, spatial reasoning. Kids will develop ability to visualize how pieces come together to make a complete picture. 

Ease of Play

App walks you through the first puzzles, and there's a help button available with every puzzle, which vary in difficulty. 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Free version is loaded with ads. Purchase of weekly or monthly membership is required to remove ads and unlock additional images.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Polysphere lets kids solve 3D puzzles on-screen. The free version of the app is full of ads. Weekly or monthly membership unlocks additional puzzles and allows kids to play ad-free. The app serves up puzzles that vary in difficulty, but there's a help feature for when kids get stuck. "My gallery" allows kids to collect pictures and see all the puzzles they have solved. After every puzzle, Polysphere also offers the option of recording how the puzzle was solved, downloading the image to the device's camera roll or taking a picture of the image to share directly to Instagram. Though the app might work for younger kids, the access to Instagram makes it less appropriate for them, and parents who let kids use the app may want to monitor their use of the sharing options. 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.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

POLYSPHERE offers a 3D puzzle experience. Upon launching the game, kids will be directed to "my gallery," where they can see all the pictures they have solved and can tap on a numbered box to unveil a new puzzle. Swipe or slide across the screen to move the pieces 360 degrees. Kids rotate the puzzle pieces until they fit to complete an image. Once the puzzle is complete, kids have the option of saving the image and solving process to the device's camera roll or sharing it directly to Instagram. The app asks for approval to open Instagram beforehand, but it's still easy to access. Polysphere also displays the app's hashtag after the completion of each puzzle. There are a set number of puzzles per collection. Puzzles are revealed as kids make progress through the collections. Kids can control sound, music, Taptic, and eco mode under settings. In-app purchases are advertised in "my gallery," and purchase of membership is required to remove ads and unlock the puzzle of the day. 

Is it any good?

Bright, colorful, and appealing images and animation don't provide enough engagement to counter the overly commercial, unsupportive, and, at times, confusing 3D puzzle experience. It's definitely fun and satisfying to watch the pieces come together to create captivating pictures, but there's just not enough support available for the more challenging puzzles. Also, the free version of the app is full of ads, making for a choppy experience. At $7.99 for the week or $19.99 for the month, membership is a bit expensive considering what Polysphere offers. Removing the ads does make a difference, but membership doesn't add any other features other than unlocking a daily puzzle. The sharing feature can be fun; however, the consistent prompting to use the hashtag feels more like sharing to promote the app, and the easy access to social media makes it less accessible to kids. During play, Polysphere may offer free artwork for subscribing to Instagram and liking one of its photos. These gimmicks make for a very commercial experience. So while some of Polysphere's features are awesome, they don't outweigh the commercial and potentially confusing experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about identifying shapes and colors that may go together when playing Polysphere. How can you tell you are getting closer to solving the puzzle? What hints do you look for in the puzzle's shapes? What hints do you look for in the color of the pieces? Questions like these may get kids to begin thinking of strategy. 

  • Talk about the sharing feature and what the rules are around using it. Is it OK to access social media via the app?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Math: patterns
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, logic, part-whole relationships, solving puzzles, spatial reasoning
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (Offers in-app purchases from $0.99 - $19.99. $7.99/week or $19.99/mo. for unique pictures and to remove all ads)
  • Release date: January 31, 2019
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Size: 260.50 MB
  • Publisher: Playgendary GmbH
  • Version: 1.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up

For kids who love geometry and puzzles

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