Australian Council on Children and the Media

Subway Surfer - Kiloo

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Short takes

Subway Surfers is an endless runner game where players must run away from authorities on a busy train route. Gross motor and fast reaction time skills are required to play. Caution: Mild violence, criminal themes, advertising and Facebook connectivity. Not recommended for children under 13. Parental guidance for children aged 13 – 15.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Subway Surfer was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 February 2017.

About the app

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

Name of app: Subway Surfer
Developed by: Kiloo
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 9+
ACCM suggested age: Not recommended under 13 and parental guidance for children 13 – 15.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Subway Surfer contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

The reviewer played for several hours.

App description

Subway Surfers begins with the main character illegally spray painting the side of a train. Upon tapping the screen, a guard or police officer appears and the main character starts running away (into the screen). Players must run along the train line, dodging fast moving on-coming trains (and running along the tops of them) whilst gathering collectables such as coins and special items. Coins can be used to buy new characters and hover boards. Keys can also be collected – which allow the player to continue the current run if they get caught.

The aim of the game is to run as far as possible without hitting a train or object and getting caught by the police officer.

All movements are made by swiping the screen (move left and right, up = jump and down = roll under). Only gross motor and fast reaction time skills are required to play. Due to the criminal nature of this game (and saturated advertising and Facebook features) ACCM does not recommend that children under 13 play. Parental guidance is recommend for children aged 13 -15.

Reviewers comments

Some parents may view this game as glamorising breaking the law. The title screen shows the character clearly knowing that he shouldn’t be vandalising the train with graffiti – as he cautiously looks around between sprays. Further to this, the collectables along the train lines come dangerously close to speeding on-coming trains. As this game is quite bright and colourful, with cute looking animated characters, this may trivialise criminal activity for some.

Facebook is a prominent feature of this game. Not only are top scores instantly compared with other Facebook users, but it is frequently suggested that players connect to Facebook to complete with other friends and earn bonuses. Clicking on the “connect to Facebook” feature does require a password, but there is also an option to create a new account.

In App purchasing

The following items can be purchased:

  • Stack of coins (7500) - $1.49
  • Pile of coins (450,000) - $7.99
  • Bag of coins (180,000) - $30.99
  • Chest of coins (5,000,000) - $79.99
  • Vault of coins (1,200,000) - $159.99
  • Bunch of Keys (25) - $7.99
  • Heap of Keys (110) - $30.99
  • Sack of Keys (300) - $79.99
  • Crate of Keys (650) - $159.99

Online information

  • Connecting with Facebook will provide “Subway Surfers” with your public profile.

Gambling

There was no gambling within the game itself, but some of the advertising pop-ups featured gambling games.

Advertising and product placement

  • There is heavy advertising in this game. Full screen ads will appear between games and switching between screens. There are also many 30 seconds ads for other games which will often appear without prior warning (one of these was for a slot machine game).

Gender stereo types and sexual references

None noted

Coarse language

None noted

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

  • This app may encourage some children to behave in an imitative way, which includes some anti-social behaviour. See reviewer’s comments above.

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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.