Spellsquares: Cursed Moon

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
Spellsquares: Cursed Moon App Poster Image
Neat combination of word puzzles and spooky castle game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

The game clearly explains how to solve the spellsquare puzzles. The puzzles range from 3x3 to 6x6 squares, and there are three levels of difficulty. The larger puzzles can be challenging, but players can use hints. Learning to move through the castle is intuitive; of course, in a mystery game, the next step is not always immediately apparent. The story mode includes approximately 10 rooms, with several puzzles in each room. Playing in story mode soon unlocks another 60 puzzles to play in quick mode from the start menu. The game saves progress for up to four players.

Violence

The story has a scary, fantastical theme about an evil wizard who has cursed the moon. One scene takes place in a graveyard. After solving two puzzles, coats of armor representing knights crumple to the ground. One part of the story involves putting a mind control helmet on a mouse to access a room.

Sex
Language

A few of the written notes from the wizard and the player's character contain mild language, such as "Eat it, knight!" or "what a nut!"

Consumerism

The menu, available from every screen, includes a link to visit the developer's website.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Spellsquares: Cursed Moon is a series of word puzzles set to the backdrop of a spooky story. In story mode, players solve spellsquares (arranging letters on a square so they form words when you read across the rows and read down the columns) to move through 10 rooms of a castle and break a wizard's evil curse on the moon. In addition to solving puzzles, players collect hidden objects and use some problem-solving skills. Before starting the story, players can choose a difficulty level, and there are hints throughout the game. In quick mode, there are 60 additional puzzles to solve. The story's theme and music are a bit eerie, but there is no direct violence or mature content, and the game is self-contained and safe for younger players.

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Is it any good?

Adding a mystery story puts a fun twist on typical word game apps, and this game does it well. The varying sizes of the spellsquares, difficulty levels, and hidden objects keep the story interesting and adaptable to different skill levels and interest. Word gamers will also enjoy the 60 puzzles in quick mode. For older players or those already used to mystery or hidden object games, though, the story mode may feel a bit too short and simple.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release date: June 23, 2011
  • Category: Word Games
  • Size: 24.30 MB
  • Publisher: Benthic LLC
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later

For kids who love word games and puzzles

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