A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that SpongeBob Marbles & Slides is a strategic and thoughtful physics puzzle game that just happens to use characters and settings from the popular cartoon. There's a bizarre storyline in which the greedy Plankton has somehow transformed SpongeBob and Patrick into marbles and sent them down a drain so he could steal the secret formula to Krabby Patties. But that plot is only related to quick lines of written dialogue in between levels and has little to do with the actual gameplay. The game itself focuses on using a wide-ranging array of techniques (tilting, drawing, deflecting, etc.) to guide marbles toward an exit.
What's it about?
Kids use a finger to draw lines to create runs and slides, and then press buttons and tilt the device, similar to playing a pinball machine, to move the SpongeBob-marble on designated paths, past obstacles, and through different levels. At beginning levels, kids can follow guidelines to draw a path for the marbles to follow. As they advance through levels, the environment offers objects to aid and obstacles to hinder the marbles moving toward the goal. Players are rewarded with objects to be used in other levels.
Is it any good?
There are plenty of marble-game apps out there, including ones in which you tilt your device to roll marbles through a maze, ones in which you draw lines to guide marbles, and ones in which you bounce marbles around like pinballs -- but SPONGEBOB MARBLES & SLIDES does all of that in one game. Plus more. The combination of different techniques is what keeps this app feeling fresh and fun, whether you're a SpongeBob fan or not.
In addition, you'll also see levels in which you need to roll over switches to open doors, and levels in which you use magnets to pull marbles in different directions. It's almost like a Greatest Hits app for marble games. The SpongeBob story is undeniably strange, though, as if the writers had a really hard time trying to come up with a plot in which SpongeBob could be a marble.
Talk to your kids about ...
Discuss simple machines with your child. Point out examples of slides, levers, pulleys, and wheels that you encounter.
Create a marble run at home by taping cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls and other objects from around the house to a wall. Experiment with different placements for different outcomes.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD
- Subjects: Science: gravity, motion, physics
- Skills: Emotional Development: developing resilience, persevering
Creativity: developing novel solutions
Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, solving puzzles
- Price: $1.99-$3.99
- Release date: October 8, 2010
- Category: Puzzle Games
- Publisher: MTV Networks
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later, Android 2.2 and up