Ruby Blast Adventures

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Arcade puzzle game prompts players to pay to get ahead.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players are encouraged to help each other advance through the game by sending gifts.

Positive role models

There are no characters to interact with, but Facebook friends can help each other in the game by sending gifts.

Ease of play

Easy to pick up and play, with ample tutorials.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Players are constantly prompted to recruit friends into the game and share messages on their news feeds. Pop-ups advertise other Zynga games. The game is free to play, but players are pressured to spend real-world cash on exclusive power-ups that can help players if they're stuck or running out of time.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players are routinely prompted to publish game-related updates in their Facebook newsfeed, and send messages to friends. Players must manually un-check boxes to avoid doing this.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ruby Blast Adventures is a gem-matching arcade game played on Facebook, where players match like-colored tiles to earn stars that unlock new levels. The game is free to play, but uses various methods to entice players to pay real-world money to enhance the experience. The game is suited for players younger than 13, but Facebook restricts membership to people aged 13 and older.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals

Emotional Development

  • persevering
  • handling stress

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Ruby Blast Adventures reels players in by offering a progressive Adventure Mode with a variety of challenges unique to each level. The game is visually appealing with plenty of positive feedback to keep players stimulated.

Learning Approach

Kids can exert some control over their experience by playing levels in any order once they've been unlocked, and choosing which power-ups to deploy. Social play is encouraged by allowing friends to send each other helpful items.

Support

The game tracks players' progress and assigns them a star-rating out of 3 based on performance. Players can replay the level as often as they like to earn more stars.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals

Emotional Development

  • persevering
  • handling stress

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Kids can learn to strategize and handle stress as they work against the clock to achieve a high score in this match-3 puzzle game. Kids decide which power-ups to take into each level, and when to deploy them for maximum effect. Each level is different, with ever-evolving challenges. Friends can send each other special items to complete collections. Ruby Blast Adventures encourages fast-paced strategic thinking with arcade-style gameplay.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

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What's it about?

In RUBY BLAST ADVENTURES the goal is to burrow down to the bottom of a mine shaft. Players do this by matching tiles of the same color next to the rocks that line the bottom of the screen, which causes them to shatter and reveal the next part of the tunnel. Players earn stars based on their performance, which unlock new levels. Players can also participate in weekly high score tournaments to earn prizes.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Fans of Bejeweled-style puzzle games will feel right at home with Ruby Blast Adventures. Adventure mode gives players a sense of progress as they unlock new worlds to explore (including Egypt, Easter Island, and Atlantis), and each level has its own unique challenges: some levels, for example, restrict the types of power-ups that can be used, while others  add obstacles like lava rocks. The game is cleverly designed to entice players to spend real money in the heat of the moment to extend play-time and use power-ups to escape sticky situations. In some cases it's possible to become completely stuck unless players buy their way out by spending premium currency on the "drill" power-up. Players are also constantly being prompted to send messages to friends and share updates on their news feed. The game would be more of a "blast" without these manipulative features.

Families can talk about...

  • Would you pay a flat price to play a game like this, or do you prefer the freemium model?

  • How do you feel about getting numerous game-related messages on Facebook? Do you send messages to your friends, or un-click the boxes?

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Price:Free with Microtransactions
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Zynga
Release date:June 16, 2012
Genre:Arcade

This review of Ruby Blast Adventures was written by

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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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