A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about physics as they create slides and runs to direct marbles. In doing so, they'll observe two of Newton's laws, seeing that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless an external force is applied, and seeing how factors influence an object's motion. Kids will develop thinking and reasoning skills as they predict how the marbles will react to obstacles. The erase feature, which gives players the chance to erase their paths and redo them, allows kids to develop persistence and learn from mistakes. SpongeBob Marbles & Slides is a fun experience in the physics of pinball.
Ease of Play
There's a good, in-depth tutorial that explains all the controls and strategies very well. It sometimes feels like the tilt controls are not sensitive enough (i.e., you have to really tip your device far over in order to make the marbles roll), but for the most part, the controls work well.
Products & Purchases
The game features licensed characters from the very popular and wide-reaching SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon franchise.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.