App review by
Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Media
Zentomino App Poster Image
Arrange shapes to finish puzzles in challenging but fun app.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to solve complex puzzles while remaining peaceful and Zen-like. Soothing background music plays as kids' logic and spatial-reasoning skills are put to the test in this pentomino puzzler. Pentominoes are five-squared configurations, of which many configurations are possible. The puzzles are challenging and fun, and the music (which can be turned off) will ease kids' frustrations when that last piece just won't fit. Zentomino lets kids use use logic and spatial reasoning to fit pieces together that are the same size but different shapes.

Ease of Play

The game is very intuitive and includes detailed instructions, including animated examples of how to manipulate the pieces. Hints can be turned on or off, and additional hints can be purchased.


There are links to other apps in the iTunes App Store.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zentomino is a game where kids arrange pentominoes to fill in a variety of puzzle shapes. (Pentominoes each have five units, but are all different shapes.) The app includes more than 250 puzzles to solve, and each puzzle allows a few hints if kids get stuck. If additional hints are needed, unlimited hints for the puzzles can be purchased. Kids rotate or flip any of the 12 included pieces to make them fit into the puzzles. Not all puzzles will use all 12 pieces. Puzzles need not be done in order; players can skip to any puzzle in the game. All the puzzles can be reset at any time to make them ready to solve once again. Users can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

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What's it about?

Kids drag and drop the pentominoes into the puzzle shape without overlapping or leaving empty spaces. Players get a shaded puzzle shape and 12 pentominoes that somehow fit together to complete the shape, but all 12 pieces do not have to be used. Kids can rotate pieces by tapping or flip them by double tapping. They can get hints by double tapping in an empty area. Shaking the device clears the puzzle and resets all the pieces. The app includes more than 250 puzzles that can be worked in any order. Completed puzzles are saved but can be reset if kids want to solve them again.

Is it any good?

ZENTOMINO is a challenging puzzle-based app that is very well done and doesn't clutter up a simple concept with a lot of extras. Since the puzzles are often quite challenging and can take a while to solve, this app is a good value. The music in the background is meant to be soothing, but can be turned off if desired. Hints can also be turned off, and any pieces that are unused for a particular puzzle can be hidden.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Kids who enjoy this app might like the traditional board game Blokus, a two- to four-player game using polyominoes, or the Blokus app, which can be played against an opponent.

  • Help kids with strategy and hints if they get stuck. The app includes a few free hints, but some puzzles are tricky and may require more.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles

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