Molecubes

Common Sense Media says

Molecular puzzler is smart but a bit bland.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A logic game at its core, Molecubes encourages problem solving and critical thinking, but there aren't any overtly positive or negative messages.

Positive role models

There are no characters.

Ease of play

The tutorial is a good guide throughout, but the difficulty of play rises sharply at the end. Controls are intuitive but occasionally don't quite work. Difficulty doesn't scale. The graphics make differentiating between options slightly confusing. 

Violence

If kids are not careful, the avatar may "die," from exposure to fire or strong acids or bases. The avatar regenerates, and kids begin again.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No online content.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Molecubes is a logic puzzle game with incidental chemistry learning about states of matter and pH. It includes minor violence but is overall a positive experience. It may be overly simple for older kids and too difficult for younger kids, but it's a relevant learning experience for kids in the target age group.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • chemistry
  • energy
  • substance properties

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The mechanics are a bit basic, but the puzzles engross students with interesting challenges and gradual progression. The audiovisual experience isn't top-notch, but it's not distracting. 

Learning Approach

Molecubes weaves basic chemistry lessons with transferrable logic skills, but it could dig deeper into content. 

Support

With no outside resources or extensions, Molecubes stands alone. But it has a thorough, helpful tutorial.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • chemistry
  • energy
  • substance properties

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Kids can learn valuable logic-puzzle-solving skills in conjunction with the basic concepts behind how pressure and temperature affect the states of solids, liquids, and gasses. They'll also test liquids for their pH levels, introduce new liquids to attempt to neutralize strong acids and bases, and learn about splitting bonds and creating flammable materials. The game touches on some desirable chemistry content but overall feels a bit underwhelming.

This Learning Rating review was written by Jenny Bristol

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What's it about?

Kids move an avatar within a small grid, pushing blocks around and changing them from solids to liquids, gases, or flammable materials, sometimes changing the pH. Using the blocks plus fire and litmus test strips, kids try to clear obstacles to complete each level.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

With thorough tutorial cues built in, MOLECUBES eases kids into an experience that builds both chemistry knowledge and logic skills. The chemistry concepts are integral rather than tacked on to the puzzle solving, so, although it's an educational game, it has good core mechanics. The bland visuals and occasionally unreliable controls may frustrate some kids, but those who keep at it will enjoy a decent amount of fun and learning.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss how logic games can affect school performance.

  • Play Sokobond, another chemistry-based puzzle game, and discuss how the two compare and contrast.

Game details

Platforms:Linux, Mac, Windows
Price:$2.49 individual; $22.20 classroom
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Filament Games
Release date:November 30, 2013
Genre:Educational
Topics:Science and nature

This review of Molecubes was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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