February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Thinkrolls: Kings and Queens | Touch and Go

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

AVOKIDDO injects a bit of science into apps for kids. Their DNA Play introduced the concept of  mutability as viewers control the gene sequence of a creature, creating and altering its features and shape. A new production was recently rolled out. Paula Willey reviews it below.


Thinkrolls: Kings and Queens (AVOKIDDO, iOS, $3.99; Android, $3.99; K- Gr 6) is stimulating, but not impossible, moves quickly and builds on itself, and, best of all, is populated by little round characters who emit a wide range of nonverbal squeaks, giggles, coos, and chirps. The app has a brief learning ramp-up and, like the World of Goo (another puzzler), demonstrates basic concepts of physics. Simple machines, force, and reflection are all used to clear a path as viewers roll and drop characters along paths and across bridges through a series of castles. Sequence is especially important in order to solve these puzzles.

Wooden chests can fill in holes, break through bridges, or serve as platforms. Gears must be deployed strategically to give a character access to a key and a doorway on each level. But gamers must watch out for farting ghosts and growling crocodiles! They can also pick up sweets and gems that a large, friendly dragon vacuums up in exchange for additional accessories—tresses, headwear, and facial hair that can be added and combined, as in Mr. Potato Head.

Also like World of Goo, the graphics are fairly simple, witty, and executed in toothsome color palettes. Contributing to the marvelous aesthetic quality of this game, a light, sweet orchestral soundtrack accompanies players’ progress. Lots of plucked strings, harp, flute, and piano, and enough recorded segments are heard that the music never becomes stale.

Kids can play as a beginner or play at the “hard” setting—the levels are short, so if players get stuck, a tap to an arrow will return them to a spot where they can give it another try—as often as necessary . There are no time limits, and both the “easy” and more difficult mode contain more than 100 levels, guaranteeing return visits. A trailer is available. VERDICT Castles await players in a stimulating game incorporating logic, physics, fantasy, and fun.—Paula Willey, UNADULTERATED.US


Screen from Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens (AVOKIDDO)

For additional app reviews, visit School Library Journal‘s dedicated app webpage.




Daryl Grabarek About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek dgrabarek@mediasourceinc.com is the editor of School Library Journal's monthly enewsletter, Curriculum Connections, and its online column Touch and Go. Before coming to SLJ, she held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Her dream is to manage a collection on a remote island in the South Pacific.

Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections & RA

Do you want to ensure that your library’s collections are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and well-read?

Do you want to become a more culturally literate librarian and a more effective advocate for your community?

We've developed a foundational online course—with live sessions on February 28 & March 14—that will explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections.
Facts Matter: Information Literacy for the Real World
Libraries and news organizations are joining forces in a variety of ways to promote news literacy, create innovative community programming, and help patrons/students identify misinformation. This online course will teach you how to partner with local news organizations to promote news literacy through a range of programs—including a citizen journalism hub at your library.
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind