Australian Council on Children and the Media

Animal Jam – Play Wild! - Wildworks Inc

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Short takes

In Animal Jam – Play Wild! – players navigate an animal avatar in a virtual world in order to play mini games and interact with other players. Fine motor skills, navigation and memory for virtual environments are required to play. This app encourages parental guidance . Caution: in-app purchases and online interactivity.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Animal Jam – Play Wild! was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 December 2016.

About the app

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

Name of app: Animal Jam – Play Wild!
Developed by: Wildworks Inc
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 9-11
ACCM suggested age: Not recommended for under 8 years; parental guidance recommended for 9 -12 years due to in-app purchases and online interactivity.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Animal Jam – Play Wild! contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

The reviewer played for several hours.

App description

Animal Jam – Play Wild! is a multiplayer game set in a shared virtual environment.

To play this game, new players must create an online profile which consists of:

A)     Choosing an animal avatar (bunny, monkey or wolf)

B)      Creating a name (from combinations of pre-selected options, e.g; Fuzzy Bravemonkey). There is no option to type a personal name.

C)      Customizing your avatar’s look

Game play involves navigating a virtual world where players can interact with each other by challenging them to games (e.g., Checkers). Other features include the ability to add and request new friends. Communication is possible between players, but can be limited and monitored parentally. There are also “fun facts” scattered around the environment which inform the player of animal and plant trivia. Mini games against online players have quick instructions and most children will find them simple to learn. 

There does not appear to be a singular aim overall beyond the novelty of playing online games with friends. Coins earned from winning games can be used to purchase new clothing for your avatar. Sapphires can purchase things like new animals and dens for your avatar, but can only be purchased with real money. 

Reviewers comments

Animal Jam – Play Wild! requires players to create a username. However, the game encourages players not to use their real first or last name. It also requires players to add their parent’s email address – stating that parents will have 120 days to activate the account and give them permission to play the game. Once the email address is added, parents will receive an email informing them that their child has created a free account – which cannot be activated unless the parent does so. The child’s account can only be activated once a parent account has been set up. Parents can then monitor and control safety settings of their child’s game play.

Although in-app purchasing may improve certain aspects of the game for some players (e.g., adding new animals, improving the animal’s dens), the ability to explore the environment, play games, interact with other players and learn about animals and plants is not affected if purchases are not made. 

The makers of this game appear to be conscious of online safety and encourage parental supervision with logging in and making purchases. 

This game allows players to communicate with each other, either in written word (free keyboard use, or pre-selected words) and/or through expressing emotions with emojis. Although online interaction can be restricted and monitored through the parent’s account, it is also recommended that parents familiarise themselves with the game’s features to ensure appropriate online interactions. Buddy requests and game invites can easily be switched off. Other players can also be locked out of your avatar’s animal den.

Some areas and features are restricted to certain animals, which some children may find frustrating and may encourage wanting to purchase new animals for inclusivity (which requires real money). 

Parents should be aware of the online interactivity requirement for all players.

In App purchasing

Sapphires can be purchased as follows:

 

100 Sapphires for $2.99

250 Sapphires for $7.99

500 Sapphires for $14.99

1100 Sapphires for $30.99

Online information

  • This game is played online and a login account is therefore required.
  • Players can share information and scores through social media.

Gambling

At time of review, the reviewer found no simulated gambling content.  If you discover simulated gambling content in this app, please contact us with the details so we can update our review.

Advertising and product placement

None

Gender stereo types and sexual references

None noted

Coarse language

None

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

None

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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.