Stack

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Stack App Poster Image
Simple, appealing, and challenging time-eater.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Only involves tapping, but there's no tutorial so you have to figure out the objective on your own, and the timing is really tricky.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Link to the publisher's other games from the start screen, though the icons aren't labeled so there's no indication that the link heads out of the app. Ads scroll and pop up, but in-app purchase removes them. No parent gate on purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stack is a simple game about piling up multicolored blocks as neatly as possible. It's free to play with ads, though an in-app purchase will turn off the ads; there's no parent gate on either the purchase or the ads, and the menu icons aren't labeled so kids might find themselves on iTunes or viewing the leaderboards. There also are no directions, which may be confusing for kids, and the timing required is tricky. At the time of review, there's no privacy policy available.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byBrianna B. September 29, 2017

Addicting

This is a good strategy game for kids and teens. It might be hard for younger kids, but it is great. I don't like that every time I go into the app it asks... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPrath7 July 25, 2018

12+??????

CSM why 12? No harmful content at all

What's it about?

STACK is about as simple as you get: A flat block moves back and forth over a stack of blocks of the same size. The player needs to tap the moving block right as it lines up with the stationary stack. As the stack grows, the blocks change colors, and a musical chime slowly increases in pitch with each successful stack. If it's not perfectly aligned, any overlapping portion falls off, and the top of the stack becomes smaller. A new moving block appears, now the same size as the top of the stack, and the tempo speeds up, which increases the challenge. The goal is to build the stack as high as you can before your moving block misses the stack entirely. There's no goal other than to have the highest stack possible and possibly out-stack other players. A one-time in-app purchase eliminates the banner and pop-up ads.

Is it any good?

This addictive, easy-to-play game tests your reflexes and hand-eye coordination without a lot of stress or brain power. There isn't much to it, but that's part of its appeal. When you have only a few minutes, you can play a round or two, try to beat your previous scores, and enjoy the ever-changing colors and chimes. The ads are intrusive, especially for young kids, and the price to go ad-free is on the high side for the depth of gameplay. It's better-suited to adults and older kids who won't be distracted by advertising and have the coordination necessary to play, as young kids will surely get frustrated. Also, download at your own risk, as there's no privacy policy at the time of review.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Family can talk about why it's important to limit time spent on apps and games. How can you take Stack gameplay offline for real-world play? Can you build your own stack out of blocks? How high can you build?

  • Why do you think people enjoy games that are this simple? What do you like best about Stack?

  • Because there's no privacy policy available, you can talk to your kids about why those policies matter and what it means that one isn't available. How do we know what information is being collected and shared? Is it risky to use an app that doesn't have a policy?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (one-time in-app purchase removes ads)
  • Release date: February 17, 2016
  • Category: Arcade Games
  • Size: 51.30 MB
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android 3.0 and up

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