SpongeBob Diner Dash

Common Sense Media says

Aggressive push to purchase drags down dull clone in series.

Age(i)

2
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4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game is any easy one to grasp, but the difficulty ramps up quicker than expected. The game has a thorough tutorial, though, which helps players figure out how best to navigate grumbling customers. 

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Users can unlock all levels of the game for $2 -- and they'll see an ad notifying them of this the minute they turn on the game. They're also prompted to upgrade between levels. To call it intrusive is an understatement. The app also features some ad banners, and players default to receiving a "newsletter" from Nickelodeon when picking a username. That option can be unchecked, but many users won't notice it until they start getting the emails. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The app prompts kids to enter their name, and by default selects the option to get the developer's newsletter. While the newsletter is optional, unless kids uncheck the box (it's not obvious that unchecking the box is a choice), they are prompted to enter an email address.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that SpongeBob Diner Dash is a licensed version of the popular strategy game. And given how SpongeBob thrives in the fast food world, it's one that makes sense. The game is free, but aggressively pushes an upgrade to unlock all the levels of the game -- one that kids (or adults) will likely click on at some point inadvertently. The game also attempts to sign users up for a "newsletter" on Nickelodeon products. Parents concerned about SpongeBob's usual "antics," though, have nothing to fear, as the game is a straight on clone of the Diner Dash series, but with different characters.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Self-Direction

  • time management

What Kids Can Learn

SpongeBob Diner Dash wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning. 

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Self-Direction

  • time management

SpongeBob Diner Dash wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

Users must seat customers at tables by swiping them from the line to the table itself (earning a bonus by putting them at booths that match their outfit colors), take orders, serve food, present the bill, then clear away the dishes so they can repeat the process with other waiting diners. Customers who have to wait get angry and leave smaller tips (if they don't walk out), though you can curry favor with them by providing free drinks. Those tips can be used to buy upgrades, such as a faster turnaround time on orders or extra speed from waiter SpongeBob.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While the Diner Dash franchise is an enjoyable one that has a strong legacy in games, SpongeBob Diner Dash does nothing to advance the games. Sure, the characters are familiar to anyone with a TV or passing knowledge of pop culture, but the silliness and slapstick comedy of the show aren't included in the game, making it just a dull port. 

Worse, still, the in-your-face promotion of paying for the "full" version of the game crosses the line of annoyance. If the developers were this worried about getting people to pay for the game, they could easily have offered a trial version and a full paid version and accomplished their goals without annoying their customers.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:June 7, 2012
Category:Strategy Games
Size:43.00 MB
Publisher:Nickelodeon
Version:2.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2 or later

This review of SpongeBob Diner Dash was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old January 13, 2015
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Disappointing in my opinion

I payed $3.99 for this game, and it is a huge disappointment: the Krusty Krab looks nothing like it does in the series, Squidward cooks the food, day goes by too quickly and you are not allowed to customize your restaurant. The full review pretty much explains everything, so I'm just sharing my opinion. Maybe the full review says the app is free, but the price must have changed.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Too much consumerism

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