Australian Council on Children and the Media

8 Ball Pool - Miniclip

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Short takes

8 Ball Pool is a traditional game of pool played in real time. Players will benefit from having good spatial perception and fine motor skills. Caution: Strong gambling themes and elements, and social media connectivity. Not recommended for children 15 and under. Parental guidance suggested for 16 – 17.

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Simulated casino style gambling

This review of 8 Ball Pool was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 February 2019.

About the app

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

Name of app: 8 Ball Pool
Developed by: Miniclip
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 4+
ACCM suggested age: Parental guidance 16 – 17 for gambling themes, social media connectivity, advertising and in-app purchasing.
Gambling content advice: Simulated casino style gambling. Player is risking money or something of value on an outcome of an event involving chance when the probability of winning or losing is less than certain. Refer to the gambling section of this review for further details

ACCM review

This review of 8 Ball Pool contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

Our Reviewer played to level 45

App description

8 Ball Pool shows a birds-eye view of a traditional pool table. You play against other users by swivelling the pool cue into position (by swiping), lining up your intended shot, pulling the shot meter back (the further, the harder the hit), and then releasing to shoot the ball. In a standard game, the first player to pot or sink all their balls, followed by the 8 ball, wins. There’s a range of games that can be played, such as:  1 on 1, Abu Dhabi Championship, Tournaments, 9 Ball, Mini Games and Practice offline. Every entry into a game requires payment of virtual currency, which also goes to the pool if you win (e.g., Entry fee $100, Prize $200). However, losing a game also means losing your entry fee money. Players can also join Clubs, which allow free real-time communication between club members.

Reviewers comments

Parents should be aware that there are many gambling elements in this app. The main game requires that you pay to play and if you don’t win, you lose your money. The game does start you off with virtual currency (more if you connect through Facebook), however after a few short losses that currency has gone, and you can no longer play unless you watch ads or buy more virtual currency with real money. In addition, there are also side games which are blatant simulated gambling elements. These include: Spin Wheel, which gives you three free spins to begin with, but offers more spins at a cost of real money;  Scratch and Win, which costs $2.99 to play; Boxes, which provides a free loot box at first, but then requires real money for more;  and “Hi-Lo”, a roulette style game requiring you to guess whether the next ball spin will land on either a higher or lower ball than the one before (our Reviewer needed to spend $2.99 of real money to play and the first ball to guess high or low from was an “8”, from 15 balls this essentially means it is a guess with a 50/50 chance). The game also allows players to join ‘clubs’ and to communicate with other members of their club in real time, via text. Noting how many gambling elements are present in this game (in game play, look, audio and feel), ACCM strongly recommend children 15 and under are restricted from playing this game and adolescents aged 16 -17 proceed with caution, at their parent’s discretion and under supervision.

In App purchasing

There is a lot of In-App purchasing throughout this game and both the Spin and Win game, and Scratch and Win game, require a payment of $2.49 before players can use them. There is an In-App store where players may purchase additional in-game currency for real-life money, for example:

  • 32,000 = $7.99
  • 70,000 = $14.99
  • 160,000 = $30.99
  • 500,000 = $79.99
  • 1.25M = $159.99

Online information

There is a lot of online connectivity in this game, including:

  • The game encourages players to sign in via Facebook, offering them rewards if they do. Players are also encouraged to ‘Share your victory!’ online via Facebook or Twitter, if they win a game against an opponent.
  • Users can communicate with other users in real time via text.

Gambling

8 Ball Pool encourages realistic simulated gambling behaviours. Saturated gambling content, including:

  • Spin wheels
  • Scratch games
  • Roulette style gaming
  • Loot boxes
  • General risk for reward elements.

Advertising and product placement

There is a lot of advertising in this game, including:

  • Players are told that they may watch a short video ads to earn coins and can watch as many videos as are available to earn more coins.
  • Advertisements (videos) are full-screen and cannot be skipped once they have begun.  They include games such as Racing Rivals, other casino-based games, etc.
  • The in-app purchase packages are also advertised by pop-up screens that appear frequently during gameplay, and must be manually closed.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

  • Nothing of concern.

Coarse language

  • Although there was no coarse language noted by our Reviewer, Parents should be aware that if children choose to communicate with other users via text, there is no control over what language is used or the content of conversations. 

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

Please see reviewers 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.

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