Square Wars

App review by
Karen Wirsing, Common Sense Media
Square Wars App Poster Image
Iffy ads in free pencil-and-paper classic; try paid version.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Touch the screen to connect the desired lines. Easy to play --  semi-difficult to strategize.

Violence
Sex

No sexual content in the game itself, but sometimes ads veer into this territory ("view playboy women," for example).

Language
Consumerism

Pop-up announcements encourage users to "select an ad to support" the developers. There are also numerous running ads that encourage players to "view playboy women," buy CDs, and purchase games. The Android Market sells an ad-free version for $.99.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drinking, drugs, or smoking in the game itself, but ads for things like the Corona beer app may appear.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the free Square Wars puzzle app contains some advertisements with iffy content. A paid version in the Android Market has no ads. This strategy game -- based on a familiar pencil-and-paper game -- encourages kids to think ahead. The object is to create more squares than your opponent(s). The screen starts off as a blank canvas filled with dots. To create squares users must touch in between the dots to create a line. Once a square is complete, the point goes to whomever completed that square. The difficulty in strategizing comes in blocking the opponent(s) from completing the majority of squares. Users have the option to select different levels of difficulty, as well as choose between a single player or multiple players. There is also an option to choose how many squares can be created per game (determining the length of the game).

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What's it about?

Players can choose level of difficulty and number of squares as well as whether to play against the computer or online with friends or random players. To play, kids take turns “connecting the dots” -- tapping spaces between dots on a grid. A red or green glowing line appears accompanied by a cool light saber sound. Once a square has a second side, a third will give your opponent the chance to add the final line, win the square, and get another turn. The player with the most filled in squares wins.

Is it any good?

SQUARE WARS is a basic strategizing game that brings a pencil-and-paper classic to Android devices. Kids playing the app can learn a few things about how to think about and approach simple tasks. Square Wars is an entertaining way to pass time and will quickly expose player competitiveness.

The iffy ads in the free version make this app less than ideal for kids. If your kids like the free version, it's worth it to spring for the ad-free version available in the Android Market. Otherwise, parents will want to keep a close eye on kids using the app.

App details

  • Devices: Android, Kindle Fire
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: July 4, 2011
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Size: 0.80 MB
  • Publisher: Mama Dodo
  • Version: 3.3.2
  • Minimum software requirements: Android 2.1 and up

For kids who love strategizing

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