Avokiddo has created an irresistibly cute and somewhat addictive app for kids with Thinkrolls. As the name suggests, kids think while they roll, or rather, while cute ball-shaped characters roll through a variety of mazes and face challenges as they go. The first chapter places crackers in the way and has the characters choose which crackers to eat to help open up the path. From there, each chapter introduces a new challenge element that makes kids think a little harder and helps them to learn science concepts along the way. They’ll interact with fire and ice, gears, jelly, rocks, balloons, and wooden crates as they follow the leader through the maze, collect circles, and try to unlock the next level.
- Easy and Hard Levels
- 18 Characters to Choose
- Introduces principles of physics
- Allows up to 6 player profiles
Thinkrolls features a well-organized, easy-to-follow design that allows kids to immediately get started playing the game at either the easy or hard level. It also allows parents to set up multiple player profiles so kids can track their progress as they play. When kids start playing, they get to choose one of 18 different adorable characters to use as they go through the mazes and they’re introduced to more cute characters as they play the game. The game itself runs smoothly, using nonverbal instructions to guide kids through the maze and offering a back icon to allow kids to re-attempt a move when they get stuck. While some challenges require more thinking than others, the game itself is easy to follow and play.
Each of the seven chapters contained within the game is designed to help introduce kids to the basic principles of physics. In chapter one, the character must eat crackers to get through the maze, which simply enforces basic reasoning skills. Chapter two brings in crates, which helps teach kids about gravity, height, and distance, while chapter three brings in balloons to teach kids about lift and makes the maze a little more complex. Other chapters introduce rocks to teach density and falling speed, jelly to introduce elasticity and bounce, fire/ice to introduce temperature, and gear-based elevators to teach kids about movement. At each level, the elements build on one another and are combined to make the mazes more complex.
Kids will find that the game is surprisingly addicting. Just when they think they’ve figured out a particular component, the maze throws in a new challenge or a different combination of objects to make it a little harder to complete. At the easy and hard levels, each chapter also has 10 different levels of difficulty, which means kids will spend a lot of time trying to master each level and will have a lot of fun doing it.
Thinkrolls offers nearly 180 levels of play for a price that is comparable to similar apps. However, the app is somewhat unique and there’s not a lot out there like it. It’s hard to find an app that subtly introduces physics concepts, yet is still accessible to kids as young as age three.
A parental lock keeps kids from accessing other Avokiddo apps and content designed for parents, keeping kids focused on the game. Once within the game, kids won’t find a lot of hints to help them get through each level, but they will find a replay button that allows them to try challenging parts of the maze over and over again until they get it right. The app doesn’t punish kids or make any other negative comments when they get something wrong. It also gradually builds the challenges in each chapter so by the time kids get to the more difficult components they’ll already have a lot of the knowledge they need to figure out how to get past the obstacle and continue to the end of the maze.