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Tropic Trouble Match 3 Builder

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Tropic Trouble Match 3 Builder App Poster Image
Simple puzzle game limited by repetitive play, little info.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about using logic, strategy in matching games, and follow instructions and work toward goals. Immediate objectives are clearly laid out in each round, and matching games offer chance to flex memory skills. Kids also get sense of some survival techniques as they work to make the island livable. Earning, spending coins provides some counting, addition, subtraction practice. There are limits about what you can use money on, though, based on where you are in the game, which restricts what kids can learn about spending or saving -- and some may prefer fewer hints to make games more challenging.

Ease of Play

Instructions show players how to complete moves; players are also told exactly what items they need to collect to finish the round and are guided through other activities -- although big-picture goals can be a little unclear. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

In-app gem purchases, which can be used to extend playing time if you run out of moves, range from $4.99 to $99.99. Extra items aren't really needed: Players can redo any round they can't complete on the first try.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tropic Trouble Match 3 Builder is a puzzle game available for iOS and Android devices. The gameplay is easy to grasp and play, although gamers may wish they had a better sense of how their actions impacted the overall experience. In-app purchases are available, ranging from $4.99 to $99.99, but it's not necessary to buy anything to play. There's no inappropriate content to be found in the game.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

After a storm shipwrecks a family on an island in TROPIC TROUBLE MATCH 3 BUILDER, players advance levels to build a shelter, plant a garden, and complete other tasks. They match stars, shells, and other items in a specified amount of moves in games to earn coins, which can be spent on things like stone tiles once players reach certain levels. They also earn hammers, nails, and other items to upgrade buildings so they'll earn coins on a regular basis. Gamers also occasionally get bonus items like bombs, which help clear rows faster in matching games.

Is it any good?

Players complete matching games to advance levels and work on survival-oriented tasks, such as building a house, but repetitive play and little info hurts the fun. The matching games of Tropic Trouble Match 3 Builder also tie into the island theme, as players try to find fish hidden beneath water, or free stones to make a bridge, by matching items that surround them on the board. They're fairly easy at first and fun to play, but they quickly get more challenging. The app does a good job of adding new elements to keep the game from getting boring.

Some gamers may have a hard time with later rounds; they can try again, though, if they can't complete a game before running out of moves. They'll also get hints if they hesitate before making a move -- which older kids might feel makes playing too easy. Being able to turn that feature off would be a nice option. Some players may also wish there was a bit more information about the big-picture goals involved in what they're trying to do. The list can be a little tricky to find, though -- it's accessed by clicking on a statue on the island -- and it doesn't offer much info on what each item relates to. In general, keeping track of what you're trying to earn and why can be somewhat confusing. You'll get items like nails, coconuts, or bamboo for finishing a matching game, which you're told you need to collect to upgrade buildings, and you're also told completing matching game rounds will help you fulfill additional goals, such as building a bridge. You don't really see a visual depiction of those tasks coming to fruition, though, which might help make things clear. Being able to see a map or other illustration that shows your progress and what's ahead would provide more context -- and might ensure that you remain interested in playing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time limits. It's easy to get hooked into playing round after round in an app like Tropic Trouble Match 3 Builder, so how much is too much time spent using an app or online game?

  • How can you view a difficult scenario as potentially positive? Are there lessons that you can take from these game situations and apply them to real life?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading
    Math: addition, counting, money, patterns, subtraction
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, logic, solving puzzles, spatial reasoning, strategy
    Self-Direction: achieving goals, work to achieve goals, working efficiently
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: January 2, 2019
  • Category: Adventure Games
  • Size: 144.00 MB
  • Publisher: Qublix
  • Version: 7.24.0
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires Android 4.0 and up or iOs 8.0 or later.

For kids who love puzzles

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