SpongeBob Moves In App Poster Image

SpongeBob Moves In

(i)

 

Build your own Bikini Bottom, but beware in-app buys.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Gameplay is fairly easy. Kids will need to be able to read the instructions that pop up for new quests and other activities.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game encourages kids to build more and more parts of a city and complete quests -- all of which require in-game cash. As the levels increase and the time to complete those projects grows longer, users can pay to speed things up, which may require players to purchase more currency using real-world cash. The game is also based on a well-merchandised franchise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that SpongeBob Moves In is a city-building simulation game that is based on the popular cartoon. Players complete an endless stream of tasks and build out their towns, using in-game cash. This is easily earned, but the time to build projects increases exponentially as the game progresses, which makes paying real money for these upgrades more tempting. There's no objectionable content or rude jokes, which are common in SpongeBob products, but the push for in-app purchases is noteworthy. Players on iOS devices can share scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

Parents say

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What's it about?

Players are regularly tasked with challenges -- whether it's collecting rent or making five Krabby Patties -- and must tap on the appropriate building to do so. Each building has only a limited number of open slots for cooking or building items. To use other slots, players must pay to unlock them. Feeding characters what they want at just the right time results in bonuses, which range from more cash or starfish (which help you level up) to secret recipes. As the game moves into higher levels, players attempt to expand Bikini Bottom from a tiny town to one with a thriving population that is seen in the show.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

SPONGEBOB MOVES IN doesn't break any new ground as a city-building app, but overall gameplay is solid. Unfortunately, the game also is plagued with an in-app purchase model that borders on greedy, especially since players must pay $3.99 to download the app in the first place. Once you've sunk an hour or two into the game, the build times for anything of note become significant. That might be fine for players who only check in once or twice a day, but those players won't build a city anytime soon. To succeed otherwise, you'll almost have to spend money. 

SpongeBob fans may appreciate the animated shorts as well as the use of the show's voice actors -- but there are only a few small vocal phrases repeated again and again. There are plenty of free city-builder games that follow this same formula, so, unless you're a die-hard SpongeBob fan, you're better off with one of those. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about in-app purchases and whether it's OK to use real money to buy things in this game.

  • Families also can talk about saving, budgeting, and spending, which kids get a taste of playing this game.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:$3.99 (with in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Paid (In-app purchases range from $1 to $100.)
Release date:June 11, 2013
Category:Simulation Games
Size:333.00 MB
Publisher:Nickelodeon
Version:2.00
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of SpongeBob Moves In was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old January 6, 2015

Funny and fun

I love this app. In SpongeBob Moves In, you can build, be a waitress, cook and more! Players can level up and unlock more things. Easy to play/use: The game isn't so easy to use because you can accidently tap on things. Sex: Includes jokes from the show. Consumerism: In-app purchases do not last long depending on your level. Safety and privacy concerns: Encourages players to add each other on Game Center, and Game Center will reveal the first and last name on the Apple ID.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns

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