Australian Council on Children and the Media

Wheel of Fortune - Sony Pictures Inc

app image

Short takes

Wheel of Fortune builds on the popular American TV game show. Players must guess the hidden saying, phrase, person, etc., before their opponents. Gross motor skills and competent spelling and comprehension are required to play. Caution: Frequent slot machine game ads, in-app purchases and online connectivity.

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Contains some elements of gambling

This review of Wheel of Fortune was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 26 February 2017.

About the app

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

Name of app: Wheel of Fortune
Developed by: Sony Pictures Inc
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 4+
ACCM suggested age: Not recommended under 13; Parental Guidance recommended for 13 - 17 due to frequent slot machine game ads
Gambling content advice: Contains some elements of gambling. This game may contain devices which mimic those found in a casino; but the player is not risking something of value to play. Refer to the gambling section of this review for further details

ACCM review

This review of Wheel of Fortune contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

Level 10

App description

Wheel of Fortune is virtually identical to the TV show; players spin the wheel for a dollar value, and then choose a consonant to solve the puzzle (For example: if the player spins $500, guessing a correct letter wins that amount for your personal bank). Vowels can also be purchased with virtual money earned from previous correct guesses. If you cannot guess the message on your current turn, play then moves to the next person. Players can compete with virtual or real opponents. The aim of the game is to be the first to solve the puzzle.

The app expands on this format by adding extra features, such as: bonus rounds between group games, level progression to unlock playing in different locations (e.g.; Las Vegas, Tokyo), tournaments and making your own puzzles to share with friends. 

Skills required to play include gross motor skills, good spelling and problem solving skills.

Reviewers comments

This game has some benefits in terms of language, spelling and problem solving. However, the risk for reward themes and ads for such things as violent games, slot machines and poker will raise concerns for parents. The game is also American, thus non-American players will find some of the puzzles particularly difficult as they include people and landmarks that many non-Americans will not be familiar with – and this may raise the probability of players buying more gems to continue to solve the puzzle and/or obtain tickets to play more games.  

To enter into a game of Wheel of Fortune, players must use one of their tickets. Tickets automatically regenerate – 5 tickets every 30 mins (but you can never have more than 5 tickets at any one time). If you attempt to play with no tickets, the game offers you a refill of 5 tickets for the cost of 150 gems. However, gems are not easily obtainable. At level 10 of this game, the reviewer was only able to obtain 50. This not only encourages buying more gems, but free gems may be obtained by watching 15 – 30 second ads. This will award the player with 2 gems. Some parents may be concerned about this as you can watch as many ads as you like, and many are not appropriate for younger children, let alone the age recommendation of 4+ the makers have set for the game.

In App purchasing

Gems:

 

  • 160 Gems - $2.99
  • 400 Gems + No Ads - $7.99
  • 860 Gems / 7% More + No Ads - $14.99
  • 1,800 Gems / 12% More + No Ads - $30.99
  • 4,800 Gems / 20% More + No Ads - $79.99
  • 10,000 Gems / 25% More + No Ads - $159.99

 

VIP All-Access Pass - $9.99 per month

(Never lose a turn again, No more bankrupts, Increase max tickets by 5, No more ads

Online information

  • Connectivity with social media is present.

Gambling

There are mild risk for reward themes within this game, particularly with spending virtual gems. For example, if you cannot solve a puzzle during a bonus round, the game will offer more time to solve the puzzle if you spend a certain amount of your gems. You can also use gems to buy hints that help you solve the puzzle (as the hint/s may not be helpful, there is still risk for reward). 

Advertising and product placement

  • There are quite a lot of slot machine game ads. One of these that came up multiple times was a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 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

  • The risk for reward themes and ads for such things as violent games, slot machines and poker will raise concerns for parents.

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Content is age appropriate for children this age

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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.