Fairy Tale Twist

Common Sense Media says

Fairy-tale-themed puzzle game favors strategy over speed.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players serve a positive role by helping to restore the fairy tales to their proper states. On the downside, the game lets players buy extra moves if they're stuck, which discourages perseverance.

Positive role models

Fairy tale characters play the usual "good" and "bad" roles, such as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.

Ease of play

Easy to learn, with no time pressure to complete moves. The charms pulsate to suggest possible moves you can make. Puzzles quickly become difficult, however, which may tempt players to buy extra moves or power-ups.

Violence

Some cartoonish violence depicted in comic book panels. For example, Little Red Riding Hood hits the wolf with a picnic basket full of bricks, with the caption, "Many friendships start with a head wound."

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Players can spend real money to buy extra moves and power-ups.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some minor privacy concerns. The app can post game-related info on a player's Facebook timeline, although you can go to your Facebook app settings to turn this feature off. Players can send Facebook friends invitations to play.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Fairy Tale Twist is a match-3 puzzle game played on Facebook, though it lacks advanced social features. The game is free to play, but players can spend real money to gain advantages such as extra turns and power-ups. Players are regularly prompted to invite their friends to join the game and can share and compare high scores.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • strategy

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Gameplay has that "just one more level" appeal, but a steep difficulty curve -- intentionally designed to entice players to spend money on extra moves -- can put a damper on players' progress and enjoyment.

Learning Approach

The connection between the story and the levels is tenuous. Players can beg each other for help, but there's no sophisticated social collaboration. This is a mediocre puzzle game with missed opportunities for learning.

Support

Players are adequately supported by tutorials and helpful text bubbles and can clearly track their progress through high-score leaderboards and an in-game map.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • strategy

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Kids can learn decision-making as they study the grid carefully to determine how to complete the level goal without running out of moves. There's an element of randomness to the gameplay, but some strategy is involved, especially in cases where there's more than one possible move. Kids might also learn perseverance by having to replay levels many times (unless they just buy more turns). Fairy Tale Twist is a mediocre puzzle game with missed opportunities for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

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What's it about?

In FAIRY TALE TWIST, players swap charms of the same type to make them disappear from the board. You'll have a limited number of moves to complete level objectives, such as swapping 10 sleeping-bird tiles or freeing 20 trapped ladybugs by breaking the stone blocks on top of them. Each group of levels is themed after a different fairy tale, and each \"book\" climaxes with a boss-battle puzzle level in which a player must score more points than the villain. Players must retry the level if they run out of moves, and they get a limited number of attempts before they must either pay for more turns, ask friends for help, or wait for turns to recharge.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Fairy Tale Twist is an OK game that could have been better. The narrative, which puts a modern and slightly edgy twist on well-known fairy tales, is funny, but there isn't enough of it to really immerse players in the stories. Social elements are restricted to begging friends for stuff and comparing high scores. The strategic, task-oriented puzzles are a welcome change from the more common type of match-3 gameplay that relies on speed. It's not long, however, before levels become extremely difficult to complete within the default number of moves, leaving players stuck and frustrated unless they're willing to fork over real money to buy extra turns.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about strategy versus speed in puzzle games. Which approach do you like best: taking your time to plan each move, or racing against the clock?

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  • What are some of your favorite fairy tales, and why?

  • Is it cheating if you spend money to buy items that give you an advantage in a game? 

  • Talk to kids about the dangers of overspending on in-game purchases.

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Price:Free With Microtransactions
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Zynga
Release date:August 6, 2013
Genre:Puzzle
Topics:Fairy tales

This review of Fairy Tale Twist was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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