Warp Shift

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Warp Shift App Poster Image
Visually beautiful puzzles center on escape story.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn problem-solving and planning by making a series of logical decisions and analyzing part-whole relationships as they figure out how the boxes can fit together.

Ease of Play

Interaction with puzzles is easy, but levels get more and more challenging.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Puzzle solutions available for purchase with no parent gate other than iTunes password, depending on device settings.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Warp Shift is a move-the-boxes puzzle app with a twist. It has a backstory told through an animated mini-movie that turns solving the puzzles into a quest centered on one character. The movie explains that the character (named Pi) finds a glowing cube in a forest that drops her into an ancient chamber-like world of puzzles. Players need to solve the puzzles (five worlds with 15 levels each), which move her through a series of portals to bring her back to the surface, and some puzzles are tricky, which may tempt kids to purchase more solutions: A few are offered for free, but there's no parent gate to stop kids from buying more. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Watch the mini-movie to learn the story behind the game in WARP SHIFT: A little girl finds a mechanized box that sounds strikingly like R2-D2 and falls down into an underground maze. Her goal is to get out. Look for the marked openings on the boxes to see where you should swipe to move boxes to line up the openings in the right way to allow Pi -- the little girl -- to move to the portal. Try to use as few moves as possible to earn all three stars, and replay or restart any level without penalty. As levels progress, the boxes have different types of doors, and the little box must be retrieved to make the portal work. Though a few puzzle solutions are offered for free, it's possible kids will run out and want to buy more.

Is it any good?

The narrative, visually beautiful movie, and cinematic music add real drama to this game, effectively turning it into more of an adventure than a standard puzzle app. Though the challenge is often easy enough to be quite meditative and pure fun as you move Pi through the boxes into the portal, there are some puzzles interspersed with the easier ones that may make players give up on reaching the last level. This is where the "level solutions" in-app purchases come into play, so parents may want to set expectations before downloading and encourage planning ahead and retrying levels instead of buying solutions. If the mechanics changed even more from level to level or if the narrative was an even bigger element in the game, this app would be even more amazing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about your rules around in-app purchases. Talk about other ways to handle the frustration of getting stuck. It may be OK to use the solution option at some point. But first, would it be more rewarding to walk away now and try again later or to ask a sibling or parent for help?

  • Talk about the mini-movie at the beginning. Since it's a silent movie, this movie offers an excellent opportunity for parents to ask kids to describe what's going on as they see it. View it with your kid, and have them describe what's happening in their own words and how it relates to gameplay.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, part-whole relationships, problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy, thinking critically
    Self-Direction: achieving goals, work to achieve goals
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid (in-app purchases for "level solutions" are 5 solutions for $0.99; 10 for $2.99; 25 for $4.99; and 50 for $5.99)
  • Release date: May 25, 2016
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Topics: Magic and Fantasy
  • Size: 193.00 MB
  • Publisher: FISHLABS
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love puzzles and problem-solving

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