App Review: 'Word Solitaire: Aurora'
Filed under: Apps
Rated ON for Ages 6 and Up
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that "Word Solitaire: Aurora" is a word-based puzzle game that is in the same vein as the playing card standard. Six (or seven, depending on the mode) columns of cards containing letters are laid out on the screen, and users must use the entire deck to create words by dragging letters on top of one another. The game offers several modes for players -- from a pick-up-and-go quick play mode to a 250-level campaign. The game is chiefly a single-player game and safe for children, but it does have a global mode, letting people match their scores against others on a daily puzzle. (A leaderboard displays the username of the top five in several categories, but no other personal information.) The app is also available in an iPad-only version called Word Solitaire HD.
The good stuff
Ease of play: It's no harder to learn this game than it is to learn solitaire with a deck of cards. In fact, it's easier -- assuming you know how to spell. There's also a tutorial to guide you.
Educational value: The app makes users think about spelling as they assemble words from a random assortment of onscreen letters.
What to watch out for
Violence: Not an issue.
Sex: Not an issue.
Language: Not an issue.
Consumerism: A link from the main menu takes users to a page listing more games from the developer.
Drinking, drugs, & smoking: Not an issue.
How safe is it?
Personal privacy: Minor privacy concerns. Players can opt in to Apple's Game Center to track achievements. With Game Center, players can send and receive friend requests using an email address or Game Center nickname. Requesting or accepting a friend via email will reveal the first and last name associated with each party's Apple ID and the sender's email address.
Reviewed by Chris Morris
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.