A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sprinkle Junior comes from the Sprinkle family of games and is specifically designed for small children. It's not entirely clear from the app itself, but the backstory is that some tourists unknowingly left behind little firebomb meteors as their rocket ship passed by Titan, one of Saturn's moons. The goal in this junior version remains the same: Spray water to put out the fires. Unlike in the versions for older kids and grown-ups, however, there is no limit on how much water kids can use, all levels are unlocked from the start, there are no puzzles to solve, and there's no countdown timer. Through 30 levels, kids simply spray water to put out fires.
What's it about?
On each of 30 levels of SPRINKLE JUNIOR, kids find a hose, a landscape, some silly alien beings, and a series of small fires. Kids must move the hose up and down to aim enough water at the fires to snuff them out. Once all fires are out, kids pass the level. Sometimes kids also have to manipulate some objects in the scene to pass the level -- for example, put out fires on four little blocks and then feed them to a monster-looking alien. All levels are always unlocked and kids have unlimited water and time, but there are no instructions or hints.
Is it any good?
Sprinkle Junior is an accessible, safe, and straightforward game; it's only shortcoming is that it doesn't strike the right balance between simplicity and challenge. Kids certainly can have fun spraying water around, feeding alien monsters, and manipulating silly objects in this extraterrestrial environment, but there are only a few instances where water physics make a difference or where they really need to figure things out, such as when kids must put vegetables in a pot before taking it off the fire. Also, kids are free to choose whichever level they want at whatever time, which allows for great flexibility, but it also eliminates the sense of achievement or progress kids get from passing levels. On the other hand, with no instruction or hints, some kids might get stuck on certain levels and not know to drag and move items out of the way. Most kids will figure things out and have a great time, but a little more depth and a few more options would make this app amazing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the backstory, if they can figure it out. What effect did these tourists have on the inhabitants of Titan? Are there similar situations in real life?
Talk about water physics. What makes water behave the way it does? How does the game represent the power of water? Build some real-life waterways with tubes, tunnels, straws, and so on, and watch what happens.
Work together on setting time limits for using screens. Talk about how easy it is to get drawn in and spend a lot of time playing games such as this one.
Discuss fire safety. What happens when something that is on fire touches something else? What kinds of things catch on fire? What should we do if there's a fire?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Science: physics, substance properties
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, solving puzzles
- Price: $1.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: November 12, 2013
- Category: Family Games
- Size: 16.90 MB
- Publisher: Mediocre AB
- Version: 1.1.3
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later; Android 2.3 and up
For kids who love problem-solving and strategy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.