Pull My Tongue

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Pull My Tongue App Poster Image
Stretch thinking with mind- and tongue-bending solutions.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about using strategy and planning to solve puzzles. They'll need to experiment with different approaches, reason about how to use various tools, and avoid obstacles. Because each puzzle can have multiple ways to solve it, all of which earn something for the player, kids are encouraged to think about the same puzzle in multiple ways. Kids will need to think flexibly, and they'll see that there's often more than one way to approach a problem. With Pull My Tongue kids use their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills as they work out more than one solution to the same puzzle.

Ease of Play

Guided play on the first levels explains how to play. The rest is pretty intuitive. Sometimes the mechanics are touchy.

Violence

Greg's tongue can be cut as it moves around obstacles, but there's no blood, and Greg is OK.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

A big button entices users to make in-app purchases to unlock higher levels, though users can also accumulate stars and medals to unlock the same levels. There's no parent gate on making any purchases, and an icon for other apps from the same developer takes users to a list of additional apps available for purchase.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pull My Tongue is a leveled puzzle game similar to big hits such as Cut the Rope or Where's My Water. Kids can play the entire game without making any in-app purchases, but there are also plenty of additional purchase opportunities to unlock levels or buy hints. There's ungated access to viewing and purchasing other apps from the same developer as well as the developer's social media sites. Users can also connect to Game Center through the app to post and share progress. Though the app itself doesn't collect any personally identifiable information, there are links to multiple third-party operators. Read the app's privacy policy for details on how your information may be collected and shared.

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What's it about?

In PULL MY TONGUE, kids help Greg the chameleon eat popcorn by extending his tongue through an obstacle course. There are various tools that help the tongue reach the popcorn as well as dangers to avoid. Complete each level to unlock the next; puzzles get more complicated as levels progress. Each level has three stars available for collection, and stars help unlock new worlds. Some levels also have special challenges that reward medals if met and can help unlock bonus levels. Earn -- or buy -- lightbulbs for hints to beat levels.

Is it any good?

This is a great version of those puzzler games that are fun and quirky and require a bit of brain power. The premise is silly enough to appeal to kids who should enjoy pulling and stretching the poor chameleon's tongue (just don't pull too far or Greg and his tongue will turn purple). Though the opportunities for in-app purchases are prominent and frequent, it's nice that no purchases are actually necessary to play the whole game. What makes this game stand out is that most levels have multiple ways to approach the solution: Often, simply grabbing the popcorn completes the level and unlocks the next, but to unlock more worlds, figure out a different way to solve the puzzle to collect as many of the three stars as possible. Or, to earn a medal, solve the puzzle according to specific criteria, such as collecting only one star and solving in 10 seconds or collecting all stars and solving using only one of two sliding bars. With these features, it nicely encourages kids to think about the same puzzle in multiple ways.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different ways to solve the same puzzle. How can this flexible thinking help kids solve other kinds of problems?

  • Ignore the solicitations for in-app purchases and encourage your kids to earn their way through all the worlds, levels, and bonus levels.

  • Play can be addictive, and there's no clear time to put the device down. Talk to your kids about setting reasonable time limits and maintaining a balance between on-screen and offscreen activities.

App details

For kids who love puzzle games and apps

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