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Smurfs' Grabber

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Repetitive arcade game asks you to spend lots of real cash.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Smurfs' Grabber wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of play

All you need to do is look at the items listed in the recipe at the top of the screen and tap them as they appear in the play space.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

You must insert one virtual coin for each minute of play. You get 10 free coins with the app, and you can earn more by playing frequently, but the pace at which you earn coins would be incredibly slow. Kids who want to play more than a few minutes will need to make in-app purchases, buying coin packages that range from $.99 to $24.99.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Smurfs' Grabber is a free app that will tempt children to spend real money on in-app purchases. In order to play the game for more than a few minutes, you will need to keep spending real money. The developers, who received a lot of flak for the non-obvious in-app purchases in their Smurfs' Village app, have loaded this app with disclaimers that say things like, "This purchase will cost real money" and even a recommendation that parents turn off the in-app purchase ability on their device.

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What's it about?

Kids help Papa Smurf collect ingredients to make magic potions. They'll look at recipes, consisting of pictures of items like mushrooms or oranges, then tap those items in the garden scene below to tell the grabber hand to pick up the item and place it in a basket. Kids continue completing recipes until time runs out. Kids earn points and advance levels by completing recipes.

Is it any good?


The only good things that can be said about SMURFS' GRABBER is that it has clean, attractive artwork and that it's easy to play. It's also not very interesting to play and is more of a house for in-app purchases than a game. Its devious structure sets kids up so they can easily earn loads of bonuses, power-ups, and prizes in their ten minutes of free play. Kids love collecting stuff in games, so they'll want to keep getting more. Only to do so -- to play at all anymore -- they'll need to spend real money. Technically, you can earn more free coins by checking in at different times of day to play, but each coin is still only 60 seconds of play time.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:September 1, 2011
Category:Arcade Games
Size:51.50 MB
Publisher:Beeline Interactive, Inc.
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

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