Smack That Gugl

Common Sense Media says

"Kill" instructions turn cute smacking game to creepy.





What parents need to know

Ease of play

The rules are easy: smack the squishy creatures as they appear. The Gugls pop up very quickly with every consecutive level, increasing the difficulty. But you can also choose "Kid" level (which is below Level 1) for a nice slow game.

Violence & scariness

The violence in the game is on the same basic level as any Whack-a-Mole type game, although the game begins with the disturbing instruction "Kill them all." Here you smash little clay creatures that pop up onscreen. They leave little spatters of colored clay after you hit them. Some "Gugl" creatures are covered with red dots and you need to avoid those, because they have the "plague."

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

A link on the title screen takes you to a list of other apps you can buy from the same publisher.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor privacy concerns: You can link to the publisher's Facebook page and Twitter feeds. You can post high scores online without providing any personal info.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Smack That Gugl is a target-smashing game in the Whack-a-Mole vein but that kids are instructed to "kill" the creatures, which puts a violent aspect into the game. Little clay creatures pop up and you smack them into colorful flat spatters as quickly as you can so as to "kill" them. Also note that some of the Gugl creatures are diseased (with some kind of pox) and you will lose a life if you touch them.

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Is it any good?


So much of SMACK THAT GUGL is cute, colorful, and generally inoffensive fun. But then there's the "Kill them all" directive that starts each round, which puts an ugly aura over the experience. This is basically a fun exercise in reaction time, and the challenge factor ramps up nicely as new types of Gugls are introduced -- some that require two smacks to destroy, or ones that split into two entirely new creatures, and so on. If only the "killing" aspect didn't make it feel creepy.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Release date:May 20, 2011
Category:Arcade Games
Size:7.30 MB
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.2 or later

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