A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Whac a Mole adapts the classic arcade game for the tablet, adding impressive graphics and a story line. The whole premise is violent -- whacking moles on the head to kill them so they don't damage the farmer's crops -- but it's all cartoon-like. Kids also can blow up the moles using the firecracker mallet, and, in one challenge, the objective is to "beat the boss," which means they have to whack the boss mole repeatedly until he collapses. Although it's playable without in-app purchases, the challenge makes earning enough stars to unlock other worlds nearly impossible without those in-app purchases.
What's it about?
The white mole leads kids through 3-D worlds where they have to whack the moles before they get away. Kids pass a level by completing it before too many moles get away, earning coins and stars based on performance. They can use the coins to buy special mallets, such as a firecracker mallet or a time-slowing mallet, to help defeat the moles. They'll earn one, two, or three stars for each level but must earn a total of at least 40 to unlock the other worlds: the jungle and Wild West. Kids can replay levels.
Is it any good?
WHAC A MOLE is a great way to get out some aggressions while having some mindless fun. There's nothing to indicate any harm comes to the whacked moles, and the fast finger action gets additively challenging once kids get the hang of playing. Kids should be sure to read the challenge at the start of each level so they know what they need to do. Kids can play all the way through the farm world without needing to make any in-app purchases, but, if they want to unlock the other worlds, they'll likely need to either pay to unlock them or pay for some extra coins to upgrade their mallets.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how moles can be a pest to farmers, destroying crops and burrowing holes in the ground.
Compare the app to the version of the game that can still be found at many arcades. Arcade fans may want to check out our list of other app adaptations of arcade favorites.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Price: $.99 (with in-app purchases)
- Pricing structure: Paid (In-app purchases range from $.99 to $19.99 to unlock everything.)
- Release date: May 15, 2014
- Category: Arcade Games
- Size: 95.90 MB
- Publisher: Mattel, Inc.
- Version: 2.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later