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Parents' Guide to

Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Brooding, atmospheric tale with an emotional takeaway.

App iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad Free to try, Paid Simulation Games
Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition opening screen: The app's name is shown.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 2+

Based on 1 parent review

age 2+

Khmer Work

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Despite some moments being excessively drawn out, the main character's journey offers impressive visuals -- and a sensitive look at dealing with challenging feelings. In Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition, a teenager named Evelyn wakes up on an island created by her ancestor as a back-up system so the world could be restored if it ever collapsed. Shortly after, she finds a large bell marked with the words "Ring to End the Pain." After a brief flashback of an incident that possibly involved bullying, she rings the bell. Soon after, a six-year-old named Eva arrives and tells her, in a panic, that she's just set the destruction of the island, and probably the world, in motion. Evelyn sets off, with Eva floating behind her, to visit the physical versions of the four elements, who live on the island, to get keys from them. Failing to complete a puzzle will subtract from the Doomsday Timer on the screen, and kids are told all will be lost and the game will end if it reaches zero. As they explore, they'll meet quirky characters that will ask them riddles, and will attempt to solve puzzles and mini-games, some of which can be a bit confusing to figure out because kids aren't given too much detail or assistance.

Pacing can feel slow at times, and the decision to have characters grunt instead of speak doesn't add much to the written dialogue. Although some humor is woven into the story, which helps keep the mood from getting too gloomy, younger kids may find the emphasis on the world ending, including Evelyn's role in initiating it, unsettling. Other parts of the game, though, work well. The graphics are excellent, and the flashbacks allude to a larger issue Evelyn's struggling with -- and she may not be alone. The underlying emotional theme is probably Rocco's Island: Pocket Edition's standout feature, elevating it from being just another story-based game to a thoughtful experience kids may find truly valuable.

App Details

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