A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
The game involves a limited number of moves and fairly straightforward premise, yet the ability to direct the character can be inconsistent.
Violence & Scariness
Kids will participate in battles, but they're brief and not graphic.
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Products & Purchases
Kids can purchase in-app currency, but it's not needed to play or heavily promoted.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sky Dancer: Escaping from Eden is an action game for iOS devices. Play involves using weapons that shoot, but kids are battling mythical creatures, and the outcome isn't gory -- the conflicts tend to be over fairly quickly. While kids don't get a ton of context in regard to character motivations or a backstory, the action in the game essentially involves moving forward and avoiding obstacles, so figuring out how to play isn't too difficult. A quick tutorial illustrates how to jump and move left or right. The quick pace can be challenging, but kids can redo levels they haven't been able to finish. Packages of gems, used to buy other currency in the game, are sold for $1 to $100. The game isn't overly pushy about buying them -- there tends to be more of an emphasis on watching ads -- and the extra items kids can buy aren't required to play.
Is It Any Good?
With some essentially automated elements, playing often isn't too exciting -- yet the flawed game controls can make attempting to advance frustrating. In Sky Dancer: Escaping from Eden, kids view a brief tutorial that outlines the basic game control options. All kids know about their character is that they play "a pioneer in finding a new beginning" by fighting monsters that, along with other obstacles, have made the roads difficult to travel. Their goal is to eventually "set foot in the peaceful promised land." Basically, you just run forward in the game, trying to dodge objects that are in your way. Kids also aren't told much about the rewards they're given for playing, until they're guided through a somewhat overly complicated process of equipping and upgrading their gear and fusing equipment, although what that means isn't explained. When winged creatures and other opponents appear suddenly in front of them, kids will fire repeatedly. After the fight ends, they can resume trying to run to the end of the scene.
Navigation isn't the easiest thing in the game thanks to the fast pace and uneven controls, which can force players to accidentally fall and end the game. They can repeat the level and try again after watching an ad or waiting three seconds for the game to restart -- but making progress can be challenging. Kids can't aim in battles -- you just systematically tap the sides of the screen to fire, so there isn't much strategy involved. Without a more nuanced way to direct the main character, adaptable game elements, or feedback on how to improve, kids may find themselves having to repeatedly attempt to beat levels. Because you have to start from the beginning each time, instead of the last point you'd made it to on the course, Sky Dancer: Escaping from Eden can soon start to feel impossible to beat, instead of fun.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.