Australian Council on Children and the Media

Agar.io - Miniclip.com

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Short takes

Agar.io is an online multiplayer game.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Agar.io was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 August 2015.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Agar.io
Developed by: Miniclip.com
Platform reviewed: Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Parental Guidance/Mild Coarse Language/Online Interactivity
ACCM suggested age: 13+
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Agar.io contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This app was reviewed for approximately 1 hour of gameplay.

App description

Agar.io is an online multiplayer game where the goal is to be better than other players. The objective of the game is to absorb cells which are smaller, in order to grow and become the biggest cell on the playing field. The skills required include motor skills to use the app, as well as problem solving and lateral thinking. 

Reviewers comments

When the app is first opened, players are asked to enter in a Nickname. There are instructions below stating which symbol to press to ‘split’ and which symbol to press to ‘eject some mass’. There is also a Play button, as well as a settings icon that allows players to adjust settings such as ‘Stop on release’, ‘Direction on touch’, etc.

Gameplay itself is based around the concept of trying to grow your own cell by eating smaller cells. Players begin as a medium-sized circle shape of a specific colour. They can then use their finger to navigate around a random sea of other circle shapes (some of which are smaller circles, and others that are considerably larger). If a play eats a smaller shape, their circle grows larger. However, if players hit a bigger shape, they are eaten and lose the game. The objective is to survive long enough, and eat enough smaller cells, in order to become the biggest cell in the game. As stated above, players also have the option to split their cell, or to eject some mass and grow smaller, in order to squeeze through tight areas without hitting a larger cell.

Players play online against others, and there is a leader board of scores which can be accessed in the top right-hand corner during gameplay. Players can choose whatever name they desire. Although none were witnessed during the play through for this review, it is possible that coarse language may be present within other player’s names.

In addition, while it states that this app contains in-app purchases, there were no options within the app itself to make purchases at this stage. This may change as the developers continue working on the app. The app’s gameplay did not appear to pose any overt risk to children, despite considerable advertising content.

In App purchasing

Although it states that this app contains in-app purchases, there were no options within the app itself to make purchases at this stage. This may change as the developers continue working on the app.

Online information

As this game is an MMO-style game, individuals play against others in an online setting. They are able to absorb other players’ cells if they are 10% bigger when they run over them.

Gambling

No gambling content was found during this review.

Advertising and product placement

There are full-screen video advertisements that appear within the app. These can be manually closed at any time during play through, but players are informed that they will ‘lose their reward’ if they close it without viewing the ad to completion. These video advertisements are approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute long, and advertise gaming apps such as ‘This Means War’ (violent content), ‘Soccer Stars’, ‘Mobile Strike’ (violence). Some of the advertisements presented occur after a player has been eaten and a new level must be begun – these are static advertisements that occupy the full screen, and must be manually closed.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

No game playing behaviour which may be of concern to parents was found during this review.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.