App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
TinkerBox App Poster Image

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Superb physics puzzler challenges kids, inspires creativity.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how physics and engineering interact as they manipulate slope, momentum, and gravity with objects like conveyer belts, fans, wheels, and more. Kids are empowered to create the machines they want and can choose which objects will create the outcome they desire. They can also learn a bit of history about each tool as they learn how to effectively use it in the Elements Help section. TinkerBox is an amazing, rich resource for kids to learn, practice, and apply physics and engineering principles.

Ease of Play

The controls work smoothly, and the interface is intutive.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tinkerbox is a puzzler and engineering tool that challenges kids to complete physics-based puzzles and create their own virtual inventions. The free app was developed by Autodesk, the creators of AutoCad and other engineering tools. The challenging design tool may be frustrating for young kids. Kids can email their inventions to friends or to the developer to possibly be included on the game's website. They can also share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMomOf2inVT June 14, 2014

In the top tier for learning apps

I was looking for science, physics and math apps for my little girls. This one seemed a bit old for ages 5 and 7. However our experience seems to suggest that t... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDrpenguinxx April 19, 2021

Really good game but complex

This game has requires imagination and use of physics that some kids will need help, but otherwise it is perfect.

The game has sandbox mode a mission and sandb... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old December 22, 2016

Pretty Good

Pretty good app. If you can't figure out a puzzle you're future on TinkerBox is over. Some of the puzzles are really hard. But you can be creative

What's it about?

TINKERBOX is part game, part creative outlet. Kids can work their way through the six levels of puzzles, each offering many stages, where they drag the right object into place to complete the physics puzzler -- think Rube Goldberg machines. Kids complete one level of puzzle to unlock the next level of increasing challenge. They can also create their own inventions using the objects -- balls, bolts, chains, connectors, conveyer belts, fans, wheels, ropes, scissors, switches, and more. Several inventions are already loaded onto the app, and kids can alter those inventions or study them for inspiration.

Is it any good?

TinkerBox is an impressive tool for kids interested in engineering. The physics of the higher levels can get quite challenging, incorporating space gravity. The number of objects available for building is impressive, too. The training level demonstrates with lines and arrows to prepare kids for the challenges to come. The app is available on both iPhone and iPad, though inventing is more challenging on the smaller screen of the iPhone.

The industrial appearance of the lab may turn off some kids who are used to the more colorful appearance of apps like Amazing Alex. Still, this fun, free app is an excellent choice for encouraging kids to think, create, and explore.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Encourage kids to create their own Rube Goldberg machines with objects around the house that can serve as slopes, levers, buttons, and pulleys.

  • Make sure kids know that some great inventions are just alterations to existing inventions and let them know they can load and alter some of the demos included in the app.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning about engineering

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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